Smart work during an economic downturn can put you in the best position to make big gains further down the line. Our customers taught us valuable lessons about how Skynamo helped them to harness accurate data to adapt sales approaches and win through it.
As sales leaders, we are all acutely concerned about the economic situation. In a matter of days, many businesses have seen their entire customer base taken away from them again. Some have already gone into administration. What can we do to ensure we don’t follow them?
Downturns happen. Today it’s Covid-19, but it could easily be something else that causes the economy to slump. In 2008, it was the “credit crunch”. In the early ’90s it was the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The thing is, eventually we bounce back. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
There are opportunities in downturns; opportunities not only to stay afloat, but also to thrive. Smart work during the downturn can put you in the best position to make big gains further down the line. At the moment, the secret to getting results is making remote sales work for you. Just because your team members are locked down at home doesn’t mean they can’t have excellent conversations with existing customers or new prospects.
As a leading mobile field sales automation platform, we have, over the years, seen many of our customers face countless shifts and challenges in their industries and economies and seen how they use Skynamo to harness accurate data to adapt approaches and win through it. We would like to share some of these lessons with you.
Spotting the opportunities
Seek to solve a problem
Just like you, your customer base and potential prospects are at this moment, trying to solve urgent problems in their business, brought on by the pandemic. These issues, like yours, are top of mind and – simply put – if you are not able to assist in solving these problems, then you don’t matter right now.
Your opportunity is to get even closer to them, understand their new pain points and be the solution. What can you do? How can you present yourself and your product as a solution to what is keeping them up at night?
It could be you need to assess every customer you have. Assess their past buyer behaviour, understand what in their ordering cadences are essential products, what are not, and what collateral products, related to consumer behaviour during the first lockdown, you can offer them to start selling now so that they can expand offerings and stay in business now while others are shrinking product lines
It’s never been more important to add value. Make that call.
Cut through the noise
In the current situation, your reps have the opportunity to speak to prospects on an unprecedented scale. After all, they’re all at home. No one is in a meeting or away at a conference. Plus, there are no gatekeepers: if you’ve got their direct line, you’re in business!
But your competitors know this too. There is more noise than ever on your prospects’ phones, or in their email inboxes. You’ve got to cut through it.
The best way to do this is through personalisation. Do your research so you can show you are offering something that matters to them today. Your call, whether face-to-face if that is possible, or via your phone, needs to be to the point and it’s got to matter right now.
Interrogate your pipeline
Make it a numbers game. Look at your customer markets, then segment these with new eyes. Are you directing your efforts at the right targets? Pivot if you need to.
In the current downturn, some businesses will be booming, such as supermarkets, medical supplies, logistics companies and software to help remote teams. Find your opportunities there.
Upskill your sales teams
During lockdown there are things you simply cannot do or get to. Turn this into a positive. All this free time means that your sales teams can be attending remote sales coaching courses, and getting creative with video demos and pitches. Research sales automation tech like Skynamo to assist in self-development and growth. Investing in your teams at a time like this is imperative. Remember, cabin fever is real.
Not only will there be no time when things stabilise again, but you want a team that is confident and battle-ready when that time comes. Know too that your competitors are doing this: do you want to be left behind?
Don’t stop selling
We are seeing it unfold in real-time right now: companies are choosing to scale down or even suspending their sales activity until the crisis blows over.
This is totally the wrong thing to be doing.
What you don’t do today, you’ll carry the pain for tomorrow. Prospects are still buying solutions for problems they are facing today. Also, you will need pipeline for when we do come out on the other side.
Do not self-reject
It can be difficult for reps when they have no one nearby to bounce off. It’s much easier to get sucked into self-limiting beliefs, particularly if they’ve just had a bad run of calls.
They might think that buyers have more important things to be doing right now than talking to them, or that they don’t have the budgets, or that their product isn’t relevant right now. Leadership and coaching can address this.
Encourage a support network of team video calls where daily challenges can be aired, but most importantly, seek an outcome of encouragement and understanding. Customers and prospects might be going through a tough time right now but they still need product and services to sell. Do not decide to rather not send that email, make that call, reach out to a potential customer or prospect. Do it anyway! Do not self-reject.
Let’s acknowledge this situation together and do everything in our power to strive for success, no matter what. What we are seeing is that those sales teams who are disrupting their normal and embracing new ways and approaches – both internally and with their customers – are the ones succeeding right now.