The coronavirus has certainly taken us all on a ride this year, hasn’t it? But as with any major life disruption, there are opportunities hidden in the chaos. It’s just a matter of finding them.
The pandemic offers the opportunity to take stock of your business—what you’re doing well, what needs some work, and what you could be doing but aren’t—and make adjustments so you can keep moving forward. In this blog, we invite you to take a look at your sales strategy—to rethink both what you’re selling and how you’re selling it—so you can keep the leads coming in and your sales numbers high.
Pay Attention to Changing Customer Needs
Sales are what connect your offerings to the market. To make that connection, you need to keep a pulse on your customers’ needs.
Lifestyle shifts due to the pandemic mean customer needs have changed. Ask yourself: “What do my customers need (or want) that they aren’t getting?” Or, perhaps even more importantly, “What are they getting from my competitors that I’m not offering?” Use those insights to inform your strategy.
This is a chance to learn more about the issues that drive greater or reduced use of your products, identify new problems you could help customers solve, and build a strategy that adapts your offerings to capitalize on these things. It’s an opportunity to get clear about the issues that are likely to drive customer buying choices.
Adjust Your Messaging
Next, consider how you can reposition your product or service to solve your customers’ problems or concerns. How can you communicate to your prospects the ways in which you can help them adjust to the changing environment?
Reframe the way you sell so you are focusing on the most urgent concerns of your prospects, such as pandemic-related business disruptions, problems with their supply chain, or how to lead their remote or hybrid workforce.
Be careful though—you don’t want to come off like you are taking advantage of the pandemic to make some extra cash. Rather, your messaging should communicate that you understand what your prospects are dealing with and you want to help. It can be a fine line.
Continually reassess your messaging to ensure you are being sensitive to the situation and are infusing your communication with empathy. Offer genuine help and support, show gratitude, and look for ways to build relationships—not just sell products.
Use Technology to Improve the Sales Experience
The pandemic has caused us to move most of our sales interactions to video meetings or phone calls. Initially, the idea was to use virtual meetings as a patch until everything went back to normal. But what if we were to rethink that? Can we use these platforms to improve the sales experience, to make it more compelling for our prospects and clients? The answer, as you can probably guess, is yes.
Virtual interactions offer the opportunity to create a whole new experience for prospects and customers. Virtual meetings make it much easier to bring in industry experts or customer support staff to provide greater expertise and insight into our customers’ pain points. They also make it easier to connect customers with company leaders to address concerns and give customers an over-the-top service experience.
And if you think that embracing virtual interactions will only benefit customers, you’d be wrong. According to a recent Hubspot survey, 64% of sales leaders who adopted a hybrid or fully remote sales model this year hit or exceeded their revenue targets. And in a year like we’ve had, those are excellent numbers.
Think about how your sales experience can deliver value for your leads and prospects or help your customers gain insight into the challenges and opportunities the virus has brought about. Design your sales experience to help them think through the problems they are experiencing and come up with new solutions that could benefit their business.
Don’t Overlook the Details
As we move to a more virtual sales experience, it’s important to continue connecting with prospects and clients in memorable, tangible ways. It may take some advance planning and forethought, but even small, thoughtful details can make all the difference.
A few ideas:
- Ship physical samples, models, or prototypes to clients, then follow up with a phone or video call.
- Use video to offer value—record video blogs, tutorials, webinars, customer testimonials, interviews, product videos, and so on to share with your prospects.
- Send a thank-you card after your initial meeting instead of just an email.
- Send your prospect a bag of gourmet coffee so they can enjoy a cup during your Zoom call.
- Have lunch delivered during your virtual meeting so you can eat together.
- Invite them to join you in a virtual wine tasting, chocolate tasting, and so on as a way to connect further and enjoy something fun together.
Offer your prospects creative, unique ways to interact with you, and use up some of that travel budget you aren’t using right now anyway.
Try New Tools and Prospecting Strategies
If your usual lead generation routes have dried up during the pandemic, it’s time to switch things up. There are still great leads out there—you just have to know where to find them.
Here at Wild Fig, we have had the most success using LinkedIn campaigns. Over the past year, we have run a new campaign every 8 weeks or so, resulting in some of our biggest sales of the year. All in all, we have generated nearly $200,000 in annualized revenue just from LinkedIn campaigns! We have also added 958 new contacts to our email database—giving us a lot of potential for new clients in the future.