Sales professionals are operating in a very different landscape than usual with the Covid-19 pandemic catching many off guard. However, this is an opportunity to focus on what defines sales success; to adapt and pivot.
If you want to succeed in sales during this pandemic and beyond, here are 4 things to consider.
1: Be relevant, offer value, adapt your communication style
How sales individuals communicate is more import now than ever.
In the current sensitive climate where most client sales meetings are being conducted via video or phone calls, a consultative and conversational tone is what works best. This is something that sales professionals should be practicing and refining as this approach will continue to be the best way to connect with prospects once restrictions are lifted.
Some ways to achieve this includes doing your research to better understand how you can help your prospect, articulating your relevancy, and that you are available to provide service to your client immediately.
Within the B2B sales space it has been identified that sales professionals that come across as too ‘salesy’ with a more aggressive and direct approach are just creating an uncomfortable situation, and usually and unresponsive reaction.
2: Nurture existing relationships
Something important to keep front of mind as we ride out Covid-19 and beyond, is to nurture existing relationships that you have built. Client retention is critical, and making the most of existing relationships, particularly during the Covid-19 period, may be the best option in a lot of cases.
Identifying any up-sell or cross-sell opportunities that exist is a great way to ensure you are bringing in revenue from within your current client portfolio, but tread carefully, as an agressive or insensitive sales approach is unlikely to yield results. Putting more time into thorough research of existing accounts, upskilling across all product offerings, and strategising with internal subject matter experts should be actioned. You ideally want to improve your profile as a subject matter expert during this period, in your areas of expertise.
3: Time for a ‘Covid Clean-up’
Sales individuals typically have ‘clean up my CRM or prospect sheet’ on the bottom of their to-do list. Despite good intentions, these jobs just never seem to get done!
So, now is most definitely the time to make sure all the tedious admin is done. It’s a perfect opportunity to do it without as much distraction. Investing time cleansing and loading your CRM with high quality data will give your business a competitive edge and is likely to make a big difference to your efficiency when we are back in an office environment.
4: Define your sales plan and eat that frog!
And as we return to a more familiar work pace, it is important have a clear strategy in place such as a 30/60/90 day plan. One method that is proven to yield results is to plan out clear goals around 4 key criteria being Performance, Learning, Initiative/Creative and Personal.
As we edge toward a date when social distancing restrictions will lift, we can start to apply those 30/60/90 principles with better clarity (albeit without that crystal ball!) Really drill down on what you want to achieve using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable realistic, time-bound) goals. Include an overall quarterly goal, monthly goals and then plan out each day in blocks, clearly specifying what you want to action and acheive in each block.
Plan each day’s calls and follow ups the day before, and then work through your list ticking each item off as you go. It’s important when you can to put the hardest tasks first in your day. Read ‘Eat That Frog!’ by Brian Tracy for an excellent perspective on how to be productive.
Overall, there is a massive opportunity to recapture market share and achieve career results. If you are a sales professional or sales manager, putting in the ground work now while others do not will separate you from your competitors. Having the right strategies in place will enable you to succeed during Covid-19 and beyond.
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