Virtual Selling and Beyond: The Tech Stack You Can’t Live Without

Reading Time: 19 minutes

Overview: Alice Heiman goes through her marketing tech stack at the RevTech Summit 2021.

About the speaker: Alice demonstrates how sales performance is directly related to a leader’s mindset. When sales leaders change the way they work with sales teams, results are immediate and dramatic.

Hi, I’m Alice Heiman. And I’m excited to be with you at the RevTech Summit. Many thanks to everyone who’s joined us here today. I’m excited to talk to you about virtual selling, and the tech stack that you need. So let’s get started. All right, we are going to talk about the tech stack that you cannot live without. And I have some ideas for you, that you can put into play right away. What I want to say to you right now, before we start, though, is this situation we’re in today is rather complex. As you watch this, we just inaugurated a new president. We had a year of turmoil. We’ve had some companies who have grown so much their sales are through the roof, they can barely keep up with production.  

And some companies who have suffered miserably. We have families who have had losses of loved ones due to COVID. People have been shut in, we’ve had so many hard things going on in the world. But we’ve also had some amazing and wonderful things that are going on. And we need to stay focused on those. But what I want you to know is that it’s important not to overlook the complexity of this moment in time. But complexity isn’t a bad thing. Complexity can be amazing, we just have to know that it’s there and understand what to do with it, especially in sales. 

So I know a lot of you are used to getting together and meeting like this with your customers, right. And today, most of us can’t do that. Although believe it or not, there are sales people who are still out there selling in person, of course, with their masks on and maybe even a shield. But most of us, we are doing all of our selling through video, through our phones, through email, social media, and many other ways that we consider virtual. So exactly what is virtual? Well, the simplest explanation is, it’s not in person.  

Now, we know that when we get to sell in person, some magic can often happen. We meet people at a trade show or an event, we kind of click. Maybe we grab dinner, or coffee or a drink. And we get to chat and get to know each other personally. And some magic happens that makes it easier for us to then move to talking about business. Or if we get to fly to their location, maybe tour their facilities and meet some of the other people, that’s always terrific too. But we don’t have those opportunities as much anymore. And I think it’s going to stay that way for quite a while.  

So we need to be very good at this not in person, or virtual selling and be able to carry out most of our activity another way. And that’s usually through the internet, or through phone. So most of us have always sold virtually. This is not new news. I mean, I have been providing training and coaching through the magic of video for many, many years. But I also traveled three or four times a month, and got to see people in person as well. And of course, the extrovert that I am loved doing that.  

So it’s something we maybe want to get back to doing and I think we will, but we really need to recognize that we’ve already been doing this. So it’s really not that big of a deal. I mean using the phone is virtual right. It’s not in person. So you already know how to do this pretty well and the tech stack that you need. And I’m going to share with you the tech stack you can’t live without is probably a lot of tools you already have.  

Now a lot of our meetings look just like this today, where we are using video. And it is really important to get very good at using video if you want to win more deals. Just get used to this being the way that we are going to be doing things into the future. It will open up so many more doors for you because we can’t always travel to our customer for a variety of reasons. So this is a really great way and we just need to get more comfortable with it.  

I think by now though a lot of us are having a lot of what we call zoom fatigue or whatever video program you use. Just tired of video meetings. So again, the phone works great. Pick it up and use it! I don’t always have to be looking right at you, in order to have a great conversation. So keep that in mind if you are feeling a little fatigued. And when you are using your camera, use it wisely. I don’t want any of you to feel like this, right? Virtual selling again; you’ve already been doing it.  

So just switch your mindset. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Know that you’re already good at it. You have a lot of the skills that you need. And you probably have most of the tools that you need already. Yes, you do need tools. And I promise to share with you some of the tools that I highly recommend that will help you do a better job selling virtually, but not this kind of tools. Although you all have those somewhere, I’m sure in your home. You need a tech stack. You need tools that will help you communicate more efficiently, whether it’s synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous meaning at the same time, like we’re on the phone. I call you answer.  

We’re now having a synchronous communication. You chat. I chat back. We’re both at the same time focused on that communication. We’re having a synchronous communication. But we also have a lot of asynchronous communication that’s really valuable, too. I might message you on email. A couple hours later, you see that read that, digest it, and get back to me, right? Or I might text you now, and you may answer me later. That’s asynchronous. So you need tools that help you with both synchronous and asynchronous communication. If you know the company vendor neutral, and if you don’t, please stop by their website, because they are really great at producing information for you about tech stack. And they certify these vendors, which is really phenomenal.  

