09 Jul 7 Ways To Stay Relevant In a Post-COVID Professional Sales Role – Getting Back To Basics – Pick Up That 10,000 Pound Phone!
7 Ways To Stay Relevant In a Post-COVID Professional Sales Role
Getting Back To Basics – Pick Up That 10,000 Pound Phone!
Whether you’re a Chief Revenue Officer in charge of sales talent at a Fortune 1000 company, a commissioned sales professional, or an entrepreneur, these seven ways to stay relevant will help you thrive in this rapidly evolving “new normal”.
7 Ways To Stay Relevant In a Post-COVID Professional Sales Role
1. Relationships are still crucial! Remind your sales talent frequently that they already have prospects at the bottom of the funnel ready to buy or refer. The most reliable source of revenue gains is past clients and the existing referral base. The CSO Insights Buyer Preferences Study says nearly 70% of new revenue comes from clients with whom we have existing relationships. So, what’s missing? People. Encourage your sales teams to pick up the ten-thousand-pound phone and make some calls. In fact, before they hit send on the latest clever email, try this: Call the intended target and check-in. Ask about their business; find out how their company fared during the shutdown. Be bold. Encourage your sales talent to seek out information about how you can help with their efforts at corporate pandemic recovery. In other words, have actual one-on-one conversations about business. Also, as a CRO, CEO, sales manager, or business owner, a call to your sales talent expressing concern for their well-being might just be the other shot in the arm they need right now. The global pandemic has put well-being at the center of the employee/employer relationship. Like it or not, you play a key role in ensuring your sales talent is engaged and fulfilled.
2. Measure Twice. Cut Once. Help your sales team thrive with data. Facts are not optional when it comes to pipeline rigor. In a recent article from Xactly, the Sales Compensation Automation Company, one quote stood out to us – “When decisions are based on instinct and what salespeople think will happen, they aren’t based in fact”. I know this sounds extreme. But this is a new normal. Share this Dynamic Opportunity Scorecard with your sales talent so they can accurately evaluate the potential of closing a deal with prospective buyers. Informed by even ONE small data set, your sales team can immediately refocus their time and energy towards more profitable pursuits. This helps sales professionals make better decisions about revenue-generating activity today, which in turn boosts their confidence, their income, and their motivation to sell more.
3. Assess your sales organization. Sales Measure, our sales effectiveness assessment, usually takes about 6 weeks, and the resulting roadmap will guide your company to the highest priority steps you can take to thrive in these challenging times. To see an example road map, take a look at Harry Dunklin’s most recent article, The Post Covid Need For Speed. Post-COVID, it’s hard to over-emphasize the need to assess your sales organization to get a clear picture of the different obstacles that lay ahead. Sales effectiveness assessments can help you can align your KPIs more accurately and reorganize your current sales strategy so you can win in your space – you don’t have to be world-class in everything you do.
4. Be Early. Try new things and reject them fast if they don’t work for you and your sales team. If your sales talent was accustomed to face-to-face meetings, encourage them to become a master of zoom. This sounds obvious, but in our rush to adapt to the rapid pace of technological change, we often miss the forest for the trees. Sales professionals can stand out with helpful information about the technology used during a meeting. When someone is struggling to correct a technical glitch and is successful, their know-how gets them top ratings in the group. They don’t have to an expert in everything; This is an important point. Evaluate your sales enablement strategy and optimize their greatest strengths as your sales talent becomes a go-to problem solver in their chosen technical domain. Brainshark, the dominant Sales Enablement Platform, recently published an article dealing with the challenges of technology in the sales space called “9 Tips For The Solo Sales Enablement Leader” that you should look at.
5. Conversely, don’t rely on technology for everything. Get back to the basics! Sales talent can print out presentations in case there’s a glitch, arrive early in case there’s a delay, and practice actual phone conversations so they can deal with downtimes and keep selling. Remember the company needs dollars and cents, not likes and applause.
6. Get to “No”. Ask. Ask. Ask. Instead of lowering expectations, raise your sales talent up with KPIs that truly match their potential. You already know what makes cash flow like a river to you and your sales team – Just ask. Ask someone to buy what you’re selling. Ask someone to call you back or refer you to a prospect. Ask questions which can be answered by yes or no, or, arguably the most important response – “I don’t know but will get back to you”. Ask a salesperson if they can meet even higher revenue goals. Before you leave your office today, make a goal to rack up at least one “no.” Some days, this is really challenging. But this kind of counter-intuitive planning often boosts extremely positive results, especially in sales.
7. Is the sales professional an introvert or an extrovert? If you don’t know, find out. There are many online assessments that can help with this. Understanding how to optimize the well-being of your sales talent is key to playing the long game of sales enablement. Many of us thought introverts would do better during the worldwide COVID shutdown, but the truth is somewhere in between. According to Mark Travers, a psychologist and regular contributor to Forbes, this is because extroverts often experience more intense positive emotions from online interactions and other less stimulating activities. They are also not afraid to pick up the phone or lead a live virtual meeting. If your sales talent tends toward introversion, they might also need extra support as we all emerge from the worldwide shutdown.
Sales Organizations Can Thrive In This New Normal
With the right tools and fact-based plans and revenue goals, we really can thrive in this new normal. Cheers to new possibilities in 2021.
If you would like more information about our sales measure organizational assessment, please schedule a call with Harry Dunklin at Oak Island Associates.