Online sales talks, webinars and social network for generating leads – even after the pandemic, digital sales methods will continue to grow. What remote selling, virtual sales and social selling are all about, and how these ways of working can be integrated into the company, are revealed below.
Sales methods in the new normal: slipping back into old habits?
The corona pandemic has severely impacted sales. Conventional ways of sales based on personal contact were forcibly limited. But products and services continued to be sold – through digital channels to an ever-higher degree. For instance, an own online shop in the B2B segment is today one of the most frequently used sales channels, according to B2BEST Barometer (German only) which was launched in March 2021.
The survey has shown that an own online shop will remain relevant in the years to come – even if customers can be contacted personally after the pandemic. On top of this will come digital forms of sales which are not only advantageous in terms of finances and time, compared to traditional sales work, but also in terms of a more targeted approach. Remote selling, virtual sales and social selling have become established in this respect as a result.
Digital sales: what is remote selling, virtual sales and social selling?
What all the forms of sales listed here have in common: they support companies in their digitalisation of the sales process. The significance and differences of each are explained as follows:
- Remote selling describes in general sales from a distance. In concrete terms, this is sales over the Internet, which is slowly but surely replacing traditional telephone sales thanks to video call tools, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, in remote sales. This sales method was still a measure for survival at the start of the pandemic, and today is now an acknowledged form of sales, in making it more agile, in many areas.
- Virtual sales is simply selling products or services virtually – whereby the focus here is not only on the 1:1 sales talk, but also includes other digital opportunities for sales. For instance, this can be webinars or fully technical-based sales without the addition of a salesforce employee.
- Social selling describes sales via social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn. It is here where the initial contact with the company and its offers often arises today. Social selling considers this aspect and adapts the sales strategy accordingly. At the same time, the choice of matching networks is essential, as well as the frequent and logical use of the individual channels.
How to integrate digital sales strategically within your company
In order to integrate digital ways of selling in your company for the long term, the right conditions have to be given – both in terms of the technology and the staff. First comes the selection of the right software solutions and then their implementation – software which will ideally be used by all departments that can contribute to the sales process. What’s more, the technical basis in home office should be up to par with that in the office. The purchase of high-performance laptops for all employees who need them, for instance, may not only take time, it can also be a financial burden.
However, what is much more important is that the entire company must tread this path and the employees have to be convinced that conventional sales methods are not future-proof in the long run. Only when this is accepted can the sales team be schooled to face the new challenges – after all, digital sales calls for other kinds of skills than in-person negotiations.