The pandemic shapes our world. Most B2B decision makers have decided to work remotely for the rest of the year. The physical meetings are almost equal to none. Many companies now prefer virtual meetings over in-person meetings, which means they have happily adapted the change.
So how is it going to affect the traditional sales techniques we are so familiar with? It’s key to understand: selling virtually is a different game. One must give a proper visual presentation with appealing graphics and well-constructed sentences to convince prospects.
With the help of our marketing team, we have shortlisted 5 best sales strategies that can help you overcome current challenges and win more customers.
1. DESIGN YOUR VIRTUAL SALES MODEL
As more than 50% of the B2B industry is online, you will want to implement and master virtual selling techniques. Providing your target customers a comfortable and easy to use environment for engaging online sets the necessary base – especially when you have multiple touch points transitions between online worlds need to be almost seamless. Often this can be a challenge for companies as there are different tools to be found along the customer journey.
Once you are connecting online, present everything in a clear and concise way with no fluff in your presentation. Especially as we know that people have even shorter attention span in virtual meetings. For this, visual representations prove to be more effective than text.
Even though creating a fully reliable and easy to use virtual engagement journey with your clients may feel like heavy lifting, it can be used to also create a competitive advantage. Ease of engagement with your company, as well as speed and fun, can be highly attractive to your clients and thus can become true distinctive competitive advantages.
2. ADJUST YOUR OUTBOUND SALES STRATEGY
The industry of B2B is changing rapidly along with the increased push of online channels. During the pandemic, more and more companies have improved their sales techniques and explored new digital ways of doing business, making the competition even tougher. So, staying ahead of the game this year, requires a stellar approach to outbound sales.
If you have never tried email marketing before, now is the time to start. People used to think cold emailing is not effective anymore, but things are not the same post-pandemic. According to this survey on Hubspot, email responses have increased up to 67% in 2020. To explore that opportunity, invest some time to draw up clear, concise though creative messages with good copywriting so you can stand out. And combine with communication and social selling tools, that enable a high degree of automation.
cold email response rate increase (2020)
Incorporating e-mail campaigns in this years’ outreach and content calendar, will prove to be a good companion in 2021. Whilst we at CGEM are usually very careful about sending too many messages to one contact, the new normal actually requires quite a lot of engagement to stay on top of your client’s minds. However, key will be to make it engaging, light and fun so clients will enjoy hearing from you.
Reach out to us for ideas and a holistic concept of your outreach strategy.
3. KNOW YOUR PROSPECTS
The more we are moving into the remote sales model and increase the degree of lead generation, the more we should actually qualify our prospects. Many believe, that thanks to automation one can reach out to more people in less time, so hitting as many prospects as possible will lead to better results. We don’t necessarily agree with that. Much on the contrary, we are convinced that the more you know about your target client upfront and the more you exploit your specific “order-winning-criteria” the higher the return on investment. This frees up resources to do proper follow-ups, focus on closing the deal and move on to crafting another very targeted campaign.
Qualifying your prospects includes not only thinking about the interest of your prospect and the real need, but also the actual ability to purchase (agree, not an easy one to crack!), the corresponding channel and the right time to sell.
4. CONSIDER NEW TERRITORIES AND MARKETS
Another benefit of virtual selling is that you are not limited to a geographical location. If your business model and offering allows for it, you can go beyond just targeting a limited audience in one country. So maybe this is the golden time for you to consider expand into new territories or adjacent markets and with that exploit a growth opportunity – thanks to digital channels often on lower budgets than in the past.
Working virtually can help you save budgets and also brings new ways to earn more.
5. ENABLE YOUR TEAM FOR THE NEW NORMAL
Running your sales and customer engagement models increasingly virtual, impacts a company on all levels – individuals, teams and how they can be organized for customer success in the digital world.
First of all, selling to clients and prospects virtually requires additional skills (e.g. an online meeting is organized and executed differently than in person). Secondly, successful sales people will understand that it requires a strong personal and digital brand that makes them stand out from the crowd. In essence, there is a need to equip your front line organization with the right skills, allow them to learn from best practices and build confidence to navigate through new ways of doing business.
Lastly, we need to recognize that interactions between managers and their teams and between colleagues have also moved to virtual. As we are progressing on time with this model, we start to realize that whilst efficiency feels to increase at many fronts for the company, the relationship and bonding between people and the glue between employer and employee gets challenged. Moreover, people report an increasing fatigue and demotivation because of constant virtual interactions and working from home most of the time. We recommend to work with mindfulness based techniques and practices to keep the focus and motivation up, strengthen the level of resilience and increase compassion amongst the team.
That’s why we at CGEM believe that this year we have to expand from purely growing revenue to include the growth of minds and people into the formula of company success.
Though the pandemic brought so many challenges, there were positive outcomes, too. There is an immediate opportunity to turn everything online and use virtual techniques for generating sales and engaging with clients – all while avoiding unnecessary costs.
However, these techniques also have challenges. The B2B industry in 2021 will not be the same as before. It’s virtual, it’s wider, it’s faster and it’s with increased competition.
There is a long list of challenges resulting from that including:
- Finding the right deals
- Connecting with decision makers and stepping through the buying process
- Creating rapport and presenting the offering virtually
- Delivering your services or projects w/o meeting clients in person
- Losing customers (especially when COVID has affected their businesses)
- “Digital” alignment of sales, marketing and service along the customer journey
- Pressing need for marketing & sales automation due to higher speed in the digital world
If not done already, investing in setting up your business to address the new challenges and use the right virtual sales and engagement model along your customer journey shall be considered as a must-do this year. In the end, you want to be the right company to your clients, making the sale over your competition and unleashing growth.
These articles might also interest you …
Over 20 years of experience in revenue growth and sales leadership across financial services, media and advertising. Skilled in scaling corporates, SMEs and startups globally. Focused on sales excellence, performance shift, growth model innovation, front-line transformation, market development and customer journey.