Has the internet displaced face-to-face sales meetings?

Adoption is a vital part of sales performance management (SPM). Managers must learn how to change as new tools become available and trends affect the marketplace. Vendors that fail to modify their strategies and systems to outside forces will be displaced by competitors who make the necessary adjustments.

The most significant change in sales has been the diminishing importance of the face-to-face client meeting. Inc. Magazine recently reported on a study that shows the number of inside sales positions is growing 15 times faster than outside jobs. The same report shows that traveling salespeople conduct approximately 40 percent of all business over the phone. Businesses are no longer placing value on live interaction.

The new protocol in most companies is to focus on speed and helping multiple clients throughout the day. Managers would rather their agents speak with a dozens of customers through video conferencing and over the phone than fly to a remote location to only meet with one buyer.

The internet has become the most valuable resource for managers and representatives who need to connect with large groups rather than individuals. As a result, sales on-boarding courses focus almost exclusively on how to used web-based tools for sales purposes. The main focus of most training for salespeople and management now focuses on streaming communication and increasing the company’s market penetration through digital platforms.

Communication and distance
Vendors no longer need traveling agents because it is easier than ever to establish satellite offices around the globe. The small branches allow companies to create a local presence in burgeoning markets so they can reach new consumers. The Houston Chronicle writes that managers can now supervise their far-flung staffers through video conferencing and email.

The web tools can lead to drastic reductions in overhead expenses. It is more cost-effective to install reliable web systems rather than travel to multiple locations. There are other tools that vendors should implement in order to effectively manage multiple offices from a single facility.  SPM software provides real-time updates so supervisors can track every employee’s sales figures.

SPM applications can be integrated with the rest of a company’s resources to create a cohesive network. Agents can update their sales from their desktops so that their numbers are accurate as soon as calls end. Travelers can access the applications from their tablets and smartphones. The software allows businesses to capitalize on the internet and create a global presence from a single location.