In-person vs. virtual selling: How modern sales teams can operate after COVID

The average cost of a face-to-face sales call is reportedly $250 – $500. With virtual sales calls, you can talk to your prospects for a much lower price. Virtual sales calls are an easy and inexpensive way to start building relationships and generating leads.

Virtual sales calls have become more and more popular in the past few years, especially during and now after the global pandemic. The most apparent advantage of virtual sales calls is that they can be conducted from anywhere and anytime. This means that companies can save office space while still conducting meaningful business conversations with customers and prospects. Salespeople can save time by using virtual sales calls to get on the radar of potential buyers or secure new leads.

Another advantage is the cost savings of not having a physical presence at an event or trade show. Virtual sales calls also offer a level of confidentiality. 

people on a video call
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The main disadvantage of virtual sales is that it’s hard for people who don’t know each other well to ‘read’ one another’s body language over video conference. It’s cheaper to talk on the phone or via a web conference call than fly across the country for an in-person meeting. But even though we’ve relied heavily on virtual selling over the last few decades, there is no substitute for face-to-face interactions with customers.

In-person sales teams have been around since the beginning of time. But with so much technology available, many people believe that virtual selling will replace in-person interactions. However, some critical differences between in-person and virtual selling make them better suited to different situations.

Virtual benefits:

  • Lower costs per conversation
  • Few geographical limitations
  • The “best” technical resources are more easily leveraged

Virtual selling problems

  • More challenging (but not impossible) to create quality relationships
  • Not everyone participates
  • Your busy slide deck competes with you
  • Your slide deck crowds everyone out on the screen (encouraging participants to turn off their cameras)
  • It can be more challenging to have a structured meeting

Virtual selling lends itself to social media selling.

One of the true benefits of virtual selling is that it integrates easily into your social selling campaign. Social media has become an integral part of the business landscape and is constantly evolving. Managers, executives, and salespeople need to stay on top of these changes to continue to grow business. One way to do this is by following social media trends through blogs or other online resources.

close up of human hand
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The benefits of social selling are vast. According to a study from the University of British Columbia, successful salespeople who use social media have an average income $36,000 higher than their counterparts. Social media helps generate leads and create long-term relationships with prospects so they can become customers. The tools are available for every industry to help you engage in the most valuable way possible: through one-to-one conversations with people on their favorite channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

LinkedIn has stated that salespeople that are skilled in social selling:

  • have 45% more sales opportunities
  • are 51% more likely to hit quota
  • will outsell their peers 78% of the time
  • are 3X more likely to go to Presidents Club

Social selling is about leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately achieve your sales goals. This sales technique enables better sales, lead generation, and sales prospecting processes and eliminates the need for cold calling. Building and maintaining relationships is easier within the network that you and your customers trust.

With social selling, you can:

  1. Create a professional brand
  2. Focus on the right prospects
  3. Engage with insights
  4. Build trusted relationships

Equally crucial for the benefits of social selling is the ability to measure it. To help quantify the value of social selling, LinkedIn produced the first-of-its-kind social selling measurement: The Social Selling Index (SSI). The Social Selling Index is scored on a scale of 0 – 100 based on your LinkedIn activities relating to the four pillars of social selling. Their internal study found a strong correlation between achieving sales goals and sales reps with high SSI.

In-person sales calls are becoming increasingly less effective. One study found that only 10% of in-person interactions lead to a sale. So if you want your company to maximize its profit margin, video conferencing for presentations is the way forward. Video conferencing for presentations can have many benefits over in-person interaction: it’s more efficient, cheaper, and doesn’t require travel time or expenses!

Technology has changed the way we work. We can now do everything from our laptops or smartphones, and so many people are embracing this new way of working that in-person meetings are becoming less frequent. Video conferencing for presentations is an excellent alternative to in-person sales calls. It enables you to have an interactive discussion with your customers without worrying about time zones or flight costs. With video conferencing for presentations, you save on travel costs and get more done during your workday – what more could you ask for?