Numerous businesses across the globe have taken a hit because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – and not just retail businesses. With the stock market being so volatile and thousands of people being furloughed, it seems as if the economy has stepped over the pause button.
While it may be arduous to drive revenue right now, you can still sell amid the COVID-19 and expect it to pay off as things slowly but surely return to normal. However, there is no denying that these circumstances are extremely new frontiers for you as well as for us at MarketJoy, and the old rules no longer apply.
Over the past months, our team at MarketJoy has seen a significant increase in the number of customers asking for guidance on how to adapt and tailor their sales strategy to accommodate a global pandemic and a struggling economy. Below are some crucial steps Leaders, Outreach Administrators, and Sellers need to take:
UPDATE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION AND PERSONAS
Ask yourself, how have your potential prospect’s priorities have changed in the past few months? Are they facing more risk or a sudden opportunity? Is the pandemic benefitting them or hurting them? Your content most likely references a value proposition or “why buy now” statements. Some of the propositions that were once normal and appealing will not resonate with your prospects today. The value you provided a few months ago might be irrelevant. Alternatively, maybe how you message your value might need some tweaking. Before you change anything in your Outreach instance, think critically about how your value proposition and personas should be changed according to current circumstances.
LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
Your sales and customer-facing teams should make it a priority to schedule daily team meetings or discussions to share customer feedback and concerns they have been hearing from sales prospects. This enables teams to better understand the broader impact and implications of the situation and discuss any patterns and trends that are evident with customers and could help design a plan to aid and service them. These important insights can then be funneled up to team leaders to help gauge and better understand COVID-19’s impact on the overall business.
PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR CUSTOMER’S SHOES
Above all, empathy, transparency, and vulnerability are more important than ever. Think about where your prospect is located, the market they serve, and the industry they are in before reaching out. Most of your potential prospects might be already preoccupied with supporting their customers. Sometimes the best thing to do is not initiate contact with a prospect immediately and wait for the right time. Trust and the strongest relationships are built in the most difficult times.
CHANGE YOUR COMMUNICATION CHANNEL
It is likely that your buyers in the EU and the US are working from home and are undergoing a period of stifled communication. Based on what we are hearing from customers at MarketJoy, the feedback seems to be mixed concerning what channels are most effective when connecting with sales prospects right now. Given that many people are suddenly working from home, some professionals may or may not have set up call forwarding from their business phone to their personal cell phones. Re-evaluate the mix of steps in your sequence and think about the channel that may work best in your situation and with the particular prospect. This will likely evolve over the coming months so researching different channels or constantly testing will be important.
COLLABORATE, DON’T PITCH
Your prospects’ attention is more divided than ever. Market research is proving this to be true — TOPO surveyed 350+ sales professionals to understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their pipeline and found that nearly 50% of buyers aren’t willing to book a meeting right now. Fortunately, sales is not about just one meeting or the short term, especially in today’s current circumstances. Equip your team to acknowledge the moment. Make sure that your calls are not “business as usual”. Most importantly, let the buyers drive the deals moving forward.
PRIORITIZE INTERNAL COMMUNICATION
The way your team leaders communicate and interact with their teams greatly impacts morale and adaptability. It is challenging enough to not feel isolated and unmotivated in quarantine – to keep teams engaged; leaders should make it a top priority to keep communication and company culture alive throughout remote work. It is important to keep a regular cadence of updates to encourage team camaraderie and maintain company culture.
KEEP YOUR SALES TEAM MOTIVATED
For most sales teams, company and team culture are likely synonymous with competition, or another form of motivation. Accolades such as the highest performer and highest attendance may not look the same this quarter or even this year. However, if finances allow, leaderboards, bonuses for sales and other incentives can still be a part of your team’s culture, and can easily be adapted for remote work from home. If your team uses Salesforce, you can use the platform to see real-time sales prospecting updates and deal leaderboards.
Now is the time to make sure your processes are buttoned-up. We have many customers in tough markets that are going to struggle with outbound sales right now, especially in travel, hospitality, and health care. More than ever, these businesses may need to rely on other methods to ensure they are building and protecting revenue where possible. Above all else, at MarketJoy, we strongly believe that making real connections with other people is more important than ever during this time of uncertainty. Stay healthy and take care of each other. Contact us to help your sales team adapt to the new WFH world.