Sales leaders, across almost all types of businesses, are facing complex questions currently:
- How do we drive sales in a digital world?
- How do we increase leads and maintain strong conversions?
- How do we uplift our sales organization to enable them to sell in a virtual world?
It is very clear that most customers have adopted digital technologies faster than most sales professionals have. Customers have changed their buying process rapidly but most organizations have been slow at transforming their sales process.
Here are some practical advice for sales leaders:
- Upskill your sales team with critical virtual selling skills: The current environment, and foreseeable future, requires technologically savvy sales representatives. Traditional sales methodologies and mindset will not work. These include social selling, virtual presentation skills, professional telephone selling and knowledge of virtual platforms etc.
- Go back to the basics – Track the right sales activity metrics: To be able to sustain in the current environment, it is now more than important that the sales organizations excel at the not so exciting stuff – Tracking the right activity goals on a daily basis. While doing this you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What 1-2 daily activity metrics are the most crucial for you?
- Do you have a structured system of measuring these?
- Is your sales organization taking this seriously?
- Establish digital channels to generate leads: While most organizations should not have waited for the current crisis to invest in digital lead generation channels, many organizations have been slow at driving these. In a digital world, you cannot rely on physical methods of generating leads and in a tough economic environment, you cannot rely on expensive ways of generating leads. It is important that your sales organization has a well-defined digital strategy for lead generation. Some of the key questions to ask while defining this are:
- What target audience do we want to reach?
- Which digital channels will help us reach this audience?
- What positioning and messaging will help us generate maximum leads?
- What processes must we follow to manage leads?
- Help your sales team develop their online presence: It is very critical that everyone in your sales organization has a strong online presence to be able to support your digital sales efforts. It is critical that you help each of your sales colleagues measure their social selling index by answering the following questions:
- Does your social profile build confidence?
- Are you able to position yourself as an expert?
- Are you leveraging all techniques of social selling?
- Are you networking as much as you should?
- Is your online personal brand in alignment with the company’s brand?
- Invest in inside sales: While digital channels are critical in the current environment, only relying on them will not give the desired results. It is critical that your organization invests in a focused and structured inside sales organization. Telephone has always been an important ally for sales people and in the current environment it will become even more important !
- Digitalize your sales experience: To be able to truly differentiate in the way you sell, it would be important for you to consider how you can digitalize your sales experience. Leveraging technology to be able to conduct demos, equipping your sales team with proper digital tools and creating experiential sales experience by using AR/VR or 3D videos are a must to sell in a digital world. If you haven’t yet charted your digital sales experience strategy, then we advise you to prioritize this really important task
- Lead management is the critical success factor of sales management: While sales management is a set of several activities, processes and capabilities which help manage a high performing sales organization, lead management will be the most critical in the short term. Improving conversion rates during our current environment is very critical so that your organization can get the best possible portion of the market it can. Unfortunately, sometimes even the most experienced sales managers may be ignoring lead management. Re-ignite the focus on lead management within your sales organization and rigorously review conversion rates.
We hope that the 7 guidelines we have covered in this article are helpful to you.
The practice of sales is evolving rapidly and we hope that you and your organization maintains a similar pace.