Every sales team on the planet had to reconfigure their approach in 2020. Some of us embraced the digital and relished in the Zoom PowerPoint pitch. Others struggled digitally and prayed that one day we could schedule beloved in-person pitch meetings again.
There’s good news for both camps because in a post-COVID world, the buyer wants both.
Yes, our precious buyers want it both ways. They love the new, remote, buyer enabled process. But sometimes, they want in-person connection. Of course they do.
So how do we do both? How can we hone in on a killer digital sales strategy and seamlessly incorporate traditional sales tactics?
The answer—hybrid selling.
What is Hybrid Selling?
Hybrid selling uses an omnichannel approach for optimal buyer enablement. The approach meets the buyer where they are by using a combination of traditional in-person approaches and new remote sales techniques.
The idea comes from an understanding that different sales channels may be better suited for specific stages in the sales cycle. For instance, the top of your funnel might lean more toward remote selling. At this stage buyers don’t want to talk to a sales rep, they’d rather chat online or view a webinar. When you get closer to the sale, the channel might lean more toward a traditional in-person approach.
Maximizing both remote and in-person sales techniques for your buyer enablement journey is hybrid selling at its finest.
Why Hybrid Selling Matters
Buyer enablement is the new “black” of B2B selling and a global pandemic only reinforced the idea that successful sales require meeting the buyer where they are through diverse options for connection. According to McKinsey & Company, two-thirds of buyers now prefer remote human interactions and digital self-service options. That leaves a third who still prefer traditional methods. Mastering multiple channels means optimizing your sales opportunities.
Now, if you’re a B2B sales rep who oversees long sales cycles and million dollar deals, it’s tempting to think in-person is the only way to go. I mean, who would approve a million dollar deal remotely? Actually, a lot of people, according to the data. McKinsey & Company found that 20% of buyers would say yes to a $500K deal in a fully remote environment and 11% would say yes to deals more than one million. Ultimately, the channel choice comes down to meeting the buyer where it’s most convenient for them and agility between the channels can make big differences for your bottom line.
The good news is hybrid sales offer plenty of opportunity. During a pandemic, we all had to shift digitally and many companies did, creating new positions for digital and hybrid sales reps. But the game is new. McKinsey found that 77% of companies with hybrid sales reps introduced the role in direct response to the challenges of COVID-19. That means, there’s plenty of opportunity to master hybrid selling before your competition.
Become a Master at B2B Hybrid Sales
- Perfectly align channels to points along the buyer journey. Look at your sales journey maps and sales successes for help on this one. Which channel works best at the top of the funnel? At the bottom? How can the different channels align to complement each other?
- Support your hybrid sales reps. The transition from traditional sales to a hybrid approach is no easy feat. Support your reps with proper technical training and support with channels they’re least comfortable with. That might mean looking closely at skillsets and shaking up roles and responsibilities.
- Master the online relationship. Remote relationships are possible. Invest in ways to nurture that remote experience and make the connections you need to close the deal.
- Tweak and retweak. Closely monitor what’s working and what’s not. Collect data on which sales actions—we call them plays—are effective in the buyer journey. If an email isn’t effective, maybe it needs to be a phone call, or vice versa.
Hybrid sales are agile, effective and the buyer loves them. By mastering an omnichannel approach, you can effectively meet the buyer right where they want to be and make the connections you need for killer sales numbers.
We’ve got tons of great ideas on how to implement a multi-channel hybrid approach for your sales process. In fact, we built a product that practically does the work for you. Learn more about Proteus Engage and ways you can connect here and here.
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