Buyer Enablement

Virtual Deal Rooms: What are They and How to Use Them

Explore the world of digital sales rooms (DSRs) – the future of B2B interactions. Dive into what DSRs are, how they revolutionise sales and their benefits.

Rory Sadler
October 17, 2023
February 24, 2024
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Explore the world of digital sales rooms (DSRs) – the future of B2B interactions. Dive into what DSRs are, how they revolutionise sales and their benefits.

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Did you know that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions will take place in digital sales rooms?

Most B2B buyers and sellers aren't ready for this rapid transformation. Even the term is unfamiliar to some. The concept evolved due to the primarily online aspect of modern business-to-business (B2B) sales – especially since the pandemic.

B2B sales cycles are also getting longer. Buyers want to ask more questions, scrutinise their options, and develop a post-purchase plan to ensure their company benefits from a particular product or service.

Companies turned to the online sales room to accommodate the increased number of touch points and personalised interactions. These digital spaces are flexible, unique experiences tailored to the buyer in question.

In this guide:

  • What is a Digital Sales Room?
  • How Does a Digital Sales Room Work?
  • Pros and Cons of Digital Sales Rooms
  • Best Practices for Digital Sales Rooms

What is a Digital Sales Room?

Like most modern marketing techniques, the digital sales room is an analogue of a real-world experience: the showroom. Once upon a time, business reps would meet face to face – names would be exchanged, details hashed out, and deals struck.

It was deeply personal. Discussions opened and ended with a firm handshake.

As sales went online, interactions went in the polar direction, becoming highly impersonal. You'd be lucky if you ever heard a name or saw a friendly face. Everything occurred via email.

The digital sales room (DSR) bridges this divide. Instead of physically walking into a space to greet a sales rep, you click on a digital platform. In an online sales room, products and services come alive through dynamic videos, 360-degree views, webinars, interactive simulations, and much more.

Common features include:

  • Virtual Showrooms: Digitally crafted spaces allow visitors to explore products or services in a lifelike environment
  • Live Chat & Video Consultation: Direct communication channels for real-time interactions between customers and sales representatives
  • Service Demonstrations: Interactive showcases provide a tangible understanding of a service's offering
  • Booking & Scheduling Systems: Integrated tools enabling clients to book consultations or services conveniently
  • Integrated Analytics: Dashboards providing insights into visitor behaviours, preferences, and engagement metrics

Thinking of hiring a design agency? Browse a curated portfolio relevant to your interests. Then, transition into a live Q&A session, followed by a video demonstration of their services.

The best part? No queues, no travel, and no opening hours. Prospects can visit the space anytime, from anywhere.

Consider that the average buyer performs 27 info-gathering sessions before reaching out to a seller. That includes visiting your website, reading reviews, or browsing your content. You can soon see the benefit.

DSRs consolidate and centralise the buying experience – it's a one-stop shop for content, communication, collaboration, and even planning a project.

How Does a Digital Sales Room Work?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Your DSR works how you want it to – including only the features relevant to your clients. Nonetheless, there are some broad themes:

Entrance & Navigation

Upon entering a DSR, users encounter a user-friendly interface similar to entering a sleek, modern showroom. Trumpet's DSRs even use customer data to auto-personalise your template. "Let's supercharge your buyer journey, Sarah." Intuitive navigation tools guide visitors through your educational tools, funnelling them toward your desired outcome

Interactive Engagement

Elevate your products with 360-degree views, zoom capabilities, or even augmented reality integrations. Services, meanwhile, could include live demos, interactive webinars, or simulations to give prospects a tangible feeling of what's being offered

Real-Time Communication

Video conferencing, chat features, and other communication tools can be embedded directly into the platform. AI chatbots can even provide 24/7 support, answering any questions a potential customer may have

Personalised Experience

Harnessing the power of data, some DSR platforms (like Trumpet) let you auto-personalise the microsite based on a user's behaviour. If a visitor previously looked at a specific service, the digital sales room could recommend particular case studies or offer a discount for a trial perio

Onboarding Features

The clue is in the name – it's a digital sales room. It might look pretty, but it's all about onboarding clients. Tools like personalised mutual action plans, proposals, and digital signature capabilities allow you to conduct the entire B2C or B2B buyer's journey within the "pod."

