Employee Jessica boxing

Hybrid Sales Organisation

You have a large existing customer base but the majority of your customers are managed on request if at all? You are focusing your capacities on the strong sales A-rated customers and are neglecting the smaller customers? Read here how you can build up a highly capable hybrid sales organisation and use it directly to generate more sales revenue.

How do I support my outside sales force with hybrid sales?

The appropriate and efficient management of all existing customers across all customer segments – from large customers to small customers – represents a challenge to many companies. The fact that the outside sales force, as the most expensive sales resource, manages all customer segments is simply not profitable seen in purely economic terms. Since the outside sales force capacity is a rare good, the focus of these employees is mostly on paying visits to the customers generating the most sales.

After all, the outside sales force is already overstrained with the existing number of A and B customers. This is exactly where working with a hybrid sales approach helps.

WITH HYBRID SALES

YOU WILL NOT BE KNOCKED OUT

What does hybrid sales mean?

The status quo in many distribution organisations in B2B sales traditionally is like this: there is an outside sales force and there is inside sales. The outside sales representatives are considered to be the stars who “generate sales out there.” The office staff often live in the shadows and are considered at best to be “hard workers.” They act as writing staff managing schedules for the outside sales force, writing quotations and accepting customer requests. There is not a lot of appreciation for this. And this also hardly sparks any initiative on their part. Often the “sales gene” seems to be entirely missing in the office staff.

This works differently in a hybrid approach, however: there are two drivers who have one direction. Both work on their own, but when combined with each other, new, desirable solutions are created. Because of this combination they get to their destination faster. This also works that way analogously in hybrid sales: this is where an outside sales force representative and an office staff member join to a hybrid team. Both work together on turning their customers into fans of many years.

So that an office staffer becomes a good hybrid partner, he or she must get away from working off tasks on command and move towards proactive selling action. The traditional office staff consequently becomes an active inside sales or active sales contact centre in the service area of any modern company.

Which problems does the organisation of my team as a hybrid sales organisation solve?

In principle, the following applies: the outside sales force and inside sales are to manage a large customer base with a team of limited size. For as long as the office staff does not sell actively, the outside sales force has the sole sales capacity. Possible consequences are low conversion rates, neglect of profitable customer segments or existing customers who are not attended to at all. The sales organisation therefore works inefficiently on the bottom line.

The seemingly obvious solution: the outside sales force has to work more or be expanded. Both has limits. Furthermore, it is neither profitable nor practicable to have the outside sales force visit all customers in person.

Where should one start if not with the outside sales force?

Well, surely with the office staff! “But my office staff does not sell,” you say? This is exactly what you can change! You need an actively selling inside sales team that actively supports your outside sales force in order to build up your sales organisation as capable hybrid sales team.

This has several advantages for your company: for example, an actively selling inside sales team manages the large number of B customers efficiently in terms of cost by telephone – and thereby meets everyone’s demands. You can approach the idle sales potentials strategically and systematically. Customer loyalty will improve and so will your sales and profits!

Many businesses today already rely on differentiated sales activities. The aim is to use resources optimally and to develop each customer according to his needs and possibilities.

Moreover, the structure of your sales organisation as hybrid sales team presents valuable competitive advantages for you, such as speed, flexibility and customer satisfaction through a continuous dialogue with the customers. On the other hand, you will save costs while you will efficiently utilise sales potentials on the other hand.

“In result, hybrid sales renders clearly higher sales power through a more effective division of tasks and stronger motivation in your team “
Thomas Grimm
CEO, SUXXEED Sales for your Success GmbH

At a glance: The 7 advantages of a hybrid sales organisation

  1. Sustainable sales increase in the customer segments managed by the outside sales force
  2. Utilisation of customer potentials
  3. Improved readiness for response
  4. Assurance of transparency
  5. Region-wide management of existing customers
  6. Increased customer loyalty
  7. Competitive advantages

In hybrid with twice the power

Hybrid sales in practice: Who manages which customers efficiently?

In the example of this ABC customer model, you can see how the hybrid sales organisation manages the diverse customer segments region-wide and efficiently, and how it is more successful this way as a team than the outside sales force on its own:

Hybrid sales pyramid of outside and inside sales

While an outside sales representative can reasonably manage at most 100 customers, an actively selling inside sales employee is able to actively manage about 300 to 450 customers by phone – depending on the size of the customers and the complexity of the sales task.

