While the Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of business, it’s by no means the only economic downturn our world has faced. Feeling disheartened is normal, but facing this new era of business head-on with an outlook that seeks to overcome rather than compensate, is what will really make the difference.
A great deal of research has already been done into how to best optimize sales targets and developments during economic downturns. In an earlier post, we spoke about the four options that businesses face during these times according to a study by Harvard Business Review.
These are the prevention-focused approach (focusing on defensive moves), the promotion-focused approach (which invests primarily in offensive moves), the pragmatic approach, and the progressive approach.
The latter two focus on a combination of defensive and offensive moves. But, they have some key differences. Progressive business leaders have fared the best, according to the study.
Those who have taken a pragmatic approach to the economic downturn have engaged in employee reduction and a subsequent increased expenditure in sales and marketing. The progressive approach, on the other hand, combines offensive and defensive moves by reducing COGS (cost of goods sold), focusing on employee retention, and allocating extra resources to sales and marketing.
The key difference that makes the progressive approach to economic downturns so much more effective than the other three mentioned, is this: investments into efficiencies and employee engagement will always come out on top.
Rather than cutting down on things that make your business more efficient, try being progressive. Move forward, not backwards.
Because progressive thinking pays off, here are the four best ways to be progressive about sales during this pandemic.
1. Invest in efficiency with sales team software
In the sales environment, it is important to recognize what works and what doesn’t. Businesses can no longer rely on outdated manual sales reporting.
With the introduction of new sales team software, these processes can be automated and made more efficient. In the age of remote work, management tools improve the accuracy and ease of compiling reports.
Through the use of a sales team software system, like Skynamo’s field sales app, you get the tools you need to identify sales opportunities that will be to both the client’s benefit as well as that of your business. These tools increase the efficiency of your business while engaging your sales reps and employees.
Sales management software also allows you to input past sales. This means you can determine your previous market appetite. This, combined with analytics, allows you to quickly alter your strategies according to the changing demands put on your sales team.
Investing in good sales team software can cut out a significant amount of admin to make sales much smoother and faster. It is worth putting sales management tools in place now as these efficiencies will pay off in the short term and continue to do so once the world is back to “normal”.
2. Optimize and upskill your current workforce
A business’s main resource is its people. Without a motivated sales team, it is almost impossible to reach the goals laid out before you. When you upskill your workforce and give them the tools to succeed, it’s easier to keep them motivated.
Covid-19 has completely changed the sales environment. Giving your sales team the tools to evolve with the changing times can do nothing but benefit you.
3. Focus on improving customer experience
Happy customers are quality customers. New business is always important for growth. But if your existing client base feels their needs aren’t being met, then there is potential for loss. While face-to-face interactions aren’t always an option during lockdowns, it is important not to skimp on customer experience.
A happy existing customer is more likely to refer new potential clients to a salesperson. Through the use of real-time sales tools, clients see their needs being met straight after they have been discussed. There is no waiting in anticipation.
It is important to ask customers for feedback. Implementing engagement surveys allows a business to hear what a client wants directly from the client.
4. Collaborate with current clients
Things aren’t “business as usual” for everyone during this pandemic. Attention is divided and, according to TOPO, there has been a 150% increase in buyers not booking meetings right now.
So, instead of just pitching, you need to become a partner to your existing clients. Take the time to learn about their challenges and how you can serve them better during this time. You should proactively engage with them (keeping you top of mind), expect and prepare for concession requests, and promote expansion or new product opportunities when appropriate.
Being thoughtful and flexible during this difficult time will help to boost customer retention and build trust.
When trying to adapt to the pandemic – and other – disruptions, it is important to give your business every opportunity to succeed. With Skynamo’s sales team software, you can do just that! We can help you to put the control back into your hands and help to steady your ship in rough waters.
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