How are sales professionals adapting to the new normal

How are sales professionals adapting to the new normal

Author: Suvendu Dhar, ‎Business Head (Corporate Business Solution), Centum Learning Limited

I have 12+ years of experience managing large accounts for corporate solutions, so I thought I was trained on all the sales methodologies. However, as the reality of lockdown set in &, people started working from home, the shift away from face to face has been a major blow Says Rahul, the Key Account Manager of a large multinational organization in Office Automation.             

This challenge is not only restricted to Rahul but for a large number of sellers. With MS teams/ Zoom calls replacing rapport building over coffee to coping up with the entire sales process, virtually you need different skills & mind-set. When you can no longer gauge prospect reaction like in face-to-face, managing the complex virtual prospect experience including pitching, negotiating, contracting, through the entire sales process is an onerous task.

Based on our experience of working with sales leaders across multiple industries, our findings on the complexity of virtual sales are very similar. With hands-on experience of turning around this complex challenge as an opportunity for a lot of organizations & delivering virtual sales capability on a similar pedestal as face-to-face sales, our crucial takeaways or some essential tips to succeed in virtual sales are:

Tools

Choose the platform you are comfortable with and ensure you have all the remote selling tools. Additional elements around digital notes, calendar app, speakers, etc. will help.

 

Online Persona

In the WFH environment, Over 80% of professionals are spending more time on social medium thus having active social media presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and other such platforms is a must today. For B2B, LinkedIn is critical & you need to have a firmed up monthly social media calendar to be a successful social media seller.

 

Time & Demeanour

Show the value of time, both of self as well as client, and show complete professionalism. If you can’t stick to time reach out proactively so that other person doesn’t feel, you are not valuing his time.

 

Virtual Sales process

Navigating sales journey through powerful storytelling form is the best way to make human connections over the digital divide. Very high on priority is your preparedness level around market insight, which can not only help you gain the confidence of the prospect but also an additional opportunity which is not known can be discovered through the homework. While If you are not fully prepared, one session is ok but prospect won’t be keen to give you another shot. Thus preparation is vital.
Additionally, highly recommended to brush up critical sales methodology through refresher around right pitch, uncovering need, value selling & negotiation techniques like ZOPA/ Batna. These will help as gaps/ errors in virtual are difficult to cover up.

 

Meeting closure

In a scenario when a prospect is hopping from one call to another, it is extremely critical that not only do you summarise your call in the end but also the plan/ next steps/ meeting dates are calendared in the same call.

 

To know more, CLICK HERE or write to us at contactus@centumlearning.com. Our Virtual Sales Academy unpacks the principles that go into robust virtual sales to help you equip your sales team despite the circumstances.

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