How to Hit Your B2B Sales Goals During a Crisis
The nature of sales is unpredictable. One week you are inching closer to your goals with scheduled calls, face-to-face demonstrations. The next week a sudden change in your industry or a global pandemic can leave your entire outreach plus in shambles.
Like most things, the sales environment is affected by what’s happening in the world. Because your business doesn’t exist in a silo, when disasters happen—pandemics, natural events, or political upheaval—all companies feel the pinch.
The key to success is to know how to switch from “business as normal” into “crisis mode” without allowing your numbers to slide too much. Here are ideas to keep you selling through a crisis.
Take Advantage of New Opportunities.
It’s a sales team leader’s job to divert the sales team’s attention quickly from panicking about what’s going wrong so they can discover new avenues for success.
For instance, U.K. sales of hand sanitizer saw a massive increase of 255%. In response, LVMH (Louis Vuitton) in France started producing sanitizer at three of its largest perfume factories to support health services
Craft beer company BrewDog also took advantage of the factories and distilleries it owned to produce “punk sanitizer” and give it away for free to local charities and those in need.
Sometimes, the best way to cope with a crisis is to find a way to pivot your organization and make it more useful in the current situation.
• Delivering virtual webinars and learning opportunities rather than teaching people in person.
• Creating new gift cards and vouchers for customers who want to buy now and redeem later.
• Expanding into new products and services that solve more immediate pain points in your industry.
• Building your pipeline for the future.
As you spend more time in front of your computer, use these moments to make prospect lists, organize your targets and make sure you’re ready to leap back into action when the time is right.
Re-think Your Communications Strategy
Think about what you can do right now to make life as easy as possible for your customers. Remember that they’re experiencing the backlash of this crisis, just like you.
Encouraging teams to put themselves in their customers’ shoes is a good first step. During times of crisis, transparency, empathy, and vulnerability are more valuable than ever. Think about where your prospect is right now, the market they serve and the industry they’re in. Consider how you can adapt your messages to demonstrate how much you understand their position and what you can do to help.
While the old-fashioned sales call might make sense for your team on a typical day, it won’t make much sense for remote-working prospects. Expanding to other channels like LinkedIn or integrated chat applications on your website could be a better alternative.
Email is a particularly valuable outreach opportunity in times of crisis, offering instant access to your clients wherever they are, thanks to smartphone apps. In the time of canceled events and disconnected business phone lines, rethinking your communication is a critical step.
Use the Right Technology
Not long ago, a crisis could easily mean the end of a business.
Today, many companies will still face significant struggles in a crisis. However, the digital landscape also means we have tools to help our sales teams pivot.
If your employees can’t follow up on sales from within the office, they can use sales engagement platforms and customer revenue optimization (CRO) technology. Online sales engagement platforms give businesses the potential to bring all the tools their employees need to stay productive together into a single platform.
Combined with CRO, supervisors and business leaders can continue to guide salespeople and optimize practices from a distance. When researching potential CRO technology and sale-engagement platforms, look at review recommendations from experts such as Forrester, Aragon Research and other analytical notes and drafts as well as peer-to-peer reviews such as G2 and Capterra.
Grow by Learning
When a crisis occurs, the worst thing that a business leader can do is attempt to carry on with business as usual. As the world struggles to adapt to a significant change, standard cold call outreach and basic messaging plans not only fail to resonate with customers, they also identify your business as tone-deaf.
Business leaders and their sales teams need to be able to read the market as it continues to shift and evolve, paying attention to every new trend. Tools do exist to help businesses with this struggle.
Machine learning and analytics can delve into years of historical data to help with predicting the future, even in complicated crises. When things start to settle down, make sure to take each step carefully, assessing the ways customers respond to your efforts.
In crisis situations, more than any other time, sales teams need to have the flexibility to adapt and act with agility according to their customers’ needs.
Crises are stressful for any business to handle, big or small.
The sales teams that thrive are the ones that know how to assess the situation and adapt quickly. Now is the time to make sure you’re delivering the value propositions that your customers need and the messaging that best supports your brand.
Reinforce your referral programs to mine more warm leads within your customers. Demonstrate your commitment to your existing clients by delivering the kind of meaningful offers they need most. Adapt your communication plan to suit an environment where problems and pain points are shifting.
Opportunities still exist in any environment. The key to success is knowing how to leverage these new chances for sales ethically, responsibly, and efficiently.
As you navigate the current crisis, reach out to Allied Financial for your B2B funding needs.