You may notice some that you need a few of my clients are on there. I’ll just point one out Modus, we’re going to talk more about them in a minute. There’s a couple of others that I love here as well. Now, that’s great. There’s another place, you can stop by and check out tools and figure out your tech stack. And that’s with my good friend, Nancy Norton at smart selling tools. So those are two great resources for you to start building your tech stack. If you’re not sure where to start. You can get help from both of those companies. They’d be delighted to walk you through it.  

Again, they don’t sell any of this tech. So they’re just going to talk with you about tech stack, and what you might consider using. Now let’s talk about the tech stack you can’t live without. What exactly is it? Well, gonna break it to you easy. You already have most of these tools. In fact, I think you have all the ones on this page for sure. What tools are needed to sell virtually? Well, yeah, you do need a phone. And I’m pretty sure you all either have a cell phone, or you have a landline of some type, maybe a voice system. You have mail, right? You can use FedEx, UPS, or the United States Post Office to send something in the mail and mail is highly effective.  

When used right. In fact, that reminds me about my friends to Hi, Nikki, who wrote a book called How to get a meeting with anyone. And most of what he does to get a meeting with people who are hard to get a meeting with is sending things through the mail. So take a look at that. And there’s companies like Sendoso that can really help you do that. Sotake a look at sendoso. So there’s also some other companies similar to that, like Alyze, a, l y, z, e, not the same exact name as me, but pretty close.  

There’s there’s other companies who can help you send things through the mail, highly consider doing that. Of course you have email. Now most of us just don’t use email very well. But you all have it and you can learn to use it better. And I highly recommend you start googling and reading and watching videos to help you do email better. Emails should be all about the person whose attention you’re trying to get. Not all about you. So learn how to do that really well. You already have that tool. Texting, yes, once again, you can text from your phone. If you have a Mac you can text. If you put certain software on your PC you can text.  

My voice phone system also provides a login where people can text my main number. There are lots of ways to text. Now you may not have the cell phone numbers, but you could use something like ZoomInfo to go get the cell phone numbers. Or you can simply ask people what is the way you would like to be communicate with? If you’d like me to text you, I’d love to get your cell phone number. So it’s very easy to figure out when you simply ask people what is the best way? How would you like me to communicate with you, right? So you already have that. Video!  

Well, here we are. I’m on video. You have video. If you don’t have a good video camera, and some good lighting, get it. It’s going to cost you very little money, and your company will probably pay for it. But get really good at video. Not just video calls where people can see you and you can share the screen, but also using video for email, which I’ll show you more about in a minute. And then of course, your CRM.  

If you want to sell well, virtually, you need a great CRM to keep all of the information together. So at the snap of a finger, you can pull it up and be ready for a text, an email, video conversation, whatever it is. You need to have that information at your fingertips. Now, this wasalways true. But it’s certainly still true today. So I hope I didn’t disappoint you. Or I hope you don’t feel tricked. Because the tech stack that you can’t live without, you already have it.  

Right there. You have it. Now, there are some additional tools that will be helpful as well.  

But please make good use of the tools that you have. Think about it, am I really actually using the tools I have well. If not, then learn from someone else in your company, go Google it, but figure out how to do it. And of course, there’s some more tools at your disposal that some of you are using fairly well and others are not. Some of you are doing a fantastic job. So think about these social media tools where you can pretty much for nothing more than your time, you know, okay, some of them cost a little bit of money. If you want to use LinkedIn really well, LinkedIn navigator, yeah, you got to pay a little something, got it.  

But most of them just take your time and some thought, right? You think through your strategy for using social media to attract the people who can buy from you or who can refer the people who can buy from you. And to go out and find those people and do outreach to them. So it’s inbound and outbound, right, you can post great content, and help people and offer advice and share and do all those things that will attract people to you. And you can also literally go search for people on LinkedIn or LinkedIn navigator. And you can find them and outreach to them. These tools you already have, are you using them? And are you using them well?  

