Once upon a time, face-to-face interactions were a requirement for sales success, but no longer. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, an increase in virtual communications tools meant that prospecting was increasingly conducted online. Sales may be facing a different world, but it’s still easier than ever to reach customers all over the globe and increase the speed of the sales process by realizing the full potential of remote prospecting.
In times of crisis, when the news is often full of shocking and ominous headlines, it’s important to remain calm and realize that not everything is completely out of our control. There are still many ways you can make a difference. Just like you are taking precautions in your everyday life such as frequent handwashing and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, there are also strategies sales teams can use to cope with the business impact of coronavirus.
Here are a few tactics you can use to keep your sales pipeline functioning during this uncertain time:
Stock up on Business Leads
Even though there may be a buying moratorium on companies you’re talking to, this is a great time to open the conversation and position yourself to be top-of-mind when business reopens. Devote some extra time and resources to building relationships and lead generation tools right now, even if your schedule is hectic.
If your industry hasn’t been particularly impacted by COVID-19, you’d do well to start building relationships and have a deeper pool of prospects to work with over the long term.
Get Timely With your Focus
There’s no doubt that most industries have been touched by coronavirus in some way and there’s a high probability that your prospects may already have significant pain points and concerns about the situation. Spend some time thinking about how you can reposition your product to alleviate those concerns. In your pitch, you should be talking about how your company can help clients adapt to this ever-changing situation and highlight key benefits that will get them through this difficult time.
The good news is that the same selling points you’re used to using are probably still relevant, you just need to adjust the way you present them and frame the product for people’s most urgent concerns. Prospects may be dealing with pain points like:
- Coronavirus-related disruptions to their business
- Adjusted styles of work, such as telecommuting or disrupted hours
- Shutdowns in their supply chain
- How to engage their newly-remote workforce
- How to ensure their security protocols are current and able to deal with new cyber threats that may arise
These pain points are not uncommon and you should be able to adjust your messaging to show how your product or solutions can help address them, both during this time of crisis and once life goes back to normal.
Lead With Empathy
For those who work in sales and marketing, you can walk a fine line between being understanding of a situation and coming off like you’re taking advantage of it for monetary gain. That’s why it’s so critical to be as sensitive as possible with your messaging during this time and be sure to lead with empathy. The best part is that empathy is free and it’s the best tool you can use to guide your interactions with clients and prospects. Reach out and offer genuine help and support, show gratitude, and seek out ways you can build communities and offer your expertise to those who may be struggling.
Get Creative with Sales Presentations
Since many people are cutting down on work-related travel and in-person meetings, online pitches are becoming more important than ever. This may mean you need to adjust your sales process to fit this new, virtual medium.
For example, if you’re used to doing a discovery call, followed by an in-person meeting, you’ll want to make sure you are able to translate the information presented in that second meeting into a visual presentation. But a tightly-designed, well-informed, PowerPoint is just the first step. You’ll need to have a good way to deliver the information during your remote sales meeting.
The good news is that there is a vast array of online meeting tools that are easy to use and can help you retain that all-important face-to-face interaction, even when you can’t be in the same room. Some tools you might consider include:
- Google Meet
While it can be a little daunting to change the way you usually build relationships and illustrate the value of your product, all this technology has enabled us to continue to connect, even when we can’t be in the same room. However, you’ll still have to get a little innovative with the way you present information to the client. That might include:
- Giving a virtual tour of the production floor
- Doing an in-depth demo that brings in members of your technical team who usually aren’t involved until much later in the process
- Sending your prospect a video of your product or solution in action so you can talk through the demo while watching the video together.
Create Segment-Specific Videos
If you already have a good idea of specific verticals you should be targeting, now is a great time to make videos targeting those specific areas for your remote sales efforts.
Video continues to be one of the most impactful marketing tools a sales rep can have in their back pocket, yet so many don’t have much time to put them together. In fact, 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. You probably already have a lot of information on hand that would make good video content, such as:
- Video blogs
- Feature tutorials
- Customer testimonials
- Live streams
- Product videos
If you don’t already have access to this information or are a little uncomfortable with putting these types of assets together, you might want to reach out to your company’s marketing team, as they likely already have many of these resources available for you.
Hot tip: Creating these assets is really only half of the battle: you’ll also want a place where you can store and share them securely. CircleHD offers the ability to easily create encrypted multimedia libraries with access permissions so you can rest assured that your content is protected and only being viewed by who you grant access to.
Don’t Stop Selling
Even though things can seem a little bleak, this is not the time to stop selling. Keep going, keep prospecting, and stay calm.
Even though we may be experiencing some short-term economic pain, and life may not get back to normal right away, it’s important to continue to adapt and keep doing business. You may find that remote sales deals get a little stalled in your pipeline so make sure to keep them warm; It’s always a good idea to align with your marketing team for helpful resources you can share with prospects while keeping the conversation open.
Even though some companies may be withholding investment until this uncertainty resolves, if you follow these tips, you’ll be on the front lines when the fog is lifted.
If you’d like to learn more about how CircleHD’s Sales Enablement solution can help your remote prospecting efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out.