The world of sales has never been an easy arena to contend in, unless of course you are producing the worlds first vaccine to Coronavirus.
The last year has stretched sales professionals across the globe to adapt, diversify and evolve. From networking events morning noon and night ensuring a weekly supermarket shop was a thing of the past to online, working from home and desk bound.
With many organisations still monitoring sales activity and success based on the number of meetings – irrespective of the output, do we have an over reliance on such activity? With the option of face to face all but removed, we’ve had to get more imaginative – well at least we should have.
It saddens me although does not surprise me that I’m sure like me, you’ve received more than ever cold, unwarranted and multiple invitations and subsequent messages on LinkedIn.
Interestingly the approach seems to be if they don’t respond, just try again and again, each message getting a little more curt and opting for shock tactics. Our sales people are trained for a face to face era not the one we are living in and will not do for some time so how can we adapt?
Whilst an omnichannel approach is indeed a hugely important factor in the future of sales, this tact surely cannot be sustainable and begs the question, have we forgotten how to interact?
There’s a Maya Angelou quote I use in every single one of our Sales training webinars and have done since we launched in 2019. ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel’.
This couldn’t be more reflective of the times and goes for all forms of communication especially as we are deprived of face to face contact. Coronavirus has enabled us to engage with people across the globe from the comfort of our own homes. It has opened new markets to us, new networks and new opportunities. It has taught us that one size does not fit all and engagement is indeed a personal thing. So what have we truly learnt and adapted to?
Try this not only from a business perspective but also from a sales perspective.
How will your sales teams adapt? What lessons have they learnt from lockdown, how have we become more efficient?
Relationships have never been more important and so as we have been deprived of face to face contact, how do we even know if we can sell face to face, build rapport or will we reenact the LinkedIn direct messages and just cut to the chase?
The last twelve months have taught us more than ever to focus on our existing customers even more. With statistics from both the Harvard Business Review and Forbes claiming the cost to retain a client versus acquiring a new one is anywhere between 5 – 25x – it’s non-negotiable.
So why do we always chase the new? We spend so much time in our personal and professional lives looking for more, we often forget those right in front of us. Business Development is an important aspect of course but surely working with your existing customers to further develop your relationship and also their spend is equally important. For these customers can help guide your product development, innovation, become your own brand ambassadors and sales force.
1. KYC – Really get to know your customers better than ever before. We often presume our customers know us and our products inside out – but do they?
2. Omnichannel or Out – Engagement on multiple levels is essential. One size does not fit all.
3. Add Value – We operate in a world where we are rarely if ever the sole producer of what we do so adding true value is non-negotiable.
4. STOP / START / CONTINUE – Have a go yourself…
5. Retention – what’s your plan?
Jessica Williams, Founder – Just Williams
By Just Williams