What Your Sales Team Can Do-
When There isn’t a Sale to be Made:
The COVID-19 environment has changed how daily business is being done and will continue to change how we approach business in the near future.
In my last article for HBR, I talked about the lessons I learned from the last two recessions as an EVP of Sales to offer guidance for how leaders can manage their sales organization. While there is some debate of whether or not this will be a full blown recession, (a recession is defined by two consecutive quarters of negative GDP/growth) it is hard to deny that we are in the throes of an economic crisis.
A crisis flips the sales landscape on its head. Whether because of uncertainty, purchasing authority being frozen or moved up the organizational chain, or business grinding to a halt, there are times when there is no sale to be made. In these circumstances, sales as usual is at best a waste of time, and at worst, entirely inappropriate.
In this time of economic chaos, I encourage you to consider how to pivot your sales approach in order to adapt and continue to provide value. Here are some tips:
- Create value with insight, expertise, and experience. Especially in times of economic strife, you want clients and prospective clients to know your company is right for them and that you are best-in-class for what you do. When people are nervous, they gravitate towards those that demonstrate expertise. Leverage your own experiences to help ease the mind of your customer.
- When possible, offer support and value at no cost. Someday, sooner or later, we will come out of this and growth will be restored. Providing value without monetary gain expresses an investment in your customer that allows you to build a relationship that goes beyond a simple transaction. Mark my words, when the world starts back up, that customer won’t forget you.
- Develop a deeper understanding of your customer’s business. The more knowledge you have about their business, the better equipped you are to be creative and help them leverage their strengths and identify opportunities for growth.
I recently came across an interesting article about blockchain technology. Over the past five years, enterprises globally have vetted blockchain but have been slow to adopt the technology, until COVID-19. Read the article to learn more about how the current crisis will help to propel this technology forward.
Question to Ponder:
What does the next six months hold for you? What seeds can you plant today? Remember, what you plant, you will harvest later.