What are Direct Sales?

Direct sales are all about selling the product directly to the customer. It is the shortest distance between the organization and the consumer. No middleman. No retailer.

The organization that creates the product also handles the entire sales cycle. That means hiring and managing a sale steam, developing the sales strategy, and overseeing all other elements of an in-house undertaking like this.

In the modern world of sales, organizations have multiple opportunities for direct sales. Agents can close deals through in-person meetings, demos, emails, video conferences, phone calls, and more. Digital marketing and ecommerce tools have also widened the net for direct sales.Anyone can make a website and sell their products directly to the public. Some tools even enable users to automate their digital sales process, making it even easier to sell directly to their customer base.

Pros of Direct Sales

Using direct sales has a lot of potential upsides including increased control, opportunity for feedback, getting the full price, and less stress to find the right partners.

Increased Control

Doing anything in-house will always give the organization more control over the whole sales process. The organization’s sales manager manages the pipeline and oversees hiring, strategy, onboarding, customer etiquette, and anything else that may come up.

Opportunity for Direct Feedback

Selling direct makes it easier to receive feedback from customers because your team is engaging with the customers. Having these contacts and relationships can also make it easier for an organization to get responses from surveys or other feedback content because the customer has dealt with that team before.

Getting the Full Price

Organizations who work with resellers or other channel partners often end up selling their products at a discounted rate. In some cases, those rates are even set by the partnering organization not the one with the product. Direct sales allow the organization to set the price they believe is right and gives them power over the discounts they decide to offer.

Less Stress from Finding the Right Partners

Finding the right channel partners can take quite a bit of time and effort. With the control offered by direct sales, organizations can spend less time searching and more time selling.

Cons of Direct Sales

No sales plan is perfect. Direct sales are no exception. While various pros do exist, companies need to understand some of the drawbacks to direct sales as well such as the higher cost involved, the challenges around scalability, and overcoming the obstacles for entering new markets.

Higher Cost of Using Internal Resources

As with nearly everything else in business, outsourcing sales is just cheaper than doing it all in-house. Direct sales don’t allow you to do this. Instead, you must hire reps, managers, directors, and executives. You must invest in digital resources for your team. You must cover training and onboarding and all the other complexities that go into managing a team of people. That all costs money, but it costs time, effort, and emotional capital as well.

Challenges to Scale

If starting a team is the biggest challenge, scaling one comes in second. Taking your team to that next level is no small ask. You may have the core built up well, but you’ve still got a ton of work to do. All the obstacles that leaders overcame at the start just come back around with new additions – more reps to train, more administrative frustrations, and more people to manage.

New Market Obstacles

Entering a new market requires a thoughtful strategy and dedicated team. That team either needs to live in the area – which could mean additional office space – or they need to get there often – which means increased travel expenses. Either option leads to higher spending or increased logistical planning.

Of course, tons of organizations overcome these challenges with their direct sales, but many others have developed some channel sales strategy to move their company forward while avoiding such obstacles.

How to Build a Sales Stack for Direct Sales

Like any modern sales process, optimizing direct sales means utilizing a great tech stack. Sales leaders need to make sure that they’re getting the most out of their resources. The following list includes best practises and things to consider:

1. Use a great CRM

A customer relationship management tool will be the backbone of your sales operations. They help your team stay organized by keeping all your contacts in one place and enabling them to monitor their progress so they can achieve their goals.

2. Easily schedule meetings

Having an app dedicated to booking meetings will make it easier for prospects to schedule time with your reps. Sending emails back and forth trying to find time will get frustrating, so it’s best to find a tool that someone can book directly onto your reps’ calendars.

3. Have demos ready

If you sell software or a digital application of some sort, your prospects will want to see your product in action before they make any decisions. Some people choose to give live demos. Others pre-record them. Either way, you will want a tool that makes it easy for your team to produce a solid demo so you can put your best foot forward.

4. Keep communication going

Communication is one of the most overlooked necessities in many organizations, especially when it comes to sales teams. A lot of the time, reps can just get lost in their own world, but everything goes more smoothly when team members talk to each other.

To equip their sales teams with the best chance of closing direct sales successfully, the travel industry implements effective lead management strategies – specifically tailored for direct sales.

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