How To Coach Sellers For A New Virtual World

Published on December 19, 2023 by Sawyer Middeleer

How To Coach Sellers For A New Virtual World

The virtual world has fundamentally transformed the way sales is done. In this new landscape, sales representatives and entire teams must adapt to maintain their effectiveness. Here is an in-depth guide for sales managers and coaches to ensure their teams can excel in a virtual sales environment.

The Paradigm Shift to Virtual Selling

The days of in-person meetings, firm handshakes, and in-office presentations are facing disruption. Modern selling necessitates comfort with digital tools, an understanding of new customer behaviors, and an aptitude for engaging clients virtually. Technological familiarity and a personal touch that transcends physical distance are now cornerstones for effective selling.

Why Coaching for Virtual Selling is Different

In a remote environment, nonverbal cues are less pronounced and opportunities to build rapport are diminished. Traditional sales relied heavily on in-the-room dynamics, which are absent in the virtual world. Thus, coaching must address these nuances to avoid the pitfalls of miscommunication and ineffective virtual engagement.

Starting With the Basics: Setting Up for Success

Before delving into advanced strategies, sellers need to be coached on the fundamentals of virtual professionalism:

  • Technical Proficiency: Ensure your sellers are adept with video conferencing platforms, CRM systems, and messaging apps.
  • Home Office Setup: Coach them on the importance of a professional background, good lighting, and clear audio.
  • Digital Etiquette: Address the nuances of virtual communication, such as when to mute/unmute, camera usage, and speaking protocols in virtual meetings.

Building Rapport and Strengthening Relationships Virtually

While it might seem daunting at first, virtual settings offer unique opportunities for building relationships.

  • Pre-call Planning: Encourage sellers to spend extra time researching clients before calls. Familiarity with the client's recent activities and interests can help create a connection despite the absence of a physical handshake.
  • Sharing Content: Coach your team on sharing relevant articles, studies, or videos before a call to demonstrate value and maintain touchpoints.
  • Personal Connection: Without the benefit of physical presence, it's vital to find common ground quickly. Role-playing various scenarios can help sellers practice connecting on a personal level.

Reimagining Client Presentations for Virtual Platforms

Virtual sales presentations demand a shift in approach. No longer can a seller rely on printed brochures or physical samples—everything is on screen and must be just as compelling.

  • Visual Storytelling: Teach your team to use visuals effectively within their presentations to maintain engagement.
  • Interactive Demos: Interactive elements, such as screen sharing, live polls, and Q&A sessions can keep clients engaged in a way that passive presentations cannot.
  • Presentation Practice: Regular, recorded practice sessions where a seller can critique their own virtual presentation skills can be a game changer.

Leveraging Technology to Understand and Connect With Clients

Technology offers a wealth of data about customer behavior and preferences.

  • CRM Mastery: Mastery of CRM tools becomes even more vital in a virtual setting to track every interaction and gain insights on the client’s needs.
  • Analyzing Digital Footprints: Understanding clients’ digital activity, like website visits or webinar attendance, can help sellers personalize their pitch.
  • The Art of Follow-up: Following up with a personalized message referencing a key moment or inside joke from the virtual meeting can help deepen the client relationship.

Adapting to The Online Buyer's Journey

The seller’s coaching must adapt to the new buyer's journey which is now largely online.

  • Digital Prospecting: Coach sellers on identifying and nurturing leads through social media, forums, and online networks.
  • Content as Conversation Starters: Utilizing insightful content can be a great way to initiate and maintain conversations over time.
  • Sales Sequences and Cadences: Teach sequencing and timing of outreach to capture the interest of online buyers.

Embracing Empathy and Patience

In a world that has undergone significant stress and change, empathy must be a prime skill.

  • Active Listening: More than ever, listening skills are paramount. Training sellers to truly listen can lead to more meaningful conversations and, ultimately, more closed deals.
  • Patience in Process: With longer decision cycles in a virtual world, providing coaching on patience can help manage expectations and prevent rush tactics that could hurt the relationship.

Mental Health and Well-being for Sustainable Selling

Virtual selling comes with the challenge of remote isolation. Coaches can play a critical role in ensuring that morale remains high.

  • Regular Check-ins: Set up regular one-on-one check-ins with sellers not just about sales performance but also their well-being.
  • Community Building: Cultivate a sense of community within the team through virtual coffee breaks, team building activities, and more.

The Continuous Learning Loop

The virtual landscape is continuously evolving. Consequently, learning and adaptation must be ongoing.

  • Training and Webinars: Encourage the team to attend virtual training sessions and webinars to stay at the forefront of virtual sales techniques.
  • Peer Learning: Facilitate sessions where sales reps can share their virtual selling experiences, challenges, and solutions.


Coaching sellers for success in a new virtual world requires adaptability, a grasp on technology, and a deep understanding of changing consumer behaviors. Transitioning to this new mode of selling is more than adopting a new set of tools; it's about equipping sales professionals with the right mindset and techniques to foster trust and convey value across digital channels.

Investing in comprehensive coaching can prepare your sellers to meet the challenges of this new era, ensuring sustained success. As we embark on this transition, leadership must be a beacon of guidance and adaptation—a role in which sales coaches are perfectly poised to excel.

Take your workflow to the next level