Thus, the company’s own sales units are complemented in a hybrid sales organisation by an actively selling inside sales team working on the phone. It takes on the proactive communication with the assigned outside sales force customers, who used to be managed only sporadically previously, under its own responsibility.

Thanks to the hybrid model, the outside sales force can focus on the largest customers in its region.

  • A-customers
    In the hybrid sales approach, your outside sales force continues to concentrate on A-customers and large B-customers. Your most expensive sales resource, the outside sales force, is therefore being used exactly where it is worthwhile.

  • B-customers
    Your B-customers are visited once up to twice a year by your outside sales force – in principle, as needed by the customer. In addition, these B-customers are called several times a year by an external actively selling inside sales employee.

  • C and D-customers
    Your outside sales force can additionally hand off small customers or customers, who are hard to reach in terms of geography, to the actively selling inside sales team. The sales representative will take the trip to this customer only when it is worth it. For example, if the actively selling inside sales employee has identified a concrete sales opportunity in the course of his or her management of the customer by phone.

HYBRID SALES REQUIREMENTS

Have you asked yourself if the hybrid model also works in your sales organisation?

Practical example: How does the hybrid sales approach work?

Let us assume that each outside sales representative (sales rep) in our example has about 100 customers. The sales rep can easily manage about 30 customers depending on the region and customer configuration. An actively selling inside sales employee can actively manage between 350 and 500 customers in this example.

Thus, it results that an inside sales employee has a responsibility for 5-8 sales reps.

 

Hand-off meeting

The inside sales employee coordinates with the sales rep, best moderated by you as the sales director, and receives customers that can be managed only sporadically by the sales rep. Optimally, the sales rep supplements the existing CRM information about the customer with his or her own personal experiences. It is determined jointly in the hand-off meeting when it is sensible to send the sales rep to the customer. You have already defined this at the management level. But it is important additionally to get the “buy-in” from the sales rep here.

Shared goal definition

The customers that the inside sales employee receives are his or her target customers. This means: he has the main responsibility for the sustainable growth of this customer group. Nonetheless, both employees are obligated to pursue a shared goal – usually sales contribution and/or contribution margin. This serves to raise the acceptance of the sales rep and lets both act as a team.

Regular exchange

The potential additional costs from the first year can be compensated accordingly by raising the goals in the coming years. The inside sales employee regularly exchanges information with the sales rep as needed in the work together on the customer. Moreover, the inside sales employee should also participate in the sales team meetings.

Another tip: Make it clear from the outset that the actively selling inside sales employee is not there to do administrative work for the outside sales representative!

Getting from zero to one hundred fast: Organising it yourself or contracting it externally?

When organising a powerful hybrid sales team, you have three options:

  1. You can try to transform your existing office staff into an actively selling inside sales team
  2. You can reorganise such a team internally
  3. You can use external resources for these tasks


Internal

Option one is a long and hard road that will be rewarded with success in the end only if you already have office staffers at this time, whose hearts beat for sales. Option two, as well, requires lots of time and additionally eats up a substantial personnel budget. Therefore, option three is closely suggested for many businesses. This takes you to your goal the quickest with a transparent investment.

 

External

If a company decides to purchase an external sales infrastructure, higher sales figures with identical costs of sales are guaranteed. This is made possible by the high degree of efficiency and specialisation with which the sales service providers can work on challenges such as actively selling inside sales in a hybrid model.

Practical tip: With the accordingly trained external sales team, success can be reached more quickly than tediously raising the motivation of your own sales team. Besides, your own sales team should be able to concentrate on the core competence of large customer management.

Reasons for using an external actively selling inside sales team in the hybrid sales model

  1. Increasing sales power by multiples
  2. Significantly larger numbers of contact with customers when contacting them by phone
  3. Additional manpower: top trained and motivated sales experts
  4. Relief for the outside sales force: inside sales customer management in weaker regions
  5. Efficiency improvement: upstream identification of sales opportunities for the field force by the actively selling inside sales team
  6. Flexibility in the use of sales resources
  7. Measurable success and transparency
  8. No distraction with internal tasks

Recommend this page:

Did we raise your curiosity about this interesting model? Speak with us:

We will be happy to implement a hybrid model with you and also establish contact with one of our customers, because references often help seeing things more clearly.



Sales Consultant Christian Soller

Christian Soller

Sales Consultant
Vertrieb

Tel.: +49 911 6602 147
E-mail: christian.soller@suxxeed.de

contact via E-mail