Hybrid selling as a trend: what does that mean for marketing and sales? 

In the following blog post you will find out what is meant by hybrid selling, what advantages arise from its use and what new challenges this sales model brings with it.
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The use of digital technologies for customer contact was hardly integrated into the everyday work of B2B salespeople until the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Trade fairs and customer appointments were usually held on site and rarely outsourced to digital means of communication. But B2B in particular is about innovative products and ideas that are presented to the customer and should keep up with the times and current circumstances. This is where the hybrid selling model comes in.

Definition of hybrid selling 

Hybrid selling can be a new, simple Sales variant This is primarily about combining sales and marketing in a meaningful way and doing this in both a digital and personal way.  

The hybrid sales model has, as already indicated, been COVID-19 pandemic established within B2B sales. In-person visits and trade fairs formed the basis, but had to be digitized bit by bit due to the lockdown and person restrictions. New digital communication tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams were increasingly used to maintain customer contact. 

With the right concept of hybrid selling, the digital field sales not only maintained and supplemented, but also optimized over time. A hybrid model of on-site visits with face-to-face contact and online meetings should be the solution here. 

In addition, the Customer Journey becomes an experience and no longer serves merely as a means of obtaining information. The trend has emerged for customers to inform themselves about a company's products and services in advance. Sales staff should therefore act as consultants with special added value in the future, so that the customer journey fits into the customer's everyday life.

Advantages of hybrid selling 

The idea behind the concept of hybrid selling is not new, but has been significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The alternation between personal and digital exchanges brings many advantages. 

On the one hand, the productivity by eliminating business trips for meetings. Online meetings are shorter than face-to-face meetings and are therefore more efficient and enable a quick exchange. 

A further increase in productivity is the possibility of Automation Digitalization has created new opportunities for automated processes that can be implemented in existing sales processes. Cross-selling and upselling in particular can now be carried out largely digitally. 

At the same time, new digital opportunities are increasing the Flexibility of employees and customers. The lack of travel means that spontaneous meetings in digital form are possible. In addition, the use of remote work is becoming increasingly popular, which can also improve employees' work-life balance. 

The freedom from location also increases the opportunities for international SMarketingBoth the implementation of the initial contact as well as subsequent discussions and product presentations can be held digitally without necessarily having to be there in person. 

The elimination of business trips represents a simultaneous Saving costs and CO² Fewer necessary trips result in lower travel costs and a smaller carbon footprint for the company. In addition, by using remote work, resources such as office space can be used for other purposes. 

In the course of digitalization, it is also possible to Data about the customers and their respective needs. With CRM systems Salespeople can get to know their customers better and adapt to special circumstances. 

Overall, hybrid selling enables and requires increasing cooperation between marketing and sales. The individual buyer's journey can be designed more efficiently. In addition, for example, Online lead generation as well as marketing automation as a supplier for sales, so that both areas can support each other.

Challenges of hybrid selling 

Despite the many advantages of hybrid selling mentioned above, new challenges also arise in the course of restructuring and adapting to new circumstances. 

Through hybrid selling

  • surrender new demands on managersThe changing tasks and requirements in sales mean that managers agile think and react. The requirements are becoming more diverse and complex, so a trained eye and a lot of experience are needed.
  • must also be a new and comprehensive Expertise with regard to new possibilities and digital communication channels.
  • will require a higher level of Flexibility necessary. Adaptability and a differentiated assessment of the associated needs and situation (depending on the customer) form the basis. This makes an individual buyer's journey possible and necessary for each customer.
  • must the right mix from online events and face-to-face visits. When is which event suitable and what does the customer require? How can digital and analogue meetings be sensibly coordinated?
  • There is a clear difference in the Handling new and existing customersPersonal visits on site are usually necessary for new customers, while contact with existing customers can often be made digitally. 
  • This gives rise to the problem of varying levels of acceptance of digitality. Not all customers are as adept at using digital media as others. Customers can also react differently to changes in customer contact towards a digital one.  

Due to these factors, it is important to always know your potential customer base in advance and to Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages individuallyOnly then can successful hybrid selling take place. 

Tips for hybrid selling in B2B 

It turns out that there are a number of factors to consider when using hybrid selling. The following tips will help you implement hybrid selling in your own company: 

  • Don’t design a standard model for all customers
    Your customers need to be considered individually and therefore require a buyer's journey tailored to them. This way, a significant increase in productivity can be achieved with minimal effort. 
  • Don’t just offer your customers a channel for communication.  
    A wide range of digital and analog options allows customers to choose freely. This increases customer satisfaction and the reputation of your brand. 
  • Let your customers choose between synchronous and asynchronous forms of communication
    Offer your customers the opportunity to access your company's content and resources at any time, thereby increasing flexibility and individuality. Ideally, this content should not only be informative, but also personalized. 
  • Make sure there is a good balance between digital communication and on-site support.  
    Existing customers can be contacted digitally, but with new customers, personal contact should always be the priority at the beginning. However, the first contact to make your company visible to potential customers can be made digitally. 

A possible process of customer contact could therefore look like this: 

  1. First contact to the customer (in digital form). 
  2. Presentation of your own Products and subsequent conclusion of contract (on site) 
  3. Care and further project management in cooperation with the customer (possible in digital form) 
  4. Customer loyalty and Relationship maintenance maintained (both digitally and on-site possible).

hybrid selling Overall, it brings with it a number of insights and advantages that have been further expanded and adapted to meet needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Would you like to learn more about the differences and potential of online vs. face-to-face trade fairs? Then listen to our FoxCast pure! 

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