Tips & Resources

6 Best Practices for Virtual Sales Appointments to Help You Meet Your Sales Quota

Nick Shaw
By Nick Shaw
16 March, 2023

Discover six best practices to help you boss your virtual sales appointments and achieve your sales quotas

6 Best Practices for Virtual Sales Appointments to Help You Meet Your Sales Quota

The world has changed. Companies now have the ability to work remotely, with cloud collaboration software enabling them to operate from all over the globe. 

Switching to virtual can be hugely beneficial to salespeople. They can schedule more meetings with online forms, widen their reach to bring in more prospects, and save on travel costs.

But, salespeople can be hesitant about a virtual working environment. They rely on in-person interactions to connect with prospects and build trusting relationships.

However, in-person sales processes can  be adapted to virtual ones, providing the same high-quality and memorable experience to generate leads and sales. 

Whether you’re excited or hesitant about virtual meetings, below are six best practices to help you boss your virtual sales appointments and achieve your sales quotas.

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Virtual sales appointments best practices

1. Set realistic expectations before your first call

Setting realistic expectations for any sales call is a good rule in workplace engagement management. Ensuring your prospects know what’s happening is critical to building trust.

Therefore, your first few interactions set the tone for your sales relationship.

If prospects use your website to book virtual sales appointments, use hassle-free schedulers and start setting expectations before you meet them in two ways:

1. Add descriptive copy or videos on your website to inform hesitant prospects what they can expect. For example, you might have a short description below the booking form mentioning: 

  • The time it takes to respond to meeting requests 
  • When the prospects receive follow-up emails 
  • What to do if they don’t receive any correspondence

2. After prospects book an appointment, email them with information about the meeting, covering:

  • Time and length of the call
  • Video conferencing platform/software being used
  • Resources to read in preparation
  • Further steps they need to take

Use the email to define meeting expectations and requirements. It's your opportunity to prepare and reassure prospects. Your meeting is most valuable if you're not constantly explaining concepts or products. 

For example, if the appointment is about choosing cloud inventory management software, ask customers to get familiar with different platform offerings and features they desire. 

Expectations are the foundation of relationships. By letting prospects know what to expect early on, you build strong foundations before you meet face-to-face, improving your chances of closing and meeting your sales quota. 

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2. Avoid no-shows by having a solid day-of reminder in place

Being stood up is disappointing. But for salespeople, no-shows are doubly devastating. They've lost a lead and wasted time in trying to convert them.

Unfortunately, when it comes to virtual sales appointments, no-shows are common. It could be due to forgetfulness, hesitancy, or the informal nature of the meeting. 

So, how do you prevent no-shows and ensure you have the opportunities to capitalize on your leads? By using solid day-of reminders.

Reminders reinforce expectations and continue building the foundation of your sales relationships. Sending a day-of reminder shows your eagerness for the meeting, prompting potential clients to attend.

Send appointment reminders to your customers. You choose how often. Not only do customers prefer this, but companies also benefit, as it has been shown to reduce no-show appointments by up to 45%.

By using automated email software, from companies like Salesmate, you can ensure it sends on time and includes crucial information about the meeting, like:

  • Time, video platform, and backup options
  • Topics to be covered and structure of the call
  • What prospects can expect from the meeting

It's your last chance to get your prospect to the virtual appointment. Be persuasive. Use videos or short messages to show your passion, enthusiasm, and personality. 

They provide a solid first impression, with potential customers less likely to ditch your call when they see your face and excitement.

Still, no matter how hard you try, no-shows happen. But, don’t despair. A no-show list is full of warm leads who likely forgot they had an appointment or were too hesitant to join. 

A simple follow-up email can change your fortunes and turn absent prospects into loyal, engaged customers who provide feedback


3. Always turn your camera on during the call

Salespeople love in-person meetings. Being able to pick up on a prospect's expression and body language plays a massive role in steering conversations and closing sales. 

However, virtual face-to-face meetings can be difficult. Not every prospect likes showing their face on camera.

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Although B2B live streaming can boost communication with customers, how do you get 1-to-1 prospects to turn on their camera? 

  • Always turn on your camera. It might convince your prospects to show their face.
  • Ensure your prospect knows the virtual sales appointment will be a video call ahead of time. This way, they're presentable for the camera.
  • Politely ask them to turn it on. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge in the right direction.

While your camera is on, behave as you would in person. Wear the same clothes, speak in the same way, use the same gestures, and look directly into the camera at your potential client.

Additionally, if your prospect has turned their camera off, it can be difficult to gauge when they want to talk. Resist the urge to over-speak and maintain your in-person speak:listen ratio.

