Why a Virtual Rep is better than a real one!
I always like a good headline and I don’t really mean that we should replace our external salesforces with virtual reps, I have this vision of Max Headroom in a Builders Merchants branch on a screen behind the trade counter, and at the end of the day it would be very difficult to create an online application that will deal with complaints and pick up orders!
Having said that there are a few things that a Cortexa presence can do that a rep can’t. Our most popular modules get up to 300 hits a week, how many reps do you know that can do that? An online presence also excels in getting key messages across consistently and when the customer is receptive and wants to know; not purely when the rep is there and in ‘broadcast’ mode.
There is also the issue of leveraging that precious contact time, when your sales people are face to face with customers you want them adding value with their insights and experience, coaching and problem solving, not delivering basic product knowledge. If the branch team have all the basics of product and range architecture you can then play to the reps’ strengths and build on sales strategies.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m in a presentation with other people and I don’t get something, I wished the presenter had a pause and a rewind button – I know you can always put your hand up and stop the show, but when you are all also waiting for the bell, it’s not easy being the one to stop the show and ask a question. With a virtual rep you can interrupt and rewind as much as you like and no one will get irritated with you or sigh and look at the clock!
Finally there’s the issue of cost: you can cut the numbers any way you want but a rep visit can cost anything from £90 upwards, irrespective of the quality or outcome of the call. The cost of the virtual visit is less than 10% of that if you get the delivery strategy right, and what’s more your virtual rep doesn’t take holidays, crash his car or get distracted talking about football.
In all seriousness though, as with many business issues it’s about balance. A Cortexa presence won’t build personal relationships, and we all know that “People buy from People”, but it will give you long term and persistent presence in the branch, a broad base of product knowledge and enough training to head off some of those expensive customer call outs arising from poor product selection or bad installation. Not quite “Max Headroom” but the next best thing.