Virtual sales — a sign of our time

20 May 2021

The last two years have shown that virtual sales are growing, developing quickly and dynamically. What influenced such market behaviour? Of course, the main reason was the pandemic that kept personal contacts to a minimum and caused sales to quickly find new channels of customer access. Conversation via video messaging, chat or email has become the  norm. Instead of going to the customer with the offer, we present the whole thing virtually. The talks take place at various levels, not only sales representatives, but also managers and directors use virtual communication.

 

It’s not just a trend anymore, that’s how we work now


As technology advances and the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), retailers now have the tools they need to quickly find leads and close sales – without leaving home. In fact, we are increasingly talking to a client or prospect online, rather than meeting them in a conference room. Conversations are shorter, specific, and the topics discussed allow you to maintain a relationship with the client without shaking hands. Some companies developed their own sales scenarios, while others offered their employees specialist training courses that gave them the opportunity to find themselves in the new situation. Technology also did not lag behind, Salesforce makes it possible to identify the customer’s needs faster and more efficiently, as well as better adjusting contact with him, showing preferences and the best moments for this purpose.

How does virtual sales affect sales teams?


The consequences of virtual sales also extend beyond the sales conversation. Managers are rethinking the employment models in sales. Increasingly, they are filling the ranks with representatives and sales development employees in-office, rather than strengthening sales teams in the field. Such activities also bring significant savings to the budgets severely strained by the pandemic, investments in company cars and the fuel needed for them have dropped significantly. All thanks to the adoption of new technology such as video conferencing tools, AI software and mobile applications.

Does this mean that field sales reps can be comfortable in their home offices? Not at all. Field sales play an important role in building customer relationships. Sales reps find that building personal relationships has a significant impact on the conversion of a prospect. They also need extra support and training to thrive in the new digital environment. They are generally satisfied with their ability to remotely execute quotas, but also said that virtual selling comes with a lack of preparation. Few said they had received excellent training in this new reality.

 

What about the most important factor in the selling process?


Customers expect the connected, personalized – and most importantly fast – engagement of sales teams and brands. The rules of engagement change every day and the data shows that virtual sales are growing. Given this shift, sales teams that can adapt quickly will be increasingly effective in a digital sales environment. By using data from Salesforce, you use a reliable source, the most important element of which is the customer. This means that information about the customer and his preferences is always available. Regardless of his current contact with the brand.

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