7 Reasons Why Virtual Sales Meetings Outclass Face-to-Face Meetings

Dominic Yates
Virtual sales meetings are sales meetings that happen online rather than physically and all the participants are in the same virtual meeting room.

Face-to-face meetings are what people used to call "a meeting" before conference calls and web conferencing emerged.

Now, meetings can be characterised as face-to-face (participants collocated), virtual (all participants join from separate locations), or hybrid (some participants are collocated and others join from different locations).

In this article, we'll go over 7 reasons why virtual sales meetings outperform face-to-face meetings.

Virtual Sales Meetings are
on the Rise

Virtual sales meetings are on the rise and it's no surprise why. They're convenient, easy to organise, more cost-effective, and so much more. It's true that the pandemic may have spurred the mainstream move to virtual sales meetings by a few years, but it was always going to happen.

There are many video conferencing platforms that sales professionals use. Below, we've highlighted two big players and how they performed in 2020. Read on to find out why virtual sales meetings outperform face-to-face meetings.
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7 Reasons Why Virtual Sales Meetings Outperform Face-to-Face Meetings

Body Language

A major difference between virtual sales meetings and face-to-face sales meetings is that in virtual sales meetings you can only see the part of the body that appears in the camera, whereas in face-to-face sales meetings, you see everything. The potential client or prospect will be able to see if the salesperson nervously taps their foot or where they place their hand.

Great sales professionals may think that full-body language can be used to their advantage to get better control over meetings with clients, but in the age of social distancing, you have to keep six feet away from people when you're physically meeting them. That distance will make you feel distant from your potential client or prospect, and that’s not ideal. On camera, you can get closer, a lot closer. 

Ideally, the face should be the main object of focus, and if this is done right, you shouldn't be able to see from the shoulders down (as highlighted below). If you can, then the person on the other side is too far away from the camera. The client wants to be able to look into your eyes and see your facial expressions. In this sense, virtual sales meetings give you the upper hand by providing a more intimate connection.

Geography & Costly Travel Time

Face-to-face sales meetings require individuals to be in the same place at the same time, whereas virtual sales meetings extend over geographical boundaries to even the most remote places. You can have up to 250 participants for Teams calls and 100 participants on Zoom calls, with the possibility of increasing participants to 1,000 with Large Meetings add-ons! 

Face-to-face meetings cost a great deal due to travel expenses and accommodation, and according to Bloomberg Businessweek, a virtual meeting or teleconference can save 50 to 80 percent of the costs of a face-to-face meeting.

Virtual connections can happen faster without the limitations of travel and venues and you can create an interactive atmosphere online with participants from across the world.

Environmental Impact

The carbon footprint of a face-to-face meeting is much larger than that of a virtual meeting due to the added energy and fuel used for airfare, transportation, lodging, food and more. It actually takes 32 trees a full year to offset the C02 from one face-to-face meeting, whereas for virtual meetings it takes 1 tree just 2 months to offset the C02.

As virtual meetings rise, business travel is becoming less necessary for face-to-face meetings, and this has a positive effect by dramatically reducing the impact businesses have on the environment. Virtual sales meetings actually produce -1,500 lbs less CO2 in the atmosphere. The infographic breaks down a typical business trip from San Francisco to New York to meet a customer face-to-face compared to a trip from home to the office and back for one virtual meeting. As you can see, there are some major CO2 savings in the latter example. So, virtual meetings not only reduce business expenses but saves carbon emissions, as well. A serious win-win.

Sales professionals could use this to their advantage, showcasing that their business is focusing on sustainable business practices, and tell their potential client or prospect that they're indirectly helping, as well!

Logistic Oasis 

The amount of logistics and scheduling faff is significantly reduced because the virtual office space is unlimited. No more fighting for meeting space! Even getting the meeting room may take you 5-10 minutes depending on how big your offices are!

In a perfect meeting space scenario, your fellow colleagues would start wrapping up around 5 minutes before your sales meeting is due to commence, but this is rarely the case. You will often have to knock persistently so that they get the hint that they are now 10 minutes into your reserved time. 

Virtual sales meetings allow you to reduce time-wasting significantly by managing your meeting time in the most efficient way possible and tightening your agenda.

Quick tip: Don't do your virtual sales meetings back-to-back-to-back. Allow 10-15 minutes for a quick snack break after every 2-3 calls, otherwise, you may burn out!

Hop in - Hop out

The awkward moment where you realise that the face-to-face sales meeting is not relevant to you or you see that a positive result is impossible, and you need to slip out unnoticed.

In virtual sales meetings, this is a lot easier to do and far less socially awkward. In addition, you have a very convenient excuse if it's going nowhere, "I have another important meeting I need to join in 2 minutes, so I think we should wrap this up."

In addition, you can add value to your virtual sales meetings by including colleagues for relevant parts such as presentations. They hop in for 10 minutes to provide what you need and hop back out.

This can also work to your advantage when asking for ideal stakeholders to be present. They are far more likely to attend because they don't need to be there for the whole meeting. The hierarchical structure is blurred with virtual sales meetings as the big boss's office is now the same size as everyone else, so they're easier to approach and the idea of pitching something to them is less daunting.

Direct Communication & Unnecessary Small Talk

As highlighted above, virtual meetings, more often than not, are back to back, so sales professionals don't want to be late for their next prospecting call. No one wants to stay longer than they have to in virtual sales meetings. Chit chat can be nice, but when you have a sales quota to hit, time is of the essence. Without the need for awkward small talk, meetings can stay work-focused and on track.

Additionally, if there is a virtual sales meeting with multiple stakeholders involved, you can't see where people are looking and you can't tell who they're directing their comments or questions to. You're forced to become more explicit in how you communicate. In order to avoid confusion and the whole, 'You talking to me?' fiasco, you have to mention people's names to let them know you're speaking to them and to avoid two people speaking at once. This directness reduces people beating around the bush and allows them to get down to brass tax.

As well as this, participants should be following virtual meeting etiquette. They will be on mute when they're not talking, asking questions in the chat function, and raising their hand to indicate they want to speak. These rules, which are difficult to apply in face-to-face meetings, reduce interruptions and allows for better efficiency. They finish on-time more often than not and this time efficiency facilitates better success.


Did you forget that all-important piece of paper that shows your year-on-year growth? Or maybe you prepared everything to the best of your abilities but the potential client or prospect asks for information that you didn't even think of! In a face-to-face sales meeting, you'd just have to brush over these unexpected occurrences and run with it. 

With virtual sales meetings, you have everything right at your fingertips. Is your potential prospect or client looking for more social proof? No problem, just bring up a video testimonial that you have stored in Dropbox. Maybe your potential prospect wants to brainstorm some new ways of utilising your product or service but you realise you forgot to order new paper for your Flipboard. Don't worry! ith virtual sales meetings, you have an endless inventory. Just share your screen and use tools like Jamboard, Mural, or Microsoft Whiteboard to instantly brainstorm with your client and facilitate a smooth process.

It's no surprise that virtual sales meetings are here to stay and in order to survive, we need to embrace them.

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