We’ve gathered the following five sales articles and summarized their key points to help you stay on top of current trends in your field. Keep reading to find out what business news you should know about to stay informed as COVID-19 lingers on in society.
Even as more businesses move back to their original in-person operations, digital prospecting and selling aren’t going anywhere. Zoom calls, digital client research and other virtual client-related tasks will likely be a permanent part of the sales landscape.
“The good news is that some things will be better than before. Sometimes it takes a big kick in the pants to change people and this crisis has certainly been that for many of us.
In the sales domain, this big change has accelerated the trend to digital selling. As sales forces have been sent home and told their clients won’t meet them with them in-person, they have had to use new digital tools just to keep doing their job.
Much of this should have happened in the old world but many people did not change their habits. In the lockdown world those people have no choice but to dive in. Some of those new digital selling habits will stick. Many will be better off because of it.” Nigel Edelshain
Companies are looking for new pathways to growth after previous attempts have been thwarted by lockdowns. Direct sales are the way to go for many businesses. Online platforms have been a powerful prospecting source for a long time, but COVID-19 has ushered in a whole new mindset regarding them.
“I have always been a strong advocate for having a direct sales relationship with your customers built on trust, a solid product and in the case of marketing, humor. Now is the time to double down on that mindset, especially when social media and online platforms are the only ways you're going to connect with potential new customers.” Benton Crane
Where B2B transactions are concerned, women are quickly dominating the field. Sales trends show that the current sales environment between businesses favors women for several reasons. COVID-19 appears to be one of them, as well as the unique strengths that women tend to possess.
“Today’s digitally savvy, self-sufficient, and more informed buyers have new expectations of salespeople. Buyers expect salespeople to add value beyond what digital tools provide. To do this, salespeople need capabilities for collaborating with customers and shaping solutions. These capabilities, focused on addressing customer needs, have become more important for sales success than persuasion capabilities, such as influencing customers and driving outcomes. And this plays to women’s strengths.
Covid-19 has put the deep freeze on many industries. As we emerge from the pandemic and commerce thrives again, the shift to remote selling using video and digital channels will have lasting impact on sales. This will boost the power of women, as capabilities at which women excel align perfectly with the morphing world of sales and the evolving needs of customers.” Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, Sally E. Lorimer, Tania Lennon and Emily Alexander
As COVID-19 has changed the landscape of society, so too has it changed the way that businesses approach every aspect of their operations. This includes their sales straetgy. Many businesses will likely go through several phases of change.
“It's been about eight weeks since the first shelter-in-place orders of 2020 and unfortunately, I see no signs that the crisis will be resolved any time soon. Thirty million Americans had filed unemployment claims as of April 30, 2020, and businesses are suffering. I have been through several downturns in my career but nothing like this. We are all learning together on how to survive and then thrive in a crisis.
Recently my consulting company took a survey of sales VPs, and speaking to them illuminated the difficult position in which many executives find themselves. Their teams are relying upon them to act as true leaders in a crisis situation and navigate through treacherous, unknown waters like captains in a severe, unanticipated storm.
In my opinion, there will be three distinct phases of the COVID-19 sales situation that could apply to future crises. Phase one is the fear of the unknown. Phase two is about adjusting to the crisis. Phase three is the question mark. I see many companies moving from phase one to phase two; however, not all companies are making this transition yet.” Sally Duby
Sales teams need to start prepping for a professional landscape that is powered by AI. Sales professionals should embrace new technologies and strive to understand how they can help their careers.
“The world of sales can be a tightrope walk knowing when to strive for a better deal, when to walk away and when to compromise. Often this requires human skills derived from years of experience and the ability to correctly interpret data in order to operate effectively. However, with expertise comes human error, from something as simple as typos to misjudging a customer's intentions to close a deal.
In my years in sales, I've seen agreements fall through for any number of reasons, from a misguided quote to mistrust to overly long finalization times. While the human connection factor remains a significant part of closing any deal, the advances in technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), can help negate the impact of other factors.” Denis Kostusev
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