- Sales Enablement
- Apr 28
- 8 mins read
2 Million Sales Calls Predict the Future of Field Sales (and It’s Not What You’d Expect)
The world is opening back up. It’s finally time to plan your sales team’s return to the field after a year of selling in the remote void. But before you go booking flights, you have to ask an important question: Are your sales reps digital enough to sell effectively in-person?
Yup, you heard that right. In-person sales requires digital tools now. But let us explain. Field sales used to mean binders full of customer info and a trunk packed with brochures. But after analyzing nearly 2,000,000 sales calls, our team found that the most successful sales reps use digital tools in every selling situation—including face-to-face meetings.
Now that we’re going back to in-person sales, it doesn’t mean we say goodbye to technology. It just means we need to start thinking about digital tools differently. We need to find the digital tools that equip sales reps to perform at their best when selling face-to-face (not the ones that try to replace them or keep them trapped in the remote void).
The Best In-Person Interactions Include Digital Tools
Your expertise doesn’t go unnoticed. There are many reasons face-to-face selling is more effective. It’s the best way to build meaningful long-term relationships with customers. It’s the best way to showcase the complexities of certain product lines. Most importantly, it actually closes 30.2% more business with a 130.2% larger dollar value according to HubSpot.
But while face-to-face selling is the way to go, your team still needs digital tools to enable them while they’re in the field. The time you’re spending face-to-face is more valuable than ever now. When studying the in-person sales conversations of StorySlab customers, we discovered that the highest performing sales reps used digital tools 231% more often than their low-performing counterparts.
The best sales reps use digital tools pre-call to prepare, post-call to follow up, and even in-person during sales meetings. Why? Digital tools make it easier for sales reps to find the right materials on the fly. So if they’re prepared to discuss one topic and then the customer brings up a need that they didn’t anticipate, they can quickly pull up the right info to cross-sell and upsell without having to “get back to” the customer later.
The Best Sales Reps Share Digital Leave-Behinds
High-performing reps provide digital leave-behinds more than twice as often than low and average performers. Looking at data from 9 years of digital sharing through StorySlab, we see that high performers push content to their clients at a much higher rate. High performers share approximately 14.4 bundles of files per month while low performers share only 3.3 bundles of files.
If your sales reps are still using print materials, you’re missing the opportunity to gain insights about what your buyers are actually looking at. When your sales reps share leave-behinds through StorySlab and other digital platforms, you get to see exactly when and how buyers are engaging. This gives you deeper insights about what actually matters to them. It also provides a stronger predictor of where deals are stalling and which ones are almost over the finish line so you can more accurately assess your pipeline. And according to Salesforce, high-performing sales teams are 1.5x more likely to base forecasts on data rather than intuition.
The Best Field Sales Teams Capture Insights
If any good has come from learning to sell remotely, it’s that many field sales teams have started to record sales calls. This provides sales leaders with greater visibility into sales rep behavior and deal status. Capturing what’s happening during sales calls needs to continue as you lead your team back into the field.
High-performing field sales teams track everything from rep proficiency and share habits to buyer engagement and reach to the content mix that gets the best results. While it’s important to know what the best teams are doing, your team is unique. To make sure your sales reps are as effective as possible in-person, you need to learn what your top performers are doing right and train the rest of the team to match those habits.
Our team at StorySlab can help you gather the insights you need to increase your team’s effectiveness in the field. To learn more, book some time with our team.
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