Virtual sales rep: A recipe for marketing to the self-sufficient buyer


Selling to a business buyer is a whole new ball game today.

decision-1013752_1920Look at the evidence:

IDC studies show that most IT buyers are half way through the purchase timeline before they agree to meet with a saleperson. 1 in 7 of the buyers push it even further: they wait until they are 75% of the way in before agreeing to an initial contact! The pattern is similar with most business buyers of today.

How do you market to this new breed of buyers? How do you make the sale?

Content Marketing is a great start. It keeps the self-sufficient buyers happy for a while. But it doesn't provide all the buyers with all the information they need all the time.

Even when a fully digital, automated, process is possible to take buyers through the entire purchase process, adding a human touch tripled the size of the deal for one tech company.

How do you marry marketing automation with the human touch to boost your success in the sales process?

Outside sales is not the answer. The self-sufficient buyers shun them until late in the sales cycle.

Gone are the days of "me and my quota" sales reps, says Kathleen Schaub, Vice President of IDC's CMO Advisory Service. You will be seeing more and more of the new breed – the virtual sales rep.

This virtual sales rep is the glue that provides to your prospective buyers any information they could not get from your content marketing materials, while providing the human touch. They fill the gaps in the buyer's knowledge about your products and services.

decision-1013751_1920To achieve this goal, your virtual sales reps must know your products and services inside and out. They need to know how your offerings satisfy the needs, wants, and desires of the buyers. They must understand the gaps buyers are trying to fill. And they must fill them fast.

In essence, they should be part marketers, part salespeople, and part customer service reps. Only then can you hope to make a sale.

All of this is too much information for traditional salespeople to carry in their heads. In fact, it is too much information for any human being.

So you form virtual sales reps, human beings, and support them with additional teams and automation within your company.

This sweeping change will redefine the roles of your marketing, sales, and customer service functions.

And this is already starting to happen.

Kathleen Schaub will talk about how this change is playing out in industry today and its evolution in the years to come.

You will learn about

  • what type of companies and product lines benefit from this change
  • how this scheme of virtual sales rep works
  • what kind of support structure needs to exist in your company to make this work well
  • how eCommerce fits into this scheme
  • whether the traditional sales force will become extinct as a result
  • and more ...

Attend this informative presentation to understand the impact of this evolution on your business. You want to be prepared.

Mark your calendar now and sign up to reserve your spot!


Evolution of a Virtual Sales Rep

by Kathleen Schaub

Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)

Microsoft Sunnyvale
1020 Enterprise Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

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Kathleen Schaub, Vice President of IDC’s CMO Advisory Service, is a B2B marketing strategist with a 30+ year career. She joined IDC in 2011 where she provides research-based guidance and marketing best practices.

Kathleen's career mission is helping companies achieve their business goals through better connection with customers and the application of management science to marketing. Kathleen accomplishes this mission as a researcher, analyst, consultant, writer, blogger, speaker, and coach.

Some of her recent speaking engagements were at major conferences FutureM, LinkedIn Sales Connect, Tech Marketing 360, and IDC Directions.

Kathleen held executive roles at leading technology companies, notably Sybase, where she was Vice President of Marketing Operations and Transformation and earlier led product marketing. Kathleen also held executive positions at Cadence Design Systems, and she served as Chief Marketing Officer for ComputerLand.

She holds a BFA in Design from the California College of Art and an MBA from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.

Follow Kathleen on Twitter @kathleenschaub.