Sales Enablement

Virtual Selling vs. Remote Selling: What’s the Difference?

Virtual Selling Training

It’s been over a year since sellers started navigating a new selling paradigm. Terms like "virtual selling" and "remote selling" have been thrown around to distinguish the new model. But is there a difference in meaning between the two? We think so.

Perhaps this distinction means nothing to your sales organization. Or, maybe it can represent a way to help prioritize changes to your sales execution strategy. With thousands of different sales enablement initiatives to consider, we know it’s critical to choose what to do first, next, and last. 

A way to focus on how best to support your sellers in a changing sales environment is to think through two lenses: 

  1. Helping them ‘at the table’ 
  2. Helping them away from the table’

table of course is the symbol of the traditional in-person buyer-seller meeting. We believe in our evolving selling dynamic that the same principles apply as before, but the language needs to change.

Today, there is an immediate and critical need to improve skills around virtual customer engagement. Individual Virtual Selling skills require training and tools to optimize modern 'at the table' interactions. 

Example virtual selling skills include the basics; ensuring sellers are visibly engaging with buyersprofessionally presenting themselves on-camera, and using proper lighting. These skills also cover training reps in using the right content and assets to facilitate virtual conversations.

Virtual selling skills are being deployed by our clients to reflect the changing nature of the modern sales organization. Converging legacy ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ selling motions is increasingly making the construct of geo-based territories obsolete. To be most effective, virtual selling skills must come to life in value-driven conversations that are shorter and more precise.  

As we shift to a model where being ‘present’ for some customers is becoming more important than being ‘local’, the organizational capabilities must also be re-evaluated. We believe the term Remote Selling characterizethe organizational-level capabilities needed to enable a digital sales motion.

These remote selling elements would consider things like changes to the sales process and digital tools to enable sellers to engage outside of the real-time conversation. There is much more work and training needed to help sellers execute asynchronous selling activities. Increasingly, these 'away from the table' activities represent the best way sellers can differentiate and deliver value to buyers.

Not Either/Or, but Both

Organize your sales enablement efforts by thinking of them in these two different, but related categories. This approach will lead to more precision and better results. One lens isn't any more important than the other. Working in combination, they equip modern sellers to thrive.  

Sales leaders and enablement professionals are working hard to digitally align modern buying and selling. Reimagine your digital sales execution by distinguishing between your Virtual Selling and Remote Selling gaps. 

We recently joined a panel of sales enablement leaders from LinkedIn, Spiro, and Quantified Communications to discuss High Performance Selling in a Virtual World. Access the webinar to hear more ideas on winning in today’s selling environment.

Contact us to learn additional strategies and next practices being adopted by leading modern sales organizations. 

About The Author

Author photo Eric is a senior sales consultant with a practical and real-world approach over the last 25 years. He earned his experience as a Chief Sales Officer with several companies and through transformational consulting projects. He has deep experience in building sales organizations, driving accountability, channel sales, and implementing selling methodology with impact.

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