By replicating the same strong selling principles of your in-person meeting, you can inch closer to meeting your sales quotas.


4. Create digitized physical collateral

To sell a car, salespeople show customers cars. They let them feel the material of the seats, sit comfortably, and display the impressive engine. They use physical collateral like this for three main reasons:

  • To grab attention and keep prospects engaged
  • Showcase the product
  • Reinforce their sales speech

The visuals add an extra element to convince prospects to buy.

Although you’re selling through a virtual meeting, modern technology lets you use physical collateral by adapting it into digitalized documents. 

For example, video conferencing platforms allow for screen and document sharing, letting you show prospects the same information as you would face-to-face, like brochures, pricing, outline pipeline stocks, and even high-quality product videos.  

An advantage of virtual meetings is annotation tools. It allows you to highlight specific areas and draw diagrams for your prospects.

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Drawing diagrams and showing videos can help simplify complex topics like inventory replenishment methods or data storage. They can better illustrate the benefits of the product or service you offer, helping you to personalize your pitch to each individual prospect as the sales appointment progresses.  

Additionally, prospects can share their screen and show you their ideas. So, exchanging digitalized documents is a no-brainer. It keeps potential customers engaged and promotes conversation, which is how sales happen. You could even use software like TIMIFY that allows customers to submit key documents, images, or other materials along with their booking form.


5. Make the overall meeting experience memorable

Customers remember two types of virtual sales appointments. The ones that went well, and the ones that were a trainwreck. And only one of them led to a sale. 

For instance, if you’re sitting in front of a window with overly bright lighting, moving backgrounds, and grainy audio, prospects are distracted by technical issues. They’ll get annoyed with the poor quality and focus on the background over your pitch.

Therefore, it’s vital you create a memorable meeting experience, in a good way.

It means ensuring you have good audio, video, and ideal surroundings for your virtual meeting:

  • Test your microphone and camera to ensure good-quality audio and video.
  • Choose a well-lit and distraction-free area. Avoid windows and public locations.
  • Be presentable. Dress professionally and tidy your workspace, so you're not searching for last-minute notes or specifications.
  • Ensure you’re comfortable using technical software, annotations, screen sharing, and hardware. Whether your company has BYOD policies or not, it’s crucial you’re confident with your equipment.

Your professionalism is presented in your work environment, personality, and technical equipment. 

By creating a memorable virtual experience for your prospects, you put yourself in contention to start a prosperous sales relationship, helping you progress in your sales career.


6. Write down meeting minutes

It's essential to leave a lasting impression to close your sale, and the crux of a good closing is a solid summary.

For virtual meetings, your final pitch might be during the final part of the call or in a follow-up email. It’s the last thing a prospect hears from you before making their purchasing decision, so being prepared is essential for success.

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By writing down meeting minutes you can ensure you’re prepared to answer any final queries about a product lead time or pricing and hit a home run.

Unlike in-person meetings, video calls allow you to keep your notes handy and refer to them at any point to address prospect concerns and reinforce selling points that had an impact. 

While you can record and analyze virtual meetings post-call, it can be time-consuming and doesn't let you generate new leads or send immediate follow-up emails.

Recorded videos are helpful for training or reviewing, but keeping minutes as you go is still the best way to ensure you don’t miss any information and capitalize on your time to close in on your sales quotas. But, remember to ask permission from the customer before you do so.

Key takeaways

With virtual sales appointments, you’re able to connect with prospects globally and increase the number of meetings you take to boost your Shopify ecommerce store. While making the transition to virtual meetings can be challenging, there are simple steps you can follow to ensure success.

Set realistic expectations and send reminders to avoid no-shows and give a solid first impression. 

Use your camera to your advantage. Behave as you would in person and create a memorable experience for prospects.

Take advantage of digital collateral and annotations to keep prospects engaged and present products, even though you’re not face-to-face.

Finally, write down meeting minutes as you go to have the best possible closing. You can jot down what piques prospect interests or concerns them. Using facial cues and having notes on hand lets you steer meetings to make sales.

As a salesperson, it’s vital to immediately address any issues with virtual sales appointments to ensure success. With the best practices listed here, you can build the foundations of trust and create stronger relationships helping you to close deals faster.

Nick Shaw

About the author

Nick Shaw

Nick Shaw has been Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Brightpearl, the number one retail-focused digital operations platform which encompasses sales and inventory management software, accounting, logistics, CRM, and more, since July 2019 and is responsible for EMEA Sales, Global Marketing and Alliances. Before joining Brightpearl, Nick was GM and Vice President of the EMEA Consumer business at Symantec and was responsible for a $500m revenue business. Nick has written for sites such as Hubspot and G2. Here is Nick Shaw’s LinkedIn.