Sales Advice During COVID-19: What to Change About Selling (Part 2)
- Reconnect with all active sales prospects, leading with your high-value content.
- Create a re-engagement campaign, to reach past prospects.
- Stay accountable, including your follow up process.
- Build and strengthen referral partnerships.
- Enlist your team to help.
- Seek bizdev advice from a range of sources.
- Find ways to take breaks.
- Recognize that you'll likely survive this.
10) Reconnect with all active sales prospects, leading with your high-value content.
This category includes pending prospects who've asked you to follow up in the future - for instance, "Check back in a month" or "Check back in two quarters."
They may not buy - now or ever - but they've at least claimed they want to hear from you in the future.
11) Create a re-engagement campaign, to reach past prospects.
This category includes prospects who said "no" and prospects that disappeared into The Abyss. They aren't likely to convert now, but it's worth a try.
Why? Some of the "lost" prospects won't be happy with their current providers—and some of the prospects that ghosted you before will suddenly have urgent needs today.
12) Stay accountable, including your follow up process.
If you aren't doing weekly "sales management" meetings, now is the time to start. They help you (or the salespeople, if you have a broader team) stay on track.
If you are doing sales as the owner and don't have someone to hold you accountable, recruit a colleague. The ideal match as "sales manager" may not be a sales expert, but they're comfortable asking you hard questions.
Consider whether to add new pipeline stages in your CRM, to acknowledge prospects' distraction levels. Your old sales process might need some updates during the pandemic.
13) Build and strengthen referral partnerships.
If you don't have partnerships (formal or informal), it's time to start. I regularly refer not-a-fit business to other colleagues, and vice versa.
If you have partnerships but haven't been in touch in a while. . . that's not ideal, but now's the time to reconnect.
If you're top-of-mind when a partner hears about an opportunity, that's one less sales opportunity you need to find via cold outreach. And to a point, more referral partners mean more opportunities.
14) Enlist your team to help.
You'll need to find a balance on billable vs. non-billable work. . . but if client volume is down, use the time to support self-marketing. For example:
- Your strategists and other subject matter experts (SMEs) can support content marketing and other initiatives.
- Your project managers can help you stay on track.
- Your operations team can provide additional support and structure in your sales efforts.
Ask for help—even self-starter employees can't read your mind.
15) Seek bizdev advice from a range of sources.
Cast a wide net to find the sales and bizdev advice that works for you and your sales team/company. With an eye toward other advisors who specialize in your industry or discipline. We can learn great ideas and strategies from others' efforts and then build our own specific initiatives.
16) Find ways to take breaks.
If you don't pause occasionally for self-care, you'll burn out. You'll need to find the right approach to handling sales during the pandemic but working 100 hours a week likely won't help.
Why? Because you'll see diminishing returns as you become exhausted. . . and you'll make mistakes that actively hurt your results.
17) Recognize that you will likely survive this.
If you get through this, you can handle almost anything. You - personally - will likely survive. And if your company doesn't make it, you will likely manage the setback. It will be sad and difficult and expensive. But you will likely emerge again, to pursue new opportunities. Good luck!
Sales Management is challenging enough and even more so now with all the changes in the marketplace. Face-to-face sales has changed during the crisis and the sales cycles will likely evolve in new ways as we navigate the 'new normal'. Managing salespeople is imperative for the new reality, and in this session, Leslie Groene discusses the best way to do this. She shares how sales managers can lead professional teams to success by utilizing a variety of skills, from directing team focus and analyzing data to mentoring and developing a sales plan.
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