That’s the main question. Because, again, sorry to disappoint you, the tech stack you can’t live without you already have most of it. All right. Now, there are some other things that you can use. So I’m going to show you a few more of those. But again, keep in mind, you have a lot of what you need. So some of you may need some different kinds of tools. And one of those tools is actually right here. Between Your Ears. You need to have an amazing mindset.  

And in this environment where things may seem like they’re a little more difficult. Part of that is are our own head talk. Is it really more difficult to sell virtually? I’m not convinced that it is, but maybe you’ve convinced yourself that it is. So you really need to check in on your own mindset, right? And what you need right now, this tool that you really need and you cannot live without is called resilience.  f

You need resilience. Now, what is resilience? The ability of a person to adjust or recover, adjust or recover, right? Some of us are recovering, some of us are adjusting to do it readily. Right to do it readily. And to be buoyant. Meaning yeah, float back up to the surface, pop you down, float back up, keep going figure it out. So this responding and recovering quickly is what you need. So the whole world change, that’s okay, I feel it, it doesn’t feel so good. But I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to be resilient, and I’m going to figure out a way. I’m gonna adjust and I’m going to come back. So that is a tool you cannot live without. That needs to be in your tech stack. Resilience. Put that in your tech stack right now.  

Okay, so here’s the deal. We got a lot of stress on us right now, from all those things I talked about earlier that just happened to be going on in the world while we’re here living trying to live our life. Then people being sick and having to work from home and I got three kids sitting at the kitchen table trying to do their homework, well I’m trying to work. My spouse is home too and driving me nuts and my mom is sick. I don’t know if she’s going to get a COVID shot, or she’s not going to get a COVID shot. Oh my gosh, so much stress on top of the just regular stress of life.  

But remember, stress is always going to be there. It’s how you handle it that matters. Whether you let it impact you, or whether you have a way to impact it, whether you manage it. So remember that stress decreases resilience. And right now you need resilience. Remembering that some pressure is good. We all need to make some goals. And we all need some timelines. We all need to have a little bit of pressure. But too much pressure, too much stress, changes our behavior for the worst. It reduces our ability to think clearly and control our own behavior.  

I mean, you all know that you will do things in a stressful situation that you wouldn’t normally do. Any parents out there? The third, fourth or fifth time, you’ve told your kid to get in the car, you’re not saying Oh, honey, please get in the car. You’re saying, get in the car! Yes, I know, I’ve done it too. We do things under stress that we wouldn’t normally do. And we do it to our customers and prospects. And they can smell our stress and fear a mile away. It does not help us sell, right? Less resilient people are less likely to make a sale, you are less resilient because you are under stress.  

So you have got to figure it out. You have got to figure out how to get rid of some of that stress, relieve the pressure, change your mindset. You want tools? I am giving you the golden tools right now. This is your tech stack, man. It’s the tech stack in your mind. That’s what you’ve got to get control of. So think about it.  

What are the things that you can do every day and throughout the day, to make sure you have a great day? How can you pause and notice the joyful moments throughout your day? How can you take a quick break and get completely away from work, take a walk, go outside, sit and eat away from your computer, listen to some music, maybe even dance. It’s my favorite thing to do.  

My family thinks I’m nuts. But that’s okay. Do something to take care of yourself. And don’t wait till the end of the day to decompress. So many people I know are just so hyped up all day having a terrible day, then they have to b**** about their terrible day to everybody around them. And then they have a cocktail to unwind. What? Why would you even let yourself get to that point? I think yes, get excited, be passionate, obviously.  

But throughout the day, take a few minutes and breathe. Just that one breath. It’s like a miracle. And you can take a breath anytime you want in between phone calls. You can even put somebody on hold for a second to take a breath. And or if you’re on video, say just a second. Thank you for waiting. Throughout the day, find this joyful moments. Congratulate yourself when you do a job well done. Stand up, move around, listen to music. Do whatever it takes. Build yourself a list of things to do to help you reduce the pressure and stay happy, healthy and whole. You can bring your best self, to work, to your family, to your community. Bring your best self. Take care of yourself. You can bring your best self to everything that you do. That’s the tech stack you need.  

