Whether you are part of a large sales team or the sole business development person within your organisation, the rules of engagement changed for us all once COVD-19 hit and impacted our businesses. With prospects, leads, existing customers and our internal teams all working from home, and away from our usual office environments, the sales process has been impacted drastically. It's likely that this has also changed sales processes for the future as well in a post-COVID-19 world.
For many businesses, there has been a slowdown in sales. Opportunities have become harder to close due to the uncertainty of what's around the corner for all businesses. Many companies that I speak to are now operating on a day by day strategy and looking less into the future, with long term planning of projects put on hold.
As sales professionals, these new challenges mean that we need to adapt, respond and be proactive in order to make the most of the situations around us. And I strongly believe that how we succeed moving forward is within our control but we need to be disciplined and provide a high level of professionalism to achieve this.
Here are 4 key improvements and tips to help sales professionals and increase the possibility of closing more deals without incurring any additional costs:
1. Speeding up
Nothing new here. As sales professionals, we should all be aware that the quicker you connect with a sales prospect, the higher the chance of closing the business. In the current business environment this becomes even more important and isn't limited to the initial contact with a prospect. Think about your proposal turnaround times as well.
I'm sure, like me, many of you are still very busy. The consequence of this is that we may take a day or two or perhaps even longer to send our proposals out after that initial call or meeting.
With less time being spent traveling from one meeting to the next, this should free up more time to jump straight onto creating proposals after a good sales call.
2. Updated our proposal/documents
When was the last time you really took a look at the proposals or documentation you are sharing with your leads. Chances are it’s been a long time. For us, it was over 18 months ago.
As time passes, business operations change and often so does our execution of services. We can use some of this sales time free’d up by the COVID-19 crisis to refresh our design templates or the content included in our proposals to better align with our service delivery.
3. Intro key team members earlier
As opportunities come closer to finalization, it’s a good idea to show your investment to your soon to be new clients by introducing them to key team members. If your service teams have a less hectic schedule right now, give them the chance to get involved in your sales process and in turn provide your prospects with the confidence they need that the team that will be supporting their business is prepared and understands their needs. This approach will also improve your client onboarding process allowing your team to create a faster impact as well.
4 - Use technology wherever possible
Throughout the sales process, the way we connect and follow up with prospects has been heavily impacted. Face to face meetings were our way of introducing ourselves, breaking the ice and engaging with decision makers. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed this. We are now engaging in more video conferencing than ever before, using Whatsapp or sending screen & video recordings to explain critical points.
These are the tools that I use as part of my day to day sales activity with many of the platforms below providing free services that help increase the efficiency of the sales process:
- Video Conferencing
- Google Hangouts
- Voice Notes
- Whatsapp voice record
- Screencasting & Video Recording
- Email Sequencing
As sales professionals, we can all improve our skills. Feel free to reach out if you want some FREE advice on where you can adapt your processes to close more deals.