How to Optimize Your Online Sales Meetings With Prospects
The world is relying on online communications now more than ever. With the new challenges we face, more technology is built to make our lives easier. Especially in B2B SaaS businesses(Online Sales Meetings).
It is now possible to communicate with people and businesses across the world without having to leave your house. However, just because we have technology that helps us overcome these challenges, optimizing online conversations has become a must.
Everyone has high expectations for businesses initiating contact. Today, I am here to help you optimize your online communications to exceed the expectations of your customers and prospects.
Scheduling is more important than you think
Imagine you have peaked the interest of a potential customer. Great! This is your chance to use the momentum of your marketing team to “wow” and convert them. It is not the time to drive them away with outdated tech and communication methods.
There are 2 very important aspects to scheduling a meeting with a prospect.
- Let them choose a time in your calendar
- Automate email communications
Choosing a meeting time
No one likes the back and forth of trying to find a time that works best to hold a meeting. That is why it is important to have a meeting booking page that you can send prospects to.
Connect your personalized booking page to your calendar and even add in specific restrictions so that people can look at your schedule and book something that works best for them (and for you).
Tip: When adding conditions to your availability, try using these best practices to avoid meeting no-shows:
- Avoid Monday mornings and Friday afternoons
- Schedule for between 3 pm & 5 pm
- Try to restrict times for Monday through Thursdays
Automate invites and reminders
There is no need to completely write out every meeting invite and reminder anymore. The best way to automate these emails is to use a tool that connects with your meeting booking page so when a prospects books a meeting with you, the following happens:
- Calendar invites are sent to all parties
- Invites are logged into everyone’s calendar
- Email invites are sent with details
- Reminders are sent out at a time you specify
By automating and personalizing these messages, prospects are less likely to “forget” and not show up to the meeting.
Pre-write and set-up your email communications only once so that they are always sent at the right time and customized to every person. Here is an example:
Meeting Invite Email Template
Hi (prospect’s name),
Thank you for your interest in (company name).
I’m looking forward to our meeting (meeting date) at (meeting time).
Please click on this link to join the session: (meeting link)
If you have any questions or would like me to show you any specific part of our product in more detail, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Feel free to forward this invitation to any of your colleagues that might want to join as well!
I am looking forward to talking with you.
Structure your meeting
It might be obvious, but you should always go into a meeting with a structured agenda. Your prospect is expecting you to take the reins and tell them what will be happening in the meeting. Use it to your advantage.
For a 30-minute meeting or demonstration you should use a structure similar to this:
- Introduction (5 minutes): Establish rapport and connect with everyone on the call to gain trust. Share the agenda.
- Set the stage (5 minutes): Discuss their top business challenges.
- Solution Mapping (15 minutes): Address each pain point and solution by focusing on the most relevant benefits of your solution. Focus on the three biggest pain points.
- Next steps (5 minutes): Discuss your prospect’s decision-making process and what else they need to move the deal forward.
Using this structure gives the meeting focus and minimizes tangent discussions that reduce the meetings effectiveness.
But having the agenda ready is only part of it. What about the content you want to show? Do you normally share your screen to present the same powerpoint slides you share with every prospect? That isn’t very effective.
Make sure you have a tool where you can prepare all the content beforehand including websites, PDFs, slides, agenda items, etc. in one presentation. There is no need to distract the prospect with notifications, messy browser tabs and desktops. Let them focus on your message.
Using a tool that has a virtual display to show your structured presentation without distractions, allows your message to resonate more with the prospect.
Engage your prospect
When talking with prospects about your product, it is necessary for you to instill a message that helps them realize “Wow, I really understand how this product solves my problem”. What better way to do this than to let them interact with it!
If you have ever sat passively in a meeting where people were talking “at” you, you can empathize. It’s not fun and you typically leave the meeting without retaining any of the information. However, if the host of the meeting were to ask you to actually interact with the product they were presenting, it would be a completely different story.
Using an interactive screen sharing tool for your meetings allows the prospect to get first hand experience with the product even before they leave the demo. Not enough businesses do this but it makes all the difference when your goal is to convert.
Combining the interactive screen sharing with realtime objection handling and CRM note sync, you can truly tailor the meeting to the prospect and help them understand why your solution is the best solution.
Define next-steps & follow-up
You have 5 minutes left in your meeting. What do you do now? Oh yeah, define your next steps!
You have the prospect already talking with you so you might as well make way for continued conversations. Set their expectations of what will come next in your process and increase your chance of converting them into a customer.
According to Chris Orlob, Director of Sales at Gong.io, your close rates can plummet by over 70% when you fail to discuss the next steps.
After the meeting has ended, you should reiterate these next steps in a follow up email.
Here are some things you should consider when writing your follow up email:
- Keep it as short as possible while including the main action items.
- Always add value by answering questions, providing intelligence, and removing hurdles
- Make it easy for them to take action such as confirming the next meeting or signing a proposal
Check out this example template for a meeting follow up email:
Subject line: Great demo meeting! Here’s what is coming next
Hi (prospect name),
Thank you for your time yesterday and for sharing more insights on (X goal and the Y challenges you’re facing). We understand the bigger picture and we’re happy that the demo gave you a better idea of how (product name) will help you reach your goals.
Here are the X ways we agreed (your product) meets your requirements:
Problem / Solution #1
Problem / Solution #2
Based on the next steps we discussed, we will (send proposal) by (date). Please click this scheduling link (Demodesk scheduling link) to confirm the best meeting time, so we can walk you through (the proposal.)
Let me know if you have any questions.
Try to send your follow up email and next steps about 12 working hours after the demo to give them time to think about the discussion.
Overall, there are 5 areas of prospect communication that you should continuously check-in with and update, including:
- Scheduling the meeting
- Structuring an agenda
- Engaging prospects
- Defining next steps
- Sending the follow-up
Sometimes the simplest changes can make the biggest impact when creating a more effective way to virtually communicate with prospects. When combining your communication optimization efforts and supporting tools, you will be well on your way to increasing conversions and retaining existing customers.
Final tip: Use a tool that can combine every aspect of your communication process and integrate with the tools you use. This will make things more efficient for you and your team.