How to Make a Hybrid Sales Approach Work for You

During the pandemic, reliance on digital sales skyrocketed, accelerating a sales strategy that was already gaining steam before 2020.

With in-person sales no longer an option, businesses were forced to adapt the structure of their sales team to prioritize remote sales instead.

Now that lockdowns are a thing of the past, sales teams are not looking to revert to their pre-pandemic normal. Sales teams are looking to adapt and improve the sales experience.

According to a Gartner report, 80 percent of B2B sales interactions will occur digitally by 2025. This corresponds with a recent report from McKinsey that shows a continued increase in the investment in digital sales strategies.

The bottom line for sales teams? Digital sales will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future.

However, the digital takeover doesn’t mean that in-person sales will become obsolete. Instead, most companies are looking to hybrid sales approaches to get the best of both worlds.

hybrid selling pros and cons

Hybrid sales combines remote and in-person sales methods. A hybrid selling strategy offers several advantages over traditional in-person or digital approaches.

For one, remote sales teams can reach four times the number of buyers and generate 50 percent more revenue, according to McKinsey. A hybrid sales model also saves companies money. Not only does it cut down on travel expenses, but each remote sales rep represents overhead cost savings of as much as $11,000.

In other words, an effective hybrid approach can increase sales and cut costs. But that doesn’t mean a hybrid approach is free of selling challenges. Take, for instance, the fact that the popularity of hybrid sales has led to a noticeable reduction in responses by buyers. Essentially, the more people there are trying to make contact through digital means, the less time a buyer has to respond to you.

What’s more, remote sales teams also must deal with an unsavory competitor: robocalls. These nuisances not only decrease the chance of a lead picking up the phone or responding to an email, but they also create skepticism and distrust in the business world. A buyer might be unsure whether they’re talking to a legitimate salesperson or a scammer, making it that much more difficult to close a sale.

These are just two examples, but they highlight an important point: hybrid sales won’t solve all your sales problems. In fact, a hybrid sales model will present new and unforeseen challenges to navigate if you want to make this new approach work in the long run.

Thankfully, there are research-backed ways to improve your chances of maintaining a successful hybrid sales strategy now, and in the future. Training your sales reps on hybrid selling techniques will increase your chances of success.

3 ways to fortify your hybrid sales business strategy

Here are three sales techniques that can help your professionals adapt to hybrid selling.

1. Implement omnichannel sales

Because it’s unlikely that buyer availability will magically increase any time soon, you must find a way to reach leads wherever they are and sell the way your customers want to buy. This means adopting a truly omnichannel sales approach.

You might already be doing this to some extent—reaching out by phone, email, and social media to talk to buyers—but that isn’t all. Your reps also need to take advantage of other hybrid selling tools and techniques that can capture attention, such as personalized video, cadences, and digital marketing content.

This latter technique can be especially powerful in hybrid sales: Our research shows that using specific content at certain times in a sales cadence can lead to more opportunities for your sales team.

2. Test, test, and then test your hybrid sales model some more

You might be familiar with the sales math so many sales professionals use. The model, in a nutshell, is this: Make 100 phone calls, and you’ll connect with 10 people. Of those 10 people, five people will become opportunities. Of those five opportunities, two will turn into a sale.

It’s a nice, neat equation for sales that encourages volume and persistence for your professional sales team. But it’s not applicable to virtual modern sales anymore.

Sales math isn’t so linear. And, as mentioned above, sales calls are not the only channel to explore. So, there’s no easy formula that can tell you which approach is best for your reps.

This is why constant, comprehensive testing of sales strategies is so crucial—you must keep testing to determine what does and doesn’t work for your team. Just because something is the right sales approach today, that doesn’t mean it will be the right sales model two weeks from now.

When you test, consider how long you should continue to try and reach your sales prospects, how many attempts you should make, and the best length of time between each attempt. Determine which channels are most effective and which messaging works best with your buyers. Then, when you’ve found what strategy works, test some more and continue to refine your approach with your sales team. You will also want to conduct training for your sales team on the winning strategies.

3. Personalize your sales method

One of the major selling points of field sales is how personal it is to the buyer. Buyers develop relationships with sellers that can last years or even decades. In many cases, these fruitful relationships even transcend the company the seller is working for.

In a hybrid sales approach, it can be easy to forget about this aspect of selling. The less face-to-face interactions there are, the less personal the whole process can feel.

Although part of maintaining this personal connection falls to the in-person aspect of a hybrid approach, your team still needs to keep it going as much as possible on the digital side of your business model.

That means personalizing messaging and content as much as you can. Make it clear you’re not just looking at your buyer as one of many, but as an individual with unique needs. This can help your sales team build and maintain relationships from afar that might otherwise slip away.

implementing a hybrid business model with your sales reps

The rise of digital has forever changed buying and selling conversations for buyers and reps. But that doesn’t mean that hybrid selling will completely replace field sales anytime soon. Serendipitous moments that happen in hotel lobbies or at dinner after workshops have real value that can be hard to recapture in an online-only sales environment. Your sales team should continue to work towards and create a positive experience during every interaction.

A hybrid approach makes it possible to maintain these group interactions while still taking advantage of all that digital has to offer. As long as you maintain an omnichannel strategy, continuously test your sales approach, and personalize your hybrid selling messages to match your buyers’ unique needs, you can tap into what makes both of these approaches so effective.

Want more insights into how to best implement a hybrid sales approach? Download this research report to learn how your buyers’ brains react during virtual, phone, and hybrid sales presentations.

Avatar photo

Frank Pinder

EVP, Digital Transformation Services

Frank Pinder is the EVP of Digital Transformation Services at Corporate Visions and B2B DecisionLabs. He has created a field testing methodology and framework that have improved inside sales teams’ performance around the globe. Frank has extensive experience working with small and large organizations alike to provide top-notch testing environments directly linked to business growth and overall success.

Search this website Type then hit enter to search