Sales have changed forever, and your customers are happy about it. Are you?
Perhaps it sounds extreme to say that sales have changed forever, but it really has changed forever and it's not going to go back to the pre-covid sales world. What began as a crisis response has now become the next normal, and, this has significant implications for how buyers and sellers will do business in the future.
When we talk about the changes thrust on us by COVD there are many buzzwords, but the most commonly used term that these changes fall under is “digital transformation”.
Instead of face-to-face meetings, we are meeting online, instead of printed collateral we have digital assets, instead of real-time fully synchronous communication, we have asynchronous communication. Instead of management lead by walking around, it’s a world of leading with tools, metrics and instrumentation.
The digital transformation that many in sales worked hard to avoid, or half-heartedly embraced, are now vital to your success. Remote presentations—standard. Screen sharing, email, documentation, call recordings, sales engagement cadences—now requirements. Technologies that many ‘senior’ salespeople viewed as tools for only to be used by their younger counterparts are now a standard feature in the sales experience.
And, as you will see, these changes are anything but temporary.
In 2019 a client asked me if I thought the role of sales was at risk of being replaced by artificial intelligence? I responded then that, instead of being concerned about being replaced by technology, we should be more concerned about being replaced by salespeople who have embraced technology.
The role of technology as an enabler of your sales success has never been more vital to understand than it is right now.
At this very moment, there are companies who are trying to maintain status quo, waiting for things to ‘go back to normal’ and, then there are those who are working furiously to create their own new normal, in the face of all the challenges that it brings with it. The companies who are embracing the new normal are going to be streets ahead of those who do not.
You don’t have to take our word for it, according to a recent report from McKinsey & Company, an increase in digital adoption presents a seminal opportunity for B2B organizations. The shift to virtual sales can help sales organizations lower their cost per visit, extend their reach, and significantly improve sales effectiveness—while delighting customers who are demanding these new ways of interacting in the long term and who are likely to reward suppliers that do it well.”
It carries on to say, “But while the opportunity is significant, so is the pressure to capitalize on it. B2B leaders that commit to further digitizing their go-to-market models should derive competitive advantage in the form of more—and more loyal—customers than their slower-moving peers.”
“Only about 20 percent of B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated, such as pharma and medical products.”
The study reveals that “B2B decision-makers globally say that online and remote selling is as effective as in-person engagement, or even more so—and they're not just talking about selling to warm leads. Sellers also believe digital prospecting is as effective as in-person meetings to connect with existing customers.”
“The most notable sign that digital sales have come of age is the comfort B2B buyers display in making large new purchases and reorders online. The prevailing wisdom used to be that e-commerce was mainly for smaller-ticket items and fast-moving parts. Not so anymore. Notably, 70 percent of B2B decision-makers say they are open to making new, fully self-serve or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27 percent would spend more than $500,000.”
There are some serious upsides to equipping your organisation to sell remotely.
If you would like to know more about how you can get access to our specially created Remote Selling Course, which would offer you a structured approach to sales success you can indicate your interest by reaching out to Chris on [email protected] who will be in touch with relevant information and special prices.
The course is fully online and accredited by the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa. Broken up into 8 self-study modules, complete with assessments, cheat sheets and more – this is a first of its kind course in South Africa – and is, excuse the pun, selling fast, as well as being based at an affordable price point to suit any business, regardless of its size.