For the past couple of years, outside sales have taken a big hit. That’s largely thanks to precautions many businesses took during the pandemic. And now that businesses are opening again, something is different.
Was it just the pandemic that caused the downturn? Or is there something more to the whole story?
While outside sales may have changed for good, many companies are taking a creative workaround that fits customers’ evolving needs. This blog looks at the evolving landscape of sales and how to find and recruit the sales reps you need to get into new businesses and territories and close more deals.
Ending the Myth That Outside Sales Are Dead
Despite alarming reports claiming an end to outside sales, the short answer is no. Outside sales are not going anywhere.
Outside sales are simply too valuable for facilitating specific transactions and catering to a demographic that prefers face-to-face interactions and deals that build stronger interpersonal connections.
Additionally, outside sales are highly effective and often have a higher close rate thanks to:
- Eliminating barriers such as miscommunication or tech issues
- Customers feeling that in-person sales have more accountability, trust, and credibility
- Allowing for demonstrations of complicated products or services
- Cutting through the competition and clutter of the marketplace
Rather than thinking outside sales have diminished compared to inside sales, it’s more appropriate to consider that outside sales have remained strong, while inside sales have simply exploded in recent years.
Key Advantages of Outside Sales
Sales and relationships are bound. Even strictly impersonal sales transactions are based on a relationship between the vendor and their customer, whether that’s helpful customer service, a warranty department, or a brand highly recognized and admired in the marketplace. You simply cannot separate sales from relationships in one form or another.
This is where outside sales have a crucial advantage over every other sales strategy. Outside sales reps have the upper hand in establishing deeper connections with their clientele. Nothing beats in-person interactions when you need to cultivate a more robust business relationship than other channels can provide.
Aside from our inherent need for connection with others, many clients have complicated needs or complex problems to solve. They need unique, often customized solutions that aren’t an option over the phone, let alone on any eCommerce site.
Only through the process of conversation and discovery are outside sales representatives able to truly serve a large variety of clientele. While this may be a more laborious and time-consuming model, it is also highly effective at building brand credibility and turning customers into brand ambassadors: one of the most effective sales strategies in any industry.
Outside Sales Have Changed. What’s Different?
For all the advantages of outside sales, there’s no denying it has changed. Because many are noticing the changes are recent, they’re crediting the pandemic as the cause. This makes a good amount of sense since COVID put the kibosh on almost all in-person interactions for a good amount of time. And the marketplace has never really returned to normal ever since.
But this may also be a misinterpretation of current market trends.
As noted above, inside sales have grown at an incredible rate. However, that growth frames field sales in a different light. While they may still crave that in-person experience that meets their specific needs, many customers are increasingly persuaded by the convenience and simplicity of remote sales options.
This is closer to the main issue: the needs and values of customers are changing. They’re increasingly seeking out easier, more immediate options to get what they need. People are busier than ever and simply don’t have the time it takes to venture beyond an on-demand marketplace, even with the advantage and trust that comes with outside sales.
Many Companies Are Considering a Hybrid Model
There’s nothing new to hybrid sales. Many businesses have taken the savvy approach to offer both options of inside sales (some even including eCommerce platforms) with options to work with field sales representatives.
Many feel a hybrid sales approach is the best strategy because it empowers the customer and lets them choose what works best for them. This insightful approach may explain the similar rise in hybrid sales that is changing the way many businesses are staffing for success.
Today’s businesses need outside sales reps with unique people skills who can deploy and close those specific deals. But for inside sales reps, businesses are hiring more tech-savvy account managers, sales reps, and business developers undeterred by technological hurdles or are more effective at solving those barriers to sales.
Vector Technical Can Help!
No matter your needs for salespeople, Vector Technical can help you source and recruit the representatives who can close the deal. Let’s work together to grow your business, expand your market access and capture the profits your business is capable of. Contact Vector Technical today!