Why Sales Teams Are Switching to Virtual Sales

Why Sales Teams Are Switching to Virtual Sales

Over the past year or so, we watched the business world go digital. Granted, much of that trend was due to pure necessity, but this herculean task opened the eyes of many people to the advantages of doing business online. As the real world (thankfully) starts to open up again, it might be tempting to think that doing sales over the internet will vanish into history. Not so fast. Virtual selling seems poised to last. Here are a few major reasons why: 

1. Sales Can Be Done From Anywhere

No matter how much people enjoy their work, few of them enjoy the process of getting to their job. It’s costly, in some cases it’s wildly impractical, and any good salesperson will be wondering how many sales they could have closed during the time they wasted in traffic. Even business leaders aren’t immune to time drain; a study by MIT’s Sloan Management Review concluded that executives waste 23 hours a week just in meetings. Virtual sales strategies offer a way out of those roadblocks to productivity by reducing travel and team coordination time to roughly the speed of light. It’s also inherently scalable. Technologies like Zoom and Skype allow virtual conferences to be created by sales teams a continent away from their customers and as often as they need to hit the goals they want. 

2. Teams Become Highly Efficient

There was a time when allowing employees to work from home was feared as being a blow to labor efficiency. New research has put that myth to bed, with a Stanford University study finding that people who work from home are about 13% more efficient than their cubicle-bound counterparts. Part of this is flexibility; being able to work remotely allows salespeople to customize their time usage to fit their own strengths. Another efficiency advantage from virtual sales is that it works well with sales strategies that are already being augmented by being online. Automated email and SMS campaigns are already replacing their predecessors, so it’s easy to see why going fully online in terms with sales campaigns will streamline things even further. 

3. Channels are More Easily Integrated

The most effective marketing channels are all online. Even back in 2019, 65% of companies said they planned to increase their influencer marketing budget. People are living out their social lives through social media; the same place that companies are passively marketing themselves. The effect of this is that barriers are being eroded between companies and consumers. A major advantage to doing virtual sales is that you, the seller, are already where the customers are. After all, reaching out to prospects is infinitely simpler if you leverage the communications systems already built into the social media pages that you’re already branding yourself on. The internet is also very effective at matching companies marketing specialized products and services to the niche markets with demand for them, eliminating the demographic guesswork inherent to billboards, cold calling and door-to-door sales. 

4. Customers Become Empowered

Perhaps the most important part of online sales is that the same tools that save salespeople time and resources also put customers in the driver’s seat. The “hard sell” is a controversial tactic. Yes, it can get results, but usually only in the short term. Knocking on someone’s door and handing them a folio of advertisements along with a barrage of fast-talk can work, but that’s not the way to build customer loyalty. Video calls and webinars are far less intrusive. People who don’t want to be there can simply drop out, leaving only warm leads who have genuine interest. That same video platform can later be used to provide customer service in an organic and immediate way that causes far less aggravation than a call center. 

The bottom line: Virtual sales strategies are here to stay. Necessity may have pushed it past the tipping point, but selling remotely has always been a powerful way of building brands and reaching customers.