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Selling in a COVID-19 World

Selling in a COVID-19 World

June 12th, 2020

Three months ago, we were cranking out calls, traveling to meet clients, and shaking hands with colleagues. Now, we are facing a dramatic change that we have never experienced before. 

Over the past week, the Outreach company has seen a dramatic increase in customers asking for guidance on how to adapt their existing strategy to accommodate a global pandemic and a struggling economy. Below are the four steps Leaders, Outreach Administrators, and Sellers need to take to:

  1. The Value You Provided Yesterday Might Be Irrelevant
  2. Re-Evaluate Your Content
  3. Collaborate, Don’t Pitch
  4. Don’t Lose Your Low-Hanging Fruit

The Value You Provided Might Be Irrelevant

Part of our job in sales has always been putting ourselves in the buyer’s shoes, and this is still true now. Ask yourself, how have your prospect’s priorities changed in the last 30 days, seven days, or today? Are they facing more risk or an unexpected opportunity? Your content