Like a freight train barreling down the tracks, the Virtual Sales Organization is arriving. But is it right for your sales organization? To determine, let’s first define what a Virtual Sales Organization is:
Virtual Sales is selling using phone, text, webinars, social media and email. It’s everything but physically seeing the customer. There are numerous benefits yet some drawbacks as well. It is NOT an Inside Sales Organization. Inside Sales is all virtual. They rarely go and visit a Customer or Prospect. A virtual organization blends face to face selling with virtual selling. To know if it’s right for your sales organization, you need to answer this question:
How do you tell if you need a Virtual Sales Force?
Answering the below questions will help you determine if and how fast you need to implement one. But you need to ask them by segment. Enterprise or Large Customers buy much differently than Mid-Market or Small Business Customers. Look and answer the questions through that lens:
- Do you Customers prefer to Buy Long Term over the Phone?
- Do your Sales Calls at the Customer’s site have only one member of the Buying Decision Team present?
- Has the number of Sales Calls increased to Close a Deal?
- Do Virtual Interactions with your Prospects Advance the Sale?
- Are their less then 3 Buyers on the Buying Decision Team?
- Does Individual Sales Rep Revenue increase with more Selling Time?
- Do you have a defined Configure, Price & Quote Process that increases Sales Rep Selling Time?
- Have your Field Selling Costs increased in the Past Year?
- How strong is your CRM compliance?
Answering Yes to these questions tells us you need to change immediately. You are in serious threat of having your Customer Acquisition Cost exceed your Customer Lifetime Value.
Getting a Yes in half of these questions indicates you do need to change. But the pace of change is slower. Change would begin in a certain segment or industry first.
Answering NO to the majority of questions tells me you obviously don’t need a Virtual Sales Organization. But this could change depending on the Segment (Enterprise, Mid-Market or SMB).
Ok. So, you figured there is a need to change to a Virtual Sales Organization. But how do you do it? There are three fundamentals a great Sales VP always follows when changing an Organization:
- Never lose a Customer
- Never lose an ‘A’ Player
- Never increase Non-Selling Time
Violating these fundamentals means to not do it. At All.
Avoiding these ‘Basics’ means proper planning and execution. The best way to execute it is to follow your Sales Process. Each Sales Process has ‘Major Customer Interactions’ in it. The Major Interactions sometimes require a Virtual Sales Rep to attend a physical Sales Call. Mapping out the Buying Process and creating a Sales Process to it, allows you to identify these interactions. And when you need to attend them face to face. Remember, Virtual Sales is not a ball and chain to your desk.
The first step is to get definite answers to the questions above. You can then begin to understand how you move to a virtual concept. Next is to decide who is going virtual and when. Only then can you begin to pilot the concept in your organization.
We have seen these transformations go really well….and some get the Sales VP fired. Give us a call or contact us here. We can help. And good luck. The world is going virtual. Just make sure it’s right for you.
About The Author
Daniel Perry is a partner at The Brevet Group. He leverages nearly 30 years of experience leading sales teams and helping complex sales organizations become elite performers.