The pandemic changed business practices in some very dramatic ways. Companies had to pivot in many areas, including how they sell and buy. While there were already trends in play demonstrating a shift to digital interactions between buyers and salespeople, the pandemic accelerated those. Virtual selling became the norm.
It’s unlikely that sales approaches will return to how they were pre-pandemic. The world looks different now, and that means there are opportunities. Thus, it’s time to embrace a new hybrid model of selling.
What is hybrid selling?
You’ve likely heard the term “hybrid” a lot lately in terms of new work models and workforces. You can apply that same logic to selling. Hybrid selling describes using both digital and traditional sales techniques.
This mix of approaches can be part of one sales cycle. For example, initial conversations may be via virtual conferencing and presentations. The final decision, however, may be made in person. For some deals, everything could be digital. Others may need more in-person interaction. It depends a lot on the industry and the comfort of the buyer. Do they prefer to interact virtually or in person? You and your sales team will continue to learn which customers prefer which methods. Being able to personalize their journey will be critical to your success.
Why is hybrid selling the future?
The best way to determine if a trend is heading toward wide adoption is to look at the data. The LinkedIn “State of Sales 2021 Annual Report” includes some interesting findings:
- 50 percent of B2B buyers say remote environments make the purchasing process easier.
- 48 percent of salespeople said they closed deals of $500,000 or more without any in-person meetings.
Those data points demonstrate the opportunity that virtual selling provides. However, it is still a significant change for most sales organizations. The LinkedIn study also revealed that 67 percent of sales managers find it challenging to oversee a virtual team. Luckily, there are technology tools that make this possible and transparent, such as sales enablement software.
Enable virtual selling with sales enablement software.
Sales enablement software can play a significant role in virtual selling. Such a solution is a turnkey platform that enables a sales professional in many ways. Those “enablers” contribute to their ability to sell virtually. Here are some of the features and functionality that an application should provide to align with the new demands of virtual selling:
Sales Training and Readiness
A sales enablement platform can be the home for all your sales training. You can update it as much as necessary, and it’s always accessible to your team members. Creating specialized training about how to best position a sales pitch virtually empowers your staff to feel confident in a new environment.
When the information they need is easily accessible, they don’t have to spend time hunting for it. In addition, as new challenges or objections come up in the sales process, you can quickly push new training out to your staff on the application.
Can you currently determine the value of content in closing deals? That type of data is invaluable to your marketing and sales teams. Such insights regarding engagement would be extremely critical in helping understand the kinds of content closing sales.
However, this type of attribution can be almost impossible to see holistically. That’s because capturing these metrics often requires the aggregation of data in disparate systems. If this is something you struggle with and haven’t been able to streamline, sales enablement software can help.
For example, vablet allows you to track the details of every content piece your sales team presents and emails to buyers. You can finally close feedback loops and gain content intelligence by recording content activity in the field. You can discern viewer engagement down to the page number and seconds spent on that page.
Knowing What Content to Send
Sales enablement technology can also guide your salespeople to send the “right” content post-meeting through artificial intelligence and machine learning. Having this capability could completely change how your sales team nurtures the prospect after the proposal.
It makes these suggestions based on historical data around content engagement. From data comes better decision-making. Plus, you’ll be tracking how that prospect interacts with the chosen content to confirm its value in winning business.
Personalized Sales Presentations and Videos
Your marketing department often creates sales presentations for your staff to use. However, they typically aren’t customized for each customer. Instead of presenting another boring PowerPoint, your sales team can use sales enablement platform options that enable personalization and include rich media to make a statement.
Another opportunity relating to this functionality is creating customized video messages. Sales reps can make and send them via email so that each customer gets their own personalized greeting and follow-up. That’s something that can go a long way with buyers, making the interaction feel much less transactional.
You can do it all from a sales enablement solution instead of multiple systems. As a result, your sales team can be much more productive, spending more time selling and building relationships than logging into various systems.
When a customer says yes, your sales team wants to complete the order and get the sign-off quickly. Using a customer relationship management system for this can be cumbersome and has restrictions. The right sales enablement platform allows you to do this in seconds, and you don’t even need a Wi-Fi connection.
This value-added functionality in sales enablement software seems like a small thing, but it can create so much value and reduce order entry and administrative work.
Is your team ready for the next generation of selling?
The revolution in selling is here. It was always coming, but the pandemic forced companies to reimagine how they sell. Embark on this new paradigm with the right tools, including sales enablement software.
Learn more about sales enablement software and the role of this technology by downloading our e-book, Equipping Your Sales Team with the Right Content to Close the Sale.