Written by: Roman Shovkun | Revenue Grid
COVID-19 has been one of the most influential events in our history and invites the need to improve your team pipeline as we recover. The defining point of a generation, this global pandemic, has changed how we live and work forever. As weeks of panic turned into months, and countries around the world used lockdown to control the spread of the virus, any hope of going “back to normal” was lost.
We’re now living in a new world, where digital transformation isn’t just an option for leading companies; it’s a requirement for survival. The good news is that change doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Sales teams are continually adapting and evolving to suit the needs of their audience. Preparing for life after COVID means knowing how to recognize the parts of your sales pipeline that need the most work. The following suggestions are provided to help improve your team pipeline after Covid 19.
Practical strategies for today’s sales teams to thrive after COVID:
1. Develop Your Digital Presence
For years, sales teams relied on events and in-person demonstrations to ensure sales. Even after many companies start to return to the office, business leaders need to accept that face-to-face consultations won’t be as common as they once were.
For months following the COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing strategies will still be in place to protect both employees and consumers. What’s more, many customers in the modern landscape have already had a taste for efficient and convenient online shopping. Revenue Grid research into consumer behavior found that consumers are now spending 5.8% more time browsing SaaS sites.
If you don’t have a robust digital footprint yet, now’s the time to create one. Make sure that you have multiple ways for clients to reach your sales reps online, through video conferencing and instant chat. Consider building apps where people can interact with your business on-the-move or filming webinars. You can show customers how to use your service without an in-person demonstration. These suggestions will help improve your team pipeline.
Companies that can make their brand stand out online and provide customers with an enhanced digital experience will claim the majority of the market.
2. Build Stronger Customer Relationships
Life after COVID will spark a need for stronger relationships between businesses and clients. In a world where your audience is unlikely to have as much money to spend, they’ll need to feel comfortable investing in companies that they can trust.
Now is your opportunity to show your clients that you understand their pains and empathize with them too. Carefully nurturing the relationships will improve your team pipeline
For instance, when Deliveroo became one of the first delivery services in the UK to launch no-contact deliveries, it was the founder, Will Shu that sent the message out to customers, letting them know what to expect. These extra touches can make a massive difference to the way that your clients feel about your brand.
The current moment is also the time to show your loyal customers how much you value them. Our studies into the effects of COVID on the sales pipeline showed that renewals were the source of 78% of all revenue opportunities for the businesses surveyed. Rewarding customers for their loyalty is sure to pay off in the years ahead.
- Offering discounts to companies who frequently purchase from your brand
- Offering new payment holidays
- Providing free gifts.
Netflix, the leading streaming company, established a $100 million fund to help creative actors and producers stay strong during COVID.
3. Understand Financial Constraints
One of the most important things that businesses will need to be empathetic about in the era after COVID is the lack of finances that their clients have. McKinsey says that spending will fall by around 50% once COVID is over. If you’re working on securing B2B clients that are struggling to keep their business afloat, you need to understand their restrictions.
Remember that many of your clients will be facing financial hardship caused by furloughs, lack of purchases, and more. If you don’t have alternative ways for customers facing hardship to stick with your brand, then you’ll end up losing them.
Experiment with ideas like payment holidays, or long-term credit that allows your audience to pay off what they owe over an extended period. If you can offer freebies or discounts in this challenging time, do it. Your customers will remember the companies that were most committed to helping them in their hour of need. All of this builds trust and ultimately helps to improve your team pipeline.
Showing a little generosity now could lead to more loyal clients in the future.
4. Look for New Opportunities
Your customers are going through a series of crucial shifts right now. The world is moving from offline to online selling.
Clients are focusing more heavily on repeat purchases, instead of buying new products. All of these changes add up to a significant shift in buyer preferences and expectations.
If you want to convince your customers to stick with you as you evolve after COVID, you need to be committed to getting to know your audience all over again. Accessing the right information through Conversation Rate Optimization and CRM tools will be essential.
The more data you can gather on your customers now, the more you can pinpoint new opportunities that you may never have considered before. For instance, aside from selling software for business point of sale systems, could you also provide digital training and webinars to sales assistants?
Various companies began to shift their strategies during COVID-19 to unlock new opportunities. For instance, BrewDog transformed its distillery to create more hand sanitizers for health professionals during a global shortage.
5. Remember to Support your Team
Finally, remember that it’s not just your customers and your team leaders that are adapting to a new landscape after COVID-19. Your sales teams are also experiencing a massive shift in the way that they work and collaborate.
If you’re planning on asking your employees to deliver more demonstrations and sales pitches over video conferencing and instant chat, then you need to make sure that they’re prepared to handle that change. If you’re planning on keeping your overhead costs low by maintaining a remote workforce, even after teams are allowed to return to the office, you need to ensure that your employees have all the right tools.
Think about what your employees will need to remain productive and engaged in their new work environment. How can you help improve your team pipeline? You may need to invest in some new tools for your sales pipeline, like automated services that automatically combine information from multiple customer touchpoints. Alternatively, you might need to offer some extra training.
Get Ready for a New World After COVID
Even as lockdown restrictions begin to soften, and the world seems to regain some balance following the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be many challenges to overcome. Today’s sales teams are facing a new environment, with brand-new customer needs to consider.
The goal for sales teams in the months ahead won’t be to “survive” anymore. Instead, you’re going to need to take what you’ve learned from the last few months and use it to transform and improve your team pipeline. Now is the time to set yourself up for success in the world after COVID, and make sure that you can thrive.