Time to change.
We’ve been hearing for years about the trends in mobility and a market shift towards remote workers. This progressively more digital business world we live in has been prodding us to review and incrementally adapt within our own comfort zones, however, the seismic shifts we have experienced in recent weeks totally reframes the business environment for all, and forces us to make the changes we’ve been complacent about, yet all knew were inevitably coming sometime down the track.
This is a watershed moment for dealers and their sales teams to adjust the sales model to one more well-aligned with the needs of today. Gen X and Millenial ITDM’s, and the ways they prefer to do business are what we need to cater to better.
With some exceptions, most in our industry are now feeling the necessary pain and urgency we have actually needed to get serious about reshaping our sales processes and making social selling, inbound marketing, online meetings, and having deeper, richer conversations with customers the strategy we excel at for successful selling in a repositioned business environment, and we that intend to thrive versus simply survive, best get good at the skills required in that new marketplace.
The good news is that even though the complex selling in our industry has traditionally been handled in field sales roles, research shows that buyers do not see anywhere near the same value in face to face meetings with sales reps as sales reps feel they do, and buyers are more than willing to interact in different ways.
As sellers, we need to lead and sell differently, and our buyers need to be shown how to buy differently. Now is the time to make the changes that will not only move you successfully through this pandemic period but also set you up more effectively for the future of professional selling in our industry.
Customer intimacy matters.
Establishing, nurturing and growing relationships is the result of customer experiences, and the defining moments where you exceed their expectations will drive their loyalty. Think in terms of what matters to your customer and what value you can give them, rather than what you want to sell them, especially right now.
What are the issues they are dealing with now, and how can you help them address those issues. Bring your insights and expertise to the table and lead with perspective, educate the customer, help them think differently.
Get more active with social media and social networking, this will help you build your presence and credibility to better connect, grow, and mind your contacts reach.
Leverage available technology.
If you don’t yet have the most effective platforms in place that bring you the advantage you need, take this time to put those in place now so you will come out of this current difficult period stronger and better placed than you came into it.
Utilise the data in your sales force automation system effectively. Make sure you are organised with the content needed, and competent in using the tools and resources necessary to conduct high-quality web meetings such as zoom or go to meeting facilities.
And now that you are spending less time traveling, you should be able to repurpose that time and make more calls, touch more customers, and schedule more web meetings than you could ever expect to touch and schedule using traditional field-based sales approaches.
Make no mistake, this restructured sales approach will be a big part of the new world as the market readjustment back, stops somewhere quite different than the position it was in before.
In fact, it makes a lot of sense to approach today’s circumstances as your opportunity to make the changes, and get great at selling without being on-site with customers anywhere near as often in the future.
Have an agenda for web meetings, ensure you have the right content at hand to share, be adept at shifting the focus strategies in order to keep their attention throughout and prevent the prospect from being distracted and multitasking during the call with you. This will take some practice, skill development and preparation on your behalf.
Also too many of our salespeople still ‘wing it’ in their sales processes. The evidence clearly shows that you will sell more if you have a defined sales process and follow it. If you need some help there, get it.
Selling during social distancing and beyond will require you to be disciplined and maintain the necessary levels of activity you will need for success in this new model. Secondly, it’s critical to ensure quality in every customer interaction, and finally, you will need to focus on bringing perspective for the customer as you lead an educate them about how you can help.
Article by Paul Brady