Channel salespeople find virtual sales’challenging’

Over 60 percent of channel salespeople find virtual selling a challenge in securing wins, according to new research.

Next Gen Sales Academy surveyed VARs, resellers and MSPs across the UK to investigate how the pandemic and virtual selling has affected salespeople, with 60 percent responding that they have found it a challenge to win opportunities through virtual selling.

Some respondents described the process as “awkward”, others said it was harder to keep customers engaged or work out what they were thinking through a screen. The remaining 40 percent of respondents replied that they saw no difference in wins through virtual selling since the pandemic arose.

Over 40 percent of partners had seen a negative impact on sales as a result of the pandemic, with 37 percent replying that the crisis has had “somewhat” of a negative impact on sales, due to customers freezing or scaling back projects, cutting budgets, furloughed staff and financial restraints of current market conditions.

The 21 percent of respondents who reported no change in said that though they are “busier than ever” they are not profitably busy, as they put their efforts into firefighting and keeping existing customer and “taking the foot off the marketing pedal”.

Fiona Challis, founder of Next Gen Sales Academy and author of the report said: “As we enter into what is being referred to as the ‘New Norm’ – with the majority of channel sales being conducted virtually – we wanted to establish whether virtual selling has created new challenges or simply exasperated existing ones such as prospecting, lead generation, winning new business, differentiating, selling on value rather than price, getting customers to make decisions, and overcoming price objections, to name but a few.”