Jun 10, 2021
Mark Welsh here, Sales Director at Filo.co. I have ten years of sales experience ranging from an individual seller, manager, director, and founder of a recently acquired software company.
Over the last ten years, no matter the role, making real connections has been the common denominator in my success. Virtual selling has always been part of the process. However, until recently, there was always an opportunity to meet in person. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to adjust to 100% virtual sales.
Shifting to a virtual approach, I have made many adjustments along the way. In light of these modifications, I pinpointed three areas that I realized made the most significant difference when approaching prospects.
I’ve found that it is easier to get ignored when emailing people. Even people I have communicated with would dismiss me. However, being vulnerable goes a long way when connecting with prospects virtually. When meeting someone in person, it is apparent that you are a person and form a connection off the bat–virtually, that completely changes.
“To build a rapport with prospects now, I share more information about myself outside of Filo.co.”
Showing humanity allows for prospects to drop their guard down a bit to talk with me about their current challenges and priorities. I initially research the individual to find things we have in common. Then, when appropriate, I talk about my family, my dog, or favorite movies. I’ve found people just starting in their career like their accomplishments noticed; I make sure to bring those up.
Communications bombard people. So, I knew I had to get creative to get noticed. Now that I focus only on virtual sales, I utilize videos more often, particularly Loom. I am also an avid GIF user, which adds a more human-like interaction.
When it comes to checking in with prospects, my communication tactics are mainly the same.
“In today’s environment, if someone doesn’t respond, I use different channels to reach them.”
For example, if someone I am talking to posts on Linkedin, I will like or leave a comment on their post. I find myself engaging more on Twitter and Reddit as well. I interact with prospects and customers on Twitter while I use Reddit to research and learn.
Nonetheless, do not get away from picking up the phone. Hearing a voice is a nice personal touch. Calling someone or sending a text has been critical in getting deals across the finish line. Communication becomes less transactional, and people are more open to sharing their true feelings and are more conversational.
Over the past year, I’ve learned that organization and ease are essential. Long email threads are one of my biggest pet peeves. People typically take more time scrolling back to find important links and documents than necessary. Since conducting most conversations virtually, I knew that there had to be an easier way to communicate and share documents.
After testing it myself, I genuinely believe that the Filo Virtual Sales Hub is a game changer for people in sales. During a chat with a Filo.co prospect about the Virtual Sales Hub, I was able to take feedback and implement a sales solution center within Filo. I created a dedicated room for each customer, including their branding, decks, proposals, materials, and recorded calls.
“It’s an easy way to share and organize documents when multiple people are involved in the sales process. Most importantly, it ends the lengthy email threads.”
I recently onboarded a new Account Executive, Molly. I believe that Filo helped to get Molly up to speed quickly. We have an Onboarding Room that houses case studies, decks, email proposals, contracts, and anything else of importance for a newcomer. Having all of that information in one place makes it easy to refer back to as needed. Tap also allows Molly to get on-demand coaching from me. It also enables her to reach me quickly if she needs my assistance during a call. I have been able to jump into her office to help her negotiate with a prospect on the spot. We were able to close two deals this way.
It has taken some adjusting, but I think I am on the right track to get a solid plan. As I move forward, intentionality will be top of mind. I will be more intentional with the connections I make–to meet people as people. These connections are important to sustain remote and hybrid work.
I’m thrilled that we are hosting a Sales Enablement Roundtable on June 24, and excited to hear from three sales enablement leaders who will share lessons learned from the past year. Hope to see you there!