Hybrider Vertrieb: Darauf kommt es im Vertrieb 4.0 an

Charlotte Malz
Head of Marketing, BSI

Sales 4.0 is several steps ahead of the old-school approach. This development has been driven by customers’ service expectations and the digital presence of companies, both of which developed rapidly during the pandemic. It is the new normal in which any sales strategy must prove itself.

Key points

  • Hybrid selling combines analog and digital sales channels and is part of a holistic, hybrid customer experience;
  • Banks, retailers and insurers can offer excellent service experiences when they use the hybrid sales approach;
  • Additional sales channels expand companies’ sales opportunities;
  • Sales 4.0 requires a sophisticated technical infrastructure.

What is hybrid selling? The definition of an innovation

The digitization of sales is not likely to be anything new to companies. The Coronavirus pandemic accelerated it, and companies had to find ways to engage with customers despite their employees working from home or being in quarantine. This being the case, many digital communication channels were established.

The result of this irreversible development is a sales model that fully incorporates the advantages of digital technologies. Digital and analog sales channels, combined with cross-departmental access to current and relevant customer data, constitute hybrid selling. Retaining the good elements of the old approach and expanding them with exciting new possibilities is what Sales 4.0 aspires to.

Remarkable! Hybrid sales channels have increased by up to 171% (RUB, 2021).

Meeting your customers halfway

At the heart of any sales strategy is the goal of giving your customers what they need. Customers who are hybrid want companies to use a hybrid sales approach, too. They want to play an active role in shaping the buyer’s journey and contact companies without regard to time and place.


A white paper on this topic

A hybrid sales approach alone does not guarantee that it will be successful with today’s customers. What is needed is a hybrid customer experience that is consistent. Our white paper explains how to design and build it for your company in seven steps.

Consistent customer proximity is one of the main concepts behind Sales 4.0. The increased use of digital channels increases your company’s efficiency, and by thoroughly integrating your digital resources, you give your target group expanded service options.

More than ever before, it is important to know that customers do not buy products; they buy a benefit instead. If you have additional options to give them added value through better service, you will significantly increase your sales opportunities.

How do you do hybrid selling in practice?

Retailers send personalized messages and promote products via social media, answering related questions via Instant Messenger. At the same time, a digital birthday card with a voucher arrives in a customer’s e-mail inbox. This voucher invites the customer to shop by offering them a customized gift if they place an order.

Insurers offer potential customers webinars on current topics and then invite them to have a sales consultation which they may conduct online on request. Policies can even be concluded directly through the service portal.

Banks make opening a checking account as easy as creating a new e-mail account. At the same time, they offer the option of providing in-person expert advice on sensitive topics locally.

Creating a technical foundation

For hybrid customer journeys to succeed, you need to consider various aspects. In particular, the technical infrastructure must conform to the requirements. Here are the three main factors:

1. Data management

To delight your customers, you must understand them. For that, you need data. The larger your sales teams, the easier it is for data silos to form, which is a common challenge for insurers with independent generalagencies like our customer HDI, for example. So, you want to consolidate your customer data by using a central Customer Data Platform (CDP).

2. Lead routing

Hybrid selling means teamwork. Various specialists and teams participate in different channels and stages of the buyer’s journey. The fluid handover of leads is a prerequisite for a consistent and delightful experience. Sales management and lead routing are essential elements.

3. A total experience

Your sales infrastructure must be designed uniformly. By thinking inclusively across corporate areas, you build seamless technology-powered customer journeys. By thinking about the experiences of customers and users, sales staff and sales partners as one unit, you also integrate knowledge from the employee experience, dismantle barriers and create seamless processes for the absolute best customer experience across all channels. As part of the total experience strategy, all customer experience touchpoints, including sales, become a hybrid unit.

Sales are becoming smarter: 77% of companies invest significantly more in sales technologies (LinkedIn, 2021).

The dos and don’ts of Sales 4.0

Make good decisions and celebrate sustainably growing successes.


Unified customer experiences

Have a uniform and consistent presence on each channel – digital and analog. Send clear signals and connect seamlessly to earlier contacts.

Online customer appointments

If you can conduct an appointment online, do it online. Your employees can invest the time they gain directly into strong service performance.

Using platforms

Some of the most important hybrid sales channels are platforms like LinkedIn and Xing, Facebook and Messenger groups. Don’t let social selling opportunities pass you by.


Your customers don’t want to wait; they want to take the initiative. Make the resources and information they need easily accessible to them.


Separate departments

You don’t want to create a break in the customer experience. Marketing, service and field and in-house sales must have access to the same information and functions across departments.

Focus on e-mail

Hybrid communication means engaging with customers where they are. As convenient as it may seem, don’t focus on e-mail communication alone.

Neglect the building of relationships

Using digital channels also means there is more physical distance. Make sure that this does not create a distance in the relationship with your customers.

Neglect the building of relationships

Using digital channels also means there is more physical distance. Make sure that this does not create a distance in the relationship with your customers.

Next Best Action: BSI

The next best action: Network your goals with BSI.

Zeno Hug, Creator of Customer Delight

+41 58 255 99 59


BSI Customer Suite

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