And you need a pair of binoculars of course! Why? Because bird you never know when one might fly by but you want to take a look at. I’m famous for that. I have a window right here. And I have these hawks that live in my neighborhood. And I always want to take a look at them. Keep those binoculars nearby. But actually what you’re going to use them for, you’re going to use them to focus. If you want to be great at virtual selling and beyond, really what I want you to do is be great at selling in any situation in any environment. In person, at a trade show, at an event, on the phone, on video on whatever.  

I mean, in any way that you sell with your face to face, phone to phone, video to video on email on social media, I want you to be an exceptional seller in any of those situations. That’s what this is called Virtual and beyond because it’s really just about good selling. And what you really need these binoculars for is to focus on your customer. Because your customer is feeling the same pressure and stress as you are, and they need your help. They need your help to make good decisions. They need your focus and attention to help them.  

Okay, now, if you’re going to focus on your customer, you got to know who they are. Now, hopefully your company has given you some direction on who your ideal customer is. But now you’ve got to find them. Your existing customers, you need to find more of the people in your existing customers. And those customers you want to go get that you’ve never done business with before you actually have to find the people who work for those.  

You will need some tools for that. Now, there’s many, many great tools out there. And I don’t mean to exclude anybody, but I only have 20 minutes. So the tools that I love and use is called ZoomInfo. And with that tool, I can find the people that I need to find. So take a look at that. But there’s also other great ones like lead IQ. So please look around and find a tool that can help you find the people. If you have LinkedIn navigator, or even just regular LinkedIn, you can do a lot with that as well in finding people, but you do need to find the people so you can focus on them, and help them make great decisions. All right, you also have to engage them.  

So I found them. Now I’ve got to engage them. Now one of my favorite tools for engagement is Modus. So what Modus does is make it easy for you to interact with the person that you’re selling to, it makes it easy to get them the information they need, and then track whether they got it, how they responded to it, it makes it easy for the sales leaders to see what information is going out to customers, and how they’re using it and get the analytics back. So if you need an engagement tool, or a customer engagement tool, take a look at Modus. Again, there’s a lot of other great companies out there too.  

But this is one of the ones that I use. All right now, if you are focused on these people who can buy from you. You use those binoculars. And you use those tools like LinkedIn navigator, and LinkedIn, and ZoomInfo and Lead IQ. You use them to find them right? Now you’ve got to understand them, right, you engage them sorry, you also engage them using a tool like Modus. Now you’ve got to understand them. What is a day in the life of your buyer like? If you really want to do a good job selling, leading, helping them make a decision, you have to understand what their life is like.  

Now, here’s an exercise that you can do later on. And if you want the exact instructions, just find me on LinkedIn, and I’ll send you the exact instructions for this. But choose a person you actually know from a recent transaction or you’re in a transaction with them, right? Write down their name and title. Then, I want you to take a piece of paper write down what you think their day is like.  

What time did they get up? What do they do next? Are they a breakfast eater or not? Do they exercise? Do they have kids running around yelling and screaming that they’re trying to get settled in? What is their life like in the morning? Then they get to work. What is their life like at work? What do they do? And what do they do next? Do they take a lunch break? Do they eat at their desk? What kind of person are they? I want you to think about it?  

Then I want you to think throughout that? What are the demands that are on them? How many people are calling them and asking them for stuff and, buzzing them or slacking them or chatting them or you know, whatever? What are the demands that are placed on them? And then I want you to think about how you’re approaching them. Are you helping them? Or are you adding to the pile of stuff they have to do? Why are they ghosting you? Why aren’t they answering you? Because you don’t understand what their day is like? And you haven’t been engaging enough for them to take time out of their busy crazy life to answer. So get in the mind of your buyer. Again, tech stack.  

Right here, your brain. It’s a major piece of technology that you have got to use. Absolutely. Okay. Now, if you have a complex sale, you know, one in which there are multiple wires and all that kind of stuff, you will have to do the day in the life of a buyer times 6, 8, 12. Because Gartner tells us that just a few years ago, there were between six and eight people involved in buying for complex sale.  

Now there are eight or more. So you’ve got to understand the day in the life of all of those people who are making the decision. That just as a quick reminder, not everybody has a complex sale, but I believe most of you do what is a complex sale. It’s one in which the sale cycle is long, dollar stakes are high, there’s multiple people involved on your side and on their’s in order for the decision to be made.  