Remember, a DSR isn't a replacement for your traditional website. That's where you convey general information about your brand and post your marketing content. Your digital sales room, or "pod," is primarily for targeting a buyer who's demonstrated interest in your business. That could mean your sales team identified them or the customer booked a demo, downloaded an eBook, or performed some other interaction.

Pros and Cons of Digital Sales Rooms

Not convinced? DSRs aren't for everyone. But they're a valuable tool to add to your marketing arsenal. Let's consider some of the pros and cons of this up-and-coming sales platform:

Pros of DSRs:

  • Worldwide Window Shopping. No matter where you are – a café in Paris or an office in Dubai – DSRs are ready at your fingertips, 24/7. That lets businesses cater to a global audience, regardless of the time zone
  • Cash Savers. Say goodbye to pricey physical showrooms or even complicated digital sales strategies. DSRs consolidate your efforts into a single online space that does more with less
  • Personalised Experience. DSRs aren't psychic, but they can feel that way. Integrating with your customer relationship manager (CRM), your pods can tailor the content directly to a customer's needs. Moreover, you can track everything a customer does, further altering your sales strategy based on their behaviour
  • Rich Data Analysis. Gain insights on customer behaviour, preferences, and interactions through these trackable microsites. That means even if you don't get this sale, you have a wealth of information for future marketing and sales strategies
  • Limitless Horizons. Want to add a thousand new products or expand your services? Don't sweat it! DSRs scale with a simple click. There's no need to alter any physical infrastructure or completely overhaul your previous digital marketing techniques.

Cons of Cons DSRs:

  • Limited Tactile Experience. Like all online product businesses, customers cannot physically touch or try out your products. That's a deterrent for some – but it comes with the territory
  • Technical Glitches. It wouldn't be a digital space without the occasional technical glitches. While DSR platforms work tirelessly to ensure a smooth service, downtime or technical issues could, in theory, affect sales and customer experiences
  • Initial Setup Costs. Creating a digital sales room pays big in the long term, but there is an initial time and money investment. You'll also need to pay the monthly subscription to a DSR platform
  • Wi-Fi Dependent. When the internet goes down, so does your marketing strategy. Stable connectivity is key, and not all demographics and geographies have this luxury
  • Learning Curve. If you're reading this article, you're likely new to DSRs. That's true of a lot of people. Adapting to the technology takes time for businesses and customers – even if platforms do everything to make the experience as intuitive as possible.

Digital sales rooms, like any tool or strategy, come with a set of advantages and challenges. For most, however, the upsides far outweigh the potential risks, especially as DSRs become ever more ubiquitous among B2B buyers and sellers. Sooner or later, your customers will expect it.

Best Practices for Digital Sales Rooms

Digital sales rooms promise to revolutionise the marketing experience. Forget bland, generic emails or adverts – a dynamic, auto-personalised space is the future.

But how do you get the most out of this new sales tool? Let's find out:

1. User-Centric Design

From the welcoming colours to the features on display, your DSR should invite the user in and guide them through your brand. Don't forget – it's the digital equivalent of your storefront or meeting room. You can't offer them a cup of coffee, but you can make your design intuitive.

That means quick loading times, simple navigation, and a layout that gently leads visitors through the experience.

2. Supercharge Interactivity

Elevate the user experience with dynamic elements like 360-degree product videos, video demonstrations, and competitors' tables. Bring your products or services to life beyond just displaying static images and text on a screen.

3. Optimise for All Device

Mobile optimisation isn't optional. According to GoodFirms, 73.1% of web designers say that a non-responsive design is a top reason why users abandon a site. Your microsite should be accessible on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device.

4. Bold Calls to Action (CTA)

Drive conversions by making it clear what steps visitors should take next. Remember the 30-second rule: if I don't know your value proposition and desired outcome in the first 30 seconds on your site, you've failed.

Want a customer to book a consultation or make a purchase? Tell them!

5. Personalise. Personalise. Personalise.

The whole point of digital sales rooms is their personalisation. Include the prospect's name in the headline, tailor the content to their interests, and answer any relevant questions. The more personal it is, the more likely the client will proceed toward a sale.

Join the UK's Leading Digital Sales Room Platform

Trumpet is a leading digital sales room platform loved by sales, customer success, and marketing teams. In fact, we've got over 5,000 users blowing their trumpets about our service!

Book a FREE demo today to explore the ins and outs of our auto-personalised collaborative and trackable spaces. We'll answer all your questions and get you ready for the DSR revolution.

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