The COVID-19 outbreak has showed us how life can quite literally change overnight. One of the biggest impacts has been on the way we work, as well as the level and type of support our employees, customers and colleagues need from us. While every team is uniquely impacted, sales teams are facing the most urgent need to continue to generate revenue to keep businesses in operation.
We have put together 5 steps that you can use to help your Salesforce navigate the new normal and continue to generate revenue for your company.
1. Listen more intently
Customer-facing teams are the eyes and ears of an organisation. Now that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, it is more important than ever for sales teams to be listening intently to their customers and prospects. Scheduling daily sales team huddles or stand ups to share customer feedback and concerns enables your team to better understand the broader impact and identify customer trends that could help you better serve them. When you share these insights with the broader company, it also facilitates cross-functional alignment to better address customer challenges proactively across all channels.
2. Encourage empathy
Your customers will also be feeling the pain of the crisis. Their priorities will shift as they face new and unexpected challenges. You will need to help your customers adjust to the new reality, no matter how temporary it may be. Putting your customers first and practicing empathy is now more important than ever. The best philosophy to adopt is: Serve first, then sell! Yes, it is important to continue closing deals, but there should also be a focus on helping customers and prospects that are facing new uncertainties in their lives.
3. Keep your culture alive
For salespeople used to the hustle and bustle of a lively office, the sudden change to remote working may be challenging. Not only do they need to find a new routine, but they will also need to get a handle on new technologies for communication and collaboration. Leaders should make it a top priority to keep communication and company culture alive during remote working. Encouraging light-hearted ways to stay connected and engaged, prioritising team hangouts and personal challenges will keep your sales team optimistic and productive.
4. Keep your teams motivated
Keeping salespeople motivated and engaged during this time will require a different approach. Encouraging team-specific goals will keep everyone working towards a team goal beyond themselves. It is important to celebrate short-term, small wins and in the long-term, hitting or missing these team targets will help you gauge if you need to relax your goals to cope with the current situation. It also is important to ensure that all low performance issues are approached with compassion. Not all low performers are due to a lack of initiative on the part of the salesperson. Some salespeople are under pressure to support family or friends or require more training to succeed, and you need to take this into account.
5. Encourage your teams to focus on value
Being able to demonstrate value and prove ROI to justify a purchase, has become more important than ever. Communicating these value propositions effectively can make or break a company. For sales prospecting, new opportunities may be scarce, but prioritising these key messages and ensuring they are pulled through in all communications will help sales teams stay on track.
We hope that you found these 5 steps useful. We also invite you to browse our range of accredited sales skills programmes in case you need to address a specific sales skill gap in your team or require refresher training:
The benefit of skills programmes is that they can be delivered virtually and within a few days to address an urgent need. As they are accredited, your learners will be able to obtain credits towards a registered qualification and your business will be able to count the spend towards its B-BBEE score.
There has never been a more important time than now to make sure that your sales team’s needs are being met. They are the lifeblood of your organisations after all!
We are here to help guide you. Give us a call to learn more.