There may be technical or integration complexities. Multiple competitors and the amount of risk involved is usually pretty high. All right because of that. And because the world is different, the buying committee has changed. The important thing you need to know here from the topo research is that there is a new buying influence called the deputy, just look it up. Gartner owns topo now, but if you put topo and then capital AND, the deputy, you will find the research on this extra buying influence that’s been thrown in there now, to check on everything. Double check everything.  

So Magnus spent a lot of time in that. Look it up. Use Google. And you’re going to need a map. You’re going to need a map because now you know who you’re selling to. You know what they need because you’ve dug into that and understand that, you’ve engaged them, you know what a day in their life is like. And now you have to help them make a purchase.  

Whether they make a purchase from you or not, your job is to lead, to guide. Guide them through all the steps. Now you’re going to need a map, but not this kind of map. Now, anyone can send me a message telling me what this map is really representing, I will give you a prize. All right. So take a good look at it now. But you don’t need this kind of map, you need this kind of map. So I love deal point. Deal point is making it easy to map the customer journey.  

And let the customer be involved in that. And it’s all transparent. So together with your customer, with your prospect, for this opportunity, here are all the steps that we’ll need to take to get to the point where you make a yes or no decision. A go or no go. We go from here to here, right? So we might start backwards from when do you need this implemented?  

Well, then that will tell us when we need to get the contract signed by and that will tell us when we need to do all ofthese other things. Right? So map it, and then who’s going to do it? Is it you is the customer is it both? Who from the customers going to do it who from your team is going to do it, you map it all out and deal point makes it possible for you to do that. And super, super easy. So please take a look at that. There’s another company that will help you with that as well called Acord.  

Now I just found them. I’m gonna be talking to the founders next week. I don’t know them very well yet, but I love what I see here. Again, mutual plans to help the buyers buy. Your buyers know exactly what’s going to happen next what needs to happen, what hurdles they need to get over to make the sale. So take a look at Acord as well.  

Now, I have a template that I developed with Tom Williams from deal point. It’s free. If you message me on LinkedIn, I will send it to you. That will get you on your way to mapping if you’re not already doing it. It will help you think through if you are already mapping whether you could do it a little bit better. Now, we’re almost done. But I need you to be aware that sales is changing. I’m sure you already know that. But it’s going to continue to change. And you need to be aware of what is the future of sales. And the Gartner research tells us, now listen, this Gartner research, it is so much fun to read because you get these big aha’s, right? You won’t be able to impact all of them.  

But you can take it to your own leadership team and say, Hey, I think you should read this. Because sales is changing and the future of sales is going to look different. But the b2b buyer tells us that they would prefer to get all the way through the buying process without ever having talking to a salesperson because most salespeople are not adding value. Now I know that’s not you. It better not be you. You better be adding value. But if that’s what they’re saying, we have two problems. We have to solve one. We do have to let them buy the way they want to buy and if they want to buy without a salesperson, we better make it possible.  

And two, if they do interact with a salesperson, that salesperson better understand what a day in their life is like and be able to add value and guide them through the sale using a map or they’re not gonna want to talk to salespeople. So keep that in mind. Now the last thing I want to talk about is using video and I’m just going to move right into that because the future of sales is now and we are using video and if you don’t turn your video on you are losing deals. So, lights, camera action. Get used to it. Turn on your camera. Have good lighting. Be ready. Have a beautiful background that’s all set up all the time so that you can get on camera and not feel embarrassed. Why?  

You will close deals nearly 50% more often by turning your video. You didn’t want to win more deals? I’m sorry. I think you do. Turn your video on. Alright, that’s important. And I said earlier that you could use video also for video email, you already have email you but you may not have a tool to help you do video email. What you want is to be able to embed it right in there, right? Because it’s more engaging than a typical email. And again, you’ll get a much higher response rate. So, what we’ll want to do is take a look at some of the companies who can provide you with a really easy way to let’s see if I can share my screen again. There we go.  

That will provide you with a really easy way to engage through emails. You can use bom bom, vidyard, or new mob, a one mob, Hippo video, dab, or loom or I don’t know there’s a ton more of them. Some of them are free or very inexpensive. No excuse. Use one. And get off at a point where you can actually do this. Okay. If you have questions, please message me on LinkedIn. I can’t wait. And it will be a delight to answer your questions. Here is how you connect with me. Have a wonderful day and use this tech stack so that you can go from virtual selling to beyond.