215. When and How Will Channel Reps Resume In-Person Calls?


  1. Have you heard yet from an old-school buyer that: “Your competitor’s rep has resumed calls!”
  2. Will that be your alarm for resuming full-on, old-way selling?
  3. Are a few data points from old-school, lonely-buyers good market research?
  4. Has Zoomification increased some buyers “rep avoidance” preferences?
  5. How many – new, two-thumb, millennial, B2B – buyers want routine-calling relationships?
  6. Why not proactively survey key buying influences at most-net-profitable (and faster growing) accounts to find out how they want to resume the buying-selling “relationship”?
  7. What if some want, first: better, digital/virtual interactivity. Then, facetime as requested with someone different than the account’s traditional rep?
  8. Do buyers care about your traditional ways? Or: do they want and will get their new way?
  9. And, will pandemic-stressed customers be looking for ways to “buy better”?

Buying-Better? Channel-Model Alternatives?

  1. Buying commodities from fewer (one?) supplier on an integrated, automated basis has been an overall channel trend since the ‘80’s. Could a few, key accounts want that option? Survey them? If yes, do you have (can you invent) a custom-contract team to co-create win-win solutions?
  2. For spot-buys of popular, big-ticket items, customers will find lower prices from digital sellers. Can your full-service-cost bundle (including Rep costs) afford to match these prices? So what?

What Facetime Calls Will Still Make Sense?

Reactive requests! If you are delivering the best, digital/virtual-support service and a customer requests a facetime call by specific people, then do it!

If by surveying customers, you find that some would like a special visit to audit their existing internal replenishment process to identify and remove friction within the process, do it.

Do make proactive calls with an agenda of compelling questions that challenge customers to think about improving what and how they buy. Key metrics: a) does the value of your learning from the call exceed the fully loaded cost of the call; and/or, b) will the buyer(s) think that their return on their invested time in the visit was worthwhile.

But, don’t call on small, lonely, net-unprofitable pals with auto-pilot openers like: “How are things? What’s up? Anything I can do for you today?

For New, E-Selling Model Design Ideas

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