Regardless of what size your company is, rapid and unpredictable change can happen at any time. And sometimes that change can lead to abrupt and major shifts in buying and selling that can dramatically alter your sales team’s course. (For a very real example, see everything that happened in 2020.)
Navigating all that change can be challenging, but it’s definitely not impossible. Below are nine tips on how to succeed and drive growth during turbulent times and beyond…
1) Align your company’s marketing and sales teams.
Most companies know they need to align their marketing and sales teams to support their buyers and operate more efficiently and effectively. But in a digital and online environment where people are working remotely — often from different geographic locations around the world — aligning these teams is even more critical.
2) Increase your sales team’s digital and remote selling skills, and the ability to close deals in an online environment.
B2B buying and selling has changed from sales teams largely relying on in-person meetings to close sales to mostly selling in a digital or online setting. So much of this has happened in fact that Forrester, a leading industry research and advisory firm, predicts 80 percent of future B2B sales could happen virtually. The challenge is, though, most of the sales skills your company’s sales team has, particularly those in field sales, may not apply to remote and digital selling. Therefore, you’ll need to evolve your sales team’s skills to include new methods of selling such as how to engage buyers across social networks, create personalized sales videos, and more.
3) Organize your sales organization and sales territories around how your buyers want to buy.
Most sales organizations are organized by traditional roles such as inside, outside, and field sales. But to fully support digital and online selling, your company may want to consider re-organizing your sales organization and sales territories based on how your buyers want to buy instead.
4) Increase the depth and breadth of your sales team’s expertise.
Most B2B companies today have larger and more distributed buying committees than they have in the past, and all these buyers have different objectives and information needs. Thus, to succeed with these buying committees, be sure to expand your sales team’s expertise so they can answer broader and more in-depth questions from individual buyers in the moment.
5) Tune your sales organization.
If your company’s sales organization was set up in a traditional way, you’ll need to transform your sales organization from a traditional selling model to a digital and online selling model. You can start by re-evaluating and updating your existing sales profiles, job descriptions, performance requirements, management cadences, and more. You may also want to make changes to how your company recruits and hires new salespeople.
6) Increase your sales team’s productivity and efficiency in handling remote and digital sales opportunities.
Many B2B companies are now operating with smaller sales teams. If your company is one of them, it’s important to maximize the efficiency of your existing sales team. This may include: a) modernizing your sales organization; b) designing better digital processes to support your sales prospects and customers in buying and your sales team in selling; c) adopting and using technology and tools such as sales engagement technology, artificial intelligence, and other technology to get recommendations and make more informed decisions about how and when to engage potential buyers; d) ensuring everyone on your distributed workforce and sales team feels connected and has the tools they need to collaborate in a remote and digital setting (such as a virtual collaboration room, an online whiteboard, etc.) so they can co-create business cases, sales proposals, and more.
7) Extend your company’s sales engagement technology to other customer-facing employees.
A major factor in delivering exceptional customer experiences is being able to proactively manage all the interactions your company has with your buyers and customers. A good place to start is by extending your sales engagement technology beyond your sales team to other customer-facing employees. Even though those employees may require slightly different cadences and workflows, taking this approach will enable your company to deliver better customer experiences throughout the customer lifecycle.
8) Provide your employees with training on any new sales or marketing technology your company buys.
Oftentimes, companies buy new technology that no one at their company knows how to use. Therefore, to ensure the adoption and use of any technology your company buys, be sure to provide your employees with plenty of training on them. Otherwise, without that training, your company won’t realize the full value and benefits of having those solutions.
9) Cultivate more personalized and meaningful connections with your buyers.
Most buyers today are inundated with too many marketing and sales messages that aren’t relevant to them. An easy way to overcome this is by developing personalized and meaningful connections with your buyers via doing your research, creating and sending them a personalized video or email, engaging with them in their channel of preference, building trust, providing them with more value throughout the sales process, and showcasing the value and ROI of your solutions.
As many of our customers have proven, digital and online selling can be highly effective and powerful. Rolling out virtual selling strategies just requires your company to take a few intentional steps to properly set up and support.
But, once you do, your company will have what you need to be successful in a digital and online selling environment — both now and in the future.
Check out our latest infographic to see what we mean!