Closing sales in 2020 is vastly different from 2019. It can’t be denied that the world has changed, as a result of a global pandemic that was only on the fringes of many people’s awareness at the start of the year.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is sweeping across the world. Due to the nature of the virus, and the ease of its transmission, it has caused a global pandemic. Governments and businesses are attempting to be proactive by reacting quickly to the evolving situation.
Entire sectors, such as leisure and tourism have been effectively shut down, at least until infection rates level out and reduce.
With the global GDP shrinking, albeit supported by governments and central banks, sales have become more challenging, and economists predict that they will remain so until vaccines aren’t developed.
No one wants to use the R word (recession), but there are sufficient economic warning signs to say that’s exactly what we are entering.
So, how can a sales teams keep selling in these challenging times?
5 Tips For Sales In 2020
#1: Be helpful
Everyone wants the world to go back to normal tomorrow. Sadly, this isn’t possible. We are in the early stages of a changing world, one where the impact of events today will be felt for years to come.
Provided your company is still operational, or operating on reduced strength, as a salesperson your job is to close deals and keep the pipeline flowing. Sales has become more important than ever.
Companies need to quickly strengthen revenue every way they can. The importance of a strong marketing team must not be forgotten; this is one area that needs continual or new investment as it supports the sales team.
However, we need to remember that it isn’t business as usual.
When it comes to sales, marketing messages and materials, we can’t operate in a vacuum. We can’t navigate around and ignore the global pandemic. Everyone is worried, scared, thinking, talking and effected by it. Sales and marketing teams therefore need to adjust the tone and message, which we will talk more about later.
At the heart of this change in tone is an emphasis on being helpful.
Salespersons must think about the product/services being offered. How do they add value? Are there ways to bring as much of this value, or related value, to the forefront to help current and potential clients? Are there other ways your company can help?
This does not necessarily mean anything virus related. Simply being helpful in a way that goes beyond the usual relationship-building or transactional approaches that were the norm before the pandemic will go a long way.
Businesses that add more value and are helpful shall prosper during and after this global pandemic.
#2: Be Mindful Of The Tone And Message
As part of being helpful, it is important to remember the tone and the message.
Taking a tone deaf approach isn’t going to win new business right now. Times are tough. Pitching as if nothing is going on won’t move the needle on hitting sales targets.
The tone of voice and the message — in sales and marketing materials and emails — needs to evolve to be mindful of the situation we are living in. Start with being helpful.
Whether it’s an example of something practical your company is doing, or hints and tips to support clients, you need to put that at the forefront of sales and marketing efforts.
As part of that: we need to accept that now is the time we can be real with one another. Even during outreach, acknowledge the situation. No hard selling and pitching.
Be helpful, mindful, and aware that prospects and clients could be having a hard time. With the right tone, message and sales/marketing materials, you can make more progress than the methods which served you before the pandemic.
#3: Have Up-To-Date Prospect Data
Don’t be afraid to pitch at new prospects.
Now is not the time to let the sales pipeline run dry.
Even if a prospect can’t say yes right away, you’ll have established a relationship and strengthened the pipeline for the future.
In many countries and regions quarantine or lockdown is in effect; no one is meeting in-person. Many offices are empty. So it isn’t useful to call a switchboard and hope to get through to the right person. Sales calls and demos are on the phone, or using VOIP and other video-based platforms.
Having the right data at hand, and knowing who to contact within an organisation, is essential to sales right now. Armed with B2B account data based on ideal customer profiles, you can prospect and pitch with confidence, getting through to budget holders and decision makers without loads of grunt work.
#4: Add Value, Wherever Possible
As we’ve mentioned earlier, now is the time to add value. Going in for a cold pitch, whether via email, a LinkedIn message, or phone, won’t get you far.
Add value first. Acknowledge the global situation. Ask people how they are doing – in short, be human.
It isn’t a numbers game anymore. Now is the time to listen more, focus more effectively on what prospects need and want, and build relationships.
Helping people and adding value is the best way to go about this, to demonstrate that you’re working for a good company that can make a positive contribution to what your prospects need.
#5: Use Screen-Sharing And Instant Demos For Sales Calls
Whether you are on inbound or outbound sales, you need the right tools to reach prospects.
For field sales teams, this pandemic has forced most to work from home. Inside sales teams, who’ve always been based in offices, are also working from home. But more importantly, your prospects are likely at home too.
Provided there is still budget for new products and services, you need a way to demo a product or service quickly and effortlessly.
CrankWheel is one such solution. It’s easy-to-use, for prospects and clients, and sales teams; giving you the ability to screen-share or Instant Demo a product or service via a link sent to any device.
Prospects don’t have to download anything. Simply send them a link, ask them how they’re doing, and see how you can add value, be helpful, and establish a new working relationship.
Sales is changing. Hitting targets is going to be challenging for the next few quarters, maybe years.
Now more than ever, sales prospects need help, in one form or another. Aim to add value, be mindful, helpful, real, and build relationships that should out-last this global pandemic.
Jói Sigurdsson, Founder & CEO of CrankWheel, a zero hassle screen sharing web and mobile-based app, designed to help field and inside sales teams increase conversion rates and engagement with prospects.