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March 13, 2024

Simon Cowart


VP of Growth

The remote COVID era is clearly in our rearview. And as we look back, we’re now able to objectively see the impacts of our Zoom-based world.

For example, a 2023 Gallup survey found that remote employees expressed disconnection from their companies post-COVID. As a result, today 16% of American employees are “actively disengaged” at work. 

That same disconnection also impacts sales conversations. For starters, it’s difficult for sales people to meaningfully connect with a prospect if that individual is already disengaged at his/her/their job. In addition, selling via a screen is just plain tough. Nearly half of businesses in a recent Harvard Business Review white paper say that remote selling is less effective.

B2B sales and marketing is irreparably changed by the last four years, with traditional outside sales techniques unquestionably seeing a decline. However, a new era of hybridized sales processes has emerged - one that still very much values in-person interactions. Below are a few examples:


A recent report from CVENT found that in-person attendance at conferences 23% higher in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, CES 2023 saw the highest attendance of any global tech event since 2020 with over 115,000 attendees, causing CEO Gary Shapiro to declare “in-person events are BACK!” 

While conferences and events are back, they’re also seeing the rise of a hybrid model, one where in-person attendance is clearly preferred but within which virtual tools and methods for attendance are now vital. 

While much of this planning is up to conference organizers, ask about livestreaming so you can share speaking engagements to your networks. If so, a great way to bring remote and live audiences together during a SME’s talk is through the inclusion of live polling or other audience engagement tools, but make sure you’re ready to roll with the results!  

To further cater to remote attendees, plan a follow up Q&A on Zoom for an intimate group of prospects where the speaker can field 1:1 questions with prospects who weren’t able to sit in a physical seat. 

Small touch points

While most of your prospect engagements will be digital, intentionally use your budget for things that give a physical connection. For example:

  • If your prospect has an offsite team retreat, send a physical gift for them to enjoy at the hotel.

  • If the prospect works from home and you can’t drop off donuts, use grocery and booze delivery services to drop an item on the porch.  

  • Is their whole team remote? Gift cards for attendees to buy lattes at a local coffee shop for a team meeting would go a long way toward showing you aren’t just a face on a screen. 

The key is to be thoughtful and create the most meaningful and human connection you can, from afar. 

Old fashioned mail

Speaking of small touch points, 98% of Americans check their mailbox everyday but when they open it, there’s 40% fewer letters and packages inside. So, send a hand written note as a follow up to virtual meetings and consider adding direct mail back into your lead gen mix.

Intentional travel

While outside selling is less prominent post-COVID, being onsite with a prospect on occasion is still very valuable but the format has hybridized. For example, if you have a big sales meeting coming up and your colleagues can only attend on zoom, you should still go be physically in the room with the prospect. 

So dust off your comfortable shoes, find some postage stamps and maybe upgrade the carry-on bag; it’s time to look each other in the face and build those solid human connections once again. 

Alloy can help your brand create elegant in-person and digital experiences that engage buyers, existing customers and employees alike.