When it comes to successful selling, there are a few universal truths you can’t ignore. Sales success takes persistence and investment in building relationships. And rather more brutally, if you don’t make sales then your business will stagnate. We’re emerging from a period of uncertainty, which adds further pressure into the mix; it’s difficult to take a risk on a new approach when the past few months have been monopolized by more operational concerns.
Statistics show that buyer confidence has taken a hit but hasn’t completely evaporated. Your customers may be changing their behaviour and re-evaluating their spending in non-essential areas, but you can still make sales.
1. Reconnect and listen to your customers
Authentic conversations are definitely the way forward in the current climate. A renewed appreciation for human connection means people welcome trust and transparency in their business exchanges. It’s essential for you to nurture your existing customer relationships, and stay close to your target market during this time. Buyer behaviour is rapidly changing due to the virtualisation of the sales process. How your brand performs can make or break your reputation.
Insight is power. If you can get a pulse check across your customer base, you can make sure that your offer reflects their changing needs, attitudes and behaviours. You can also find out if your service is where it needs to be and discover any improvements you need to make.
2. Demonstrate your ability to solve customer pain points
Good salespeople will already be focused on demonstrating this value to customers but now it’s more vital than ever. When you’re talking to clients and prospects that are being forced to make hard decisions in their own business, they need a different approach one that’s sensitive to the current climate, yet pragmatic about their needs. You need to have conversations that are aligned to solving their problems. Ask yourself what your customers need most right now and what’s the best way to communicate that. If a specific element of your service is particularly valuable to them right now, be sure to lead with that message.
3. Don’t panic, just pivot
What do your customers need now? You have to think about how to remove risk for them in the short term and how to ensure loyalty and confidence in the long term. You also need to protect your internal sales people from burnout; they will be feeling the pressure of achieving targets in an uncertain time, coupled with the fatigue of homeworking. For example, outsourcing lead generation or elements of new business to an expert provider could be a valuable way to free up their time to focus on key, high revenue clients. The benefits of outsourcing range far beyond bridging short term gaps and needs, for more insight read our blog ‘Outsourced Sales vs Hiring In-House – The Debate Continues’.
4. Support buying decisions with relevant and valuable content
People will be spending more time reading online and researching products and services than previously. You can influence buyer decisions with well-thought-out product specs, webinars and engaging thought leadership articles. If you empower them with information about your products and how they specifically relate to solving their challenges, they will feel more supported in their buying decisions and you can tailor future campaigns to the content they find most engaging. For ideas on how to better reach your customers through targeted marketing content, check out this case study from Air’s sister company, Roots to Market. It’s also a great example of close collaboration between marketing and sales activity for enhanced success.
5. Stay focused and consistent
In our recent blog, ‘whatever you do, don’t stop selling’, we looked at why consistent activity is essential to sales success. Those businesses that have been quietly nurturing their customer base during a challenging time will be thankful they went the extra mile. This doesn’t mean hammering the phones in the hope of generating leads and filling your pipeline quickly but taking a considered approach to quality sales conversations.
It might seem counter-intuitive to invest budget in outsourcing elements of your sales strategy right now, but there’s a strong rationale for doing so – it allows you to be more flexible and scale your approach with ease without the headache of fluctuating headcount. You can access sales and lead generation expertise that will refresh your approach. Our focused and dedicated lead generation experts will have meaningful conversations on your behalf, aligned with your brand’s values.
At Air, we have demonstrable success in hitting the right note with customers across a range of industries, even in the midst of a global crisis. To hear more about how we can help you achieve your sales goals, get in touch today or call us on 0345 241 3038.