COVID-19 has impacted companies globally. With the increase of this pandemic, companies have to change the way they work. It is very critical and challenging to acquire customers in this situation. Many countries are at the risk of a recession outbreak according to this report by Washington post. .
At this time when all the teams are affected due to COVID, the teams who communicate with the customers day in and day out, like the sales teams, are widely impacted.
Companies have started building remote sales teams to survive in this market. Right now it is not important to scale the business but teams who have retained their customers at this time will come out stronger when things become steady.
It is very important to understand that the pandemic has affected not only the companies but also the customers. Earlier with one phone call, the customer can easily connect with the salesperson and it would ease their purchase process.
So it is important to believe that the customers also need you. The sales teams who will crack this and understand the customer’s pain point in this situation will definitely be able to scale high.
To make it easy for you, after talking to multiple sales representatives and business development managers, we have laid out 9 productive strategies the sales team can adapt amidst COVID-19.
Let us Take a Dive Into These Productive Sales Strategies.
1. Hear Your Customer Out.
The salespeople who talk to the customers every day are the ones who directly represent your brand. Given the situation of the pandemic, these are the customer-facing teams and it is more important for now than ever to listen to your customer and know the pain points they have.
You can prioritize your day’s sales calls using a sales call software and record calls directly from your browser. This will help you understand and head your customers better. Also, increase your communication with the support teams. When you want to know the areas of improvement, the reports from the support team will show you the pain points of the customer.
As a salesperson, you are always taught to be aggressive and close more deals. But due to this pandemic, show some empathy to them before selling your solution. Giving a one time discount and coupon on lifetime deals can be one of the many options that a salesperson can use.
2. Understand The Situation Of Your Customer
It is very important to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers, to find the right time, the right tool, and the right way to communicate. The situation due to the pandemic is worse and even your customer is working remotely from home. Asking them for feedback is necessary as it helps you to improve the mistakes that you have done earlier, but at the same time sending feedback and reviewing your product may not be the top priority for the customers.
When you show empathy towards your customers in their bad days, they will remember you for a long time. Relationship building is one of the strongest ways for sales teams to close more deals. An important sales strategy amidst this pandemic is how the sales team follow up with the customers. The earlier aggressive cold calls every two days followed by a cold email the next day has to be changed. Personalize your emails to the max, do not send follow-ups every day. Be open communication from all the channels. Once you put yourself in customers' shoes, things will surely be clear.
3. Dig Your Cold leads.
The sales team receives a lot of cold leads which makes it to their list after the nurturing process. Many times, they forget to follow up on these cold leads and move on with the other leads that are warm or hot. Maybe at that time, they were not looking for a new solution but what if they are now?
In this crisis, start searching for these unnoticed leads and start following them. Talk to them but understand their situation. As said earlier, you do not want to push them.
Many companies do have an extra budget especially saved for difficult times like this and maybe they haven’t stopped spending, but are shifting their spending into different areas, or spending differently with multiple vendors. You don’t want to miss out on these leads.
It is always a good idea to revisit your list of long-term sales leads and check with them. You never know it may lead you to something that you did not expect.
4. Be Ready To Adapt To The New Change
The world is moving from one day to another and it is true that change is the only constant. The needs of your prospects change and you have to adapt to it, Your prospects or the companies that offer your solution are also facing the same crisis that you are.
The uncertainty and challenging business processes are the same for them too. Maybe your solution that you offer, might suddenly be a better fit for them. The vendor that they were dependent on, might have run out of business, or maybe the other company is being acquired by some bigger giant.
There are n number possibilities and you should be ready to adapt to these changes
5. Have a solid sales process that is consistent.
No one thought that the world would go remote in such a short duration. When things are good, companies become complacent and ignore the sales process that they have. So now when things are uncertain, go through the motions of the sales process, and start analyzing every customer conversation Using sales enablement software will enable the teams to counter objections with the best possible feedback and smart playlist.
Understand that the situation post-COVID will be very competitive to allow for this kind of complacency. Every second deal will count more important than earlier. You can't be improving your sales process right now. You can’t assume that every customer who contacts you is ready and eager to buy.
Make a consistent sales process that shows every stage of the customer journey.
- Lead Generation
- Discovery call with a sales rep
- Product demo
- Conversations with Stakeholder
- Q&A with decision-makers
- Closing the deal
This is not industry-specific but in general, every industry has the same sales process. Also, not all the customers will spend the same time in these stages. Someone who already has read your blogs about product pages, might know the product in and out very well and directly jump to the next stage, while someone who is new to your product may spend a lot of time in the initial stages.
When you have a sales process intact, you can guide your customers better through each stage of the process, save time and maximize your effort, and get them ready to buy.
6. Utilize The Time To Improve
Due to the decrease in in-person visits, commuting, and reduced time in travel in general, you will have a smaller sales cycle.
Talk to your team and make new objectives for the sales strategies that your team always intended to do but kept pushing off. You definitely will have some unexecuted tasks that you might want to run now. Be prepared to use that time to your advantage.
Sales teams mostly focus on customer acquisition and selling the product in general. They miss understanding and learning new technologies that they should have knowledge of. This can be the time for sales coaching.
7. Discover The Unexplored Territories
At times when you have your options limited, you have to look at different ways to increase your sales. One of the best sales strategies amidst this pandemic is to find and create new opportunities. To start with, research the other territories that are not yet explored.
There are numerous industries that are switching to digital ways for their solution instead of the old school techniques. Research around these territories and find out their requirements and necessities. Here a competitive analysis also helps. Check what your friends at other companies are doing. CEOs do not talk to CEOs but sales reps do talk to sales reps.
Talking to them will confirm that there might be some possibilities of getting into the other industries. Find the right person there and try to schedule a meeting with them. A couple of cold calls and follows ups will definitely land you a prospect that can be nurtured by the team. A further dive into and you will realize that there are so many places that you still haven't touched and they might be a potential customer for you.
COVID-19 has definitely created a wide impact on the business and workflows. Since the sales team are the ones that face the customer, it becomes more difficult for them.
But consider this time as a phase and try to utilize the moment. It is important to hold your team together and help them improve their flaws. Create a learning environment for the, where the sales reps can learn what’s working and what’s not for the brand.
You can also collaborate with your teammates and be a part of their learning journey.
Results first, payment later.