Food for thought: Stay top of mind with retailers when selling from a distance

saleswoman talking to customer from product warehouse

Selling face-to-face and visiting customers in person is not possible for many outside sales teams at the moment. This is how you stay top of mind when selling from a distance.

There is no better way to build relationships than by having regular face-to-face meetings with clients. However, as we navigate the realities of selling in a pandemic, opportunities to do this may be limited or even disappear altogether.


Now, perhaps more than ever, it’s important to build relationships with customers and stay top of mind. This is a shared experience and addressing the shared pain points that stem from it will leave you in good stead with your clients.


By using sales team software with a good sales management system, you can stay top of mind with your customers without meeting them face to face.


Selling in the time of Coronavirus

With various restrictions and the threat of additional lockdown regulations always looming, the ability of a sales team to visit their customers is greatly diminished. The onus is now on people in sales to find new ways to connect. There is also no way of telling when things will be back to some form of normal.


Due to the pandemic, there has been a very clear shift from factory tours and outside selling to Zoom meetings and email RFPs. Due to the nature of their business, those within the food and beverage industry have had to be especially stringent with their track and trace policies.


As such, selling and placing orders has moved online rather than in person, which makes it very difficult for field sales teams to build and maintain customer relationships.


It is crucial that outside sales teams in this sector use a sales management system that can help them track and improve their customer interactions while cutting down time spent on admin.


The right sales management system will also allow you to continue building your relationships with clients. Skynamo’s specially optimised sales management system goes beyond CRM and is tailored for the unique challenges and needs of the outside-of-office field sales agent.


How to stay top-of-mind for customers

While you can’t visit your customers, here are some ways to maintain customer relationships and reach out to prospects in the age of social distancing.


   1. Plan your call cycles

There are several features that Skynamo provides that – although not designed for use in a pandemic – come in very handy for calling on clients.


Firstly, the best thing to do may be to segment your customers by visit frequency to gauge how often you would be in contact with a client. This helps you to plan your call cycles and make sure that you keep in touch with valuable customers and gain their trust. You can set up calls or even video conferences via Zoom to get that face-to-face interaction.


After each call or video conference, make sure that you log the “visit” in the Field Sales app. You can also make comments on the customer timeline through Skynamo’s web portal so that you can track what you discussed and keep a record of your conversations.


If you discussed contacting them again at a later date, you can also schedule it into your calendar so that you remember to follow up.


By actively communicating, you can better maintain your customer relationships. Constant, regular calls and checkups are sure to keep you top of mind with your customers.


   2. Make communication easier

One of the best things you can do is to make contacting your customers as easy as possible. By updating your customer database in Skynamo, you can call and email them straight from the Field Sales app. With everything stored in one place, you will always have access to all customer information and contact details.


   3. Re-engage with unconverted leads and past quotes

The key question when looking back through these files is, “Why?”


Take the time out to establish why those quotes that you sent off weeks ago never converted. Assess whether there is a way to get those customers back onboard or whether there was some other reason as to why the sale didn’t happen. Did it come down to price? Was someone else quicker? Establish the reasons for failure and success.


You now have the time, and if you’re already a Skynamo customer, the sales team software will have all the data on these deals. You can use the Field Sales app to sift through your past data and try to find real insights into why those customers never converted.


Even if you don’t necessarily end up onboarding any of those old leads, there are still lessons to be learnt here.


   4. Nurture your leads

As any marketer will tell you, nurturing leads is a sure-fire way to increase conversions. Between our sales management systems, texting, calling, and all the other platforms that we use to engage with people, we often forget an excellent, tried and tested alternative: Email!


Yes, we’re still using it and it’s still an excellent way to deliver both long- and short-form communication. Make sure that you send regular, well-crafted emails to your prospects, as well as existing customers, to nurture those relationships. This will help to keep your company top of mind when they need to place their next orders from suppliers.


Also, keep in mind that taking 24 hours to respond to emails is no longer the threshold. You need to ensure that your sales team is always ready to respond to queries so that you never lose out on a potential customer.


5. Continue placing orders, ensure timely deliveries

One of the biggest business nightmares is slow order processing. Ensuring swift product delivery during a time of business downturn, when some customers might expect things to take longer, will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.


The right sales software and platform integrations make all the difference. ERP integration assures that communication between sales, finance and warehouse teams are immediate because order taking and processing are now automated. This means accurate delivery promises can still be made to customers, despite the distance between all the departments involved in timely and accurate service delivery.


Final thoughts

There’s no doubt that the world, and the world of sales especially, has changed drastically. The key to making the process manageable is making your customers’ lives as easy as possible.


This is only possible if your sales management system is robust and allows your field sales team to perform well even if they’re not ‘out’ in the field!


Skynamo is an all-in-one Field sales platform with sales reporting, CRM, analytics and more. By using sales team software, you can keep track of all customer interactions, plan your call cycles, and access all the information you need in one place.