Face to Face selling is Dead! Virtual Selling Guide for Dynamics 365 sales leaders

Face to Face selling is Dead! Virtual Selling Guide for Dynamics 365 sales leaders

By Rob Triggs – Sales Excellence Advisor CRM Dynamics 

First I hope you and your family are safe and have the necessities to make it through the coming weeks and months!  

I’m hoping this post can give you a much-needed distraction from the non-stop barrage of news about the virus, stock markets, social distancing….

If you’re like me, you have a family and company responsibilities to worry about. On the business side, I’m the VP sales of a successful Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE partner located in Toronto Canada. One blessing in all this for us is we easily transitioned to a work from home model for our entire company. My role is to manage the sales team. I’m sure many of you sales leaders are asking yourself “How do I keep business rolling in under the current conditions? This is not a new challenge. The conditions we find ourselves in will definitely make it harder. For some sectors, it will almost be impossible for some time. Others will be able to transition and survive and even prosper. If we spoke 6 months ago I would have said sales continue to move to a more virtual model anyway. This current situation has just accelerated our need as sales leaders to adjust to a virtual model just to survive. Id like to share my opinion on what is needed at a time like this for my fellow sales leaders out there.

There are four key pillars to a successful virtual sales model:

  1. A Structured sales process
  2. Tools to support and enable the process
  3. Measurement– the ability to measure in real time what is happening
  4. Data– 360-degree view of a customer or prospect

As a sales leader if you can focus on these four areas you will have what you need to succeed. The question is, “Do you feel your company has all four in place at the level required to survive and even flourish through these times?” To answer that question lets look at each one of the four pillars a little closer.

Structured sales process

In a virtual sales model having a structured sales process is critical. Help from your marketing team using digital marketing and social media will be key. Each one of your salespeople needs a plan for what they should be doing each day. Simple things like who should they be calling, when and why? What is the messaging? Is an email ok or is the phone better? Some feel cold calling is dead and I disagree. When done properly cold calling works well. The other method of prospecting is using social tools like Linked In for social selling. In any event, each salesperson has to have three things to be successful:

  1. Goals
  2. An activity plan
  3. A coach to help them stay focused

 Other things to consider are how do you manage the sales team through the stages of your sales process remotely?  

  1. Inbound or outbound sales lead prospecting & qualification
  2. Sales opportunity fact gathering and can we win assessments
  3. Sales effort and cost of sales assessment
  4. Sales presentations and demonstrations
  5. Planning for and Managing objections
  6. Negotiation and closing
  7. Forecasting accurately

In a virtual sales environment, these critical processes are much more difficult unless the process is clear to everyone and your work from home tools are set up to support you.

Tools to Support and Enable

The reality is six weeks ago I would have said as long as you have the sales process set up the tools don’t really matter that much. You could get by in a pinch. A spreadsheet, a phone and a car are all you need. Today, however, that has changed. Why did I title this post “Face to face selling is dead?” I know its obvious but we can not go meet with clients or anyone else for that matter face to face. We don’t know how long this will last. I do know however that having this capability will not only allow you to survive now but for those who invest in this model will flourish in the future. We have been using this model for years and helping our customers leverage it too.

Since we are a Microsoft partner I’m going to recommend to you the tools we use. There are other great tools out there but for the purpose of this post, I’ll be describing what we do using the tools we use each day.

I am recommending the Microsoft suite of remote worker tools.  

  • Microsoft Office 365 for email, calendar, tasks and contact management
  • Microsoft Teams for phone calls, conference capability, presentations where you can share your screen
    • Omnichannel communication capability (social, chat, web and telephony)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM for sales, marketing & customer service
  • Optional: Customer insights for data consolidation and AI-driven insights

With our new reality could you imagine running your business with no web site, no email or telephone capability? For many of us losing our social media tools would hurt our business.

Managing a virtual sales team is all about the tools. The tools need to be set up to reinforce the process we just described in the previous section. Take a good hard look at your tools and make sure you have optimized them to work for you.


There is an old saying, “What gets measured gets done”. Here is another question for you. If you are at home, your sales team is at home and your customers are at home how do you measure what needs to get done? The answer is:

  • process 
  • then tools 
  • then measurement.  

If you have Microsoft Dynamics 365 you have built-in charts and dashboards to help you. You also may have Power BI which gives you incredible reporting and measurement capability. Measure and inspect what you expect and give feedback to your team regularly.


I have given many presentations on the topic of sales excellence. In every one of them, data has been at the core of them. It is a pretty advanced thing to be able to do well but if you can start to use the data you do have about your current and prospective customers your communications will be much more relevant and successful. Start thinking about bringing your data from the different systems you use today to manage your customers. The secret to what your prospects will respond to is in the data. Microsoft has a tool called customer insights that ingests the data from sources you point it to and uses AI to tell you what stories the data is telling you. This information will allow you to run campaigns that are much more targeted and relevant to your prospects.

As sales leaders, the companies we work for are looking to us for leadership through this situation. Look to others for advice and help as you continue to put your business continuity plans in place.   

In my first role as a sales leader many years ago my mentor gave me this advice. He said to make sure I decided what three to six things I wanted my team to focus on and make sure that was consistently understood by each person. Then measure and coach to those expectations.  

You’re not in this alone. The sales leader community is very close and willing to help. 

Please connect with me on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/salesleadershipsuccess/ if you have any questions you would like me to answer.  

Thank you and stay safe.