With the pandemic situation still ongoing, analyzing almost one year of business development and sales operations worldwide, I reached the conclusion that from 2021 on, we need to completely change our commercial strategy, forgetting about old approach based on face to face meetings and increase digital interactions between sellers and customers.
I read a very interesting paper from Gartner talking about the future of sales focused on B2B sales organizations but I’m convinced that what it is described has a general interest and it is applicable to other sectors. Two really indicative sentence stating that “The future of sales is adaptive” and “Be ready to engage the “everywhere customer” give more sense of what we’ll discuss.
Let’s start with the first sentence. Of course the future of sales is adaptive. I must say, that today sales must be adaptive. The situation obliges us to change periodically and adapt to new situations. People is changing his mind, customers are changing their mind and plans based on different reasons. We need to change our sales strategy accordingly in order to avoid unpleasant situations.
Changing strategy means permanent transformation of organizations’ sales processes and allocation of resources too. Sales people must follow up customers strictly, trying even to anticipate actions.
Different departments must be synchronized as well on actions, strategy and processes. Sales organizations are not standalone, they must work with other departments of extreme importance. For example, customer service and supply chain, to be able to deliver products in time and assure the right assistance in the field.
To be successful in these complicated times everything inside a company must be harmonized and targeted to a common result: satisfy the customer, wherever is located.
For this reason, the second sentence is very important as well.
Sales organizations must be ready to engage customers everywhere. For this reason a complete preparation to increase digital skills is mandatory. In addition to that, communication skill must be improved as well because with a virtual meeting to remote customers is completely different from face to face.
Virtual customer engagement. Study the most effective way to engage the customer. This includes different tactics for call planning, preparation and practices for ensuring a productive and engaging dialogue with customers during virtual sales interactions. Take really care on how you face the customer. Being a remote virtual meeting most probably from home, we need to be as much as possible ready to show ourselves in a good environment, with a nice background and, above all, well dressed and good looking.
Remember that you represent a company.
Tools selection is also very important. We need to choose the best video conferencing software in terms of quality for sound and video. The video conference experience must be very nice from all the participants. Aslo mind the connectivity aspect. Reduce number of connected devices in your network and dedicate the most of the band to you. Very simple recommendations but that can affect considerably the good results.
I believe that these few words can be of interest to people like me who have to deal with an international sales organization distributed in many countries and continents. The way we approach customers is evolving and even if next time we’ll come back to normality, the new trend will remain. Digitalization is a must and will help commercial activities in a terrific way. Together with Big data and Artificial Intelligence we’ll improve our go to market strategy and we’ll be able to look after our customers in the best way.
This evolution of sales will involve all of us at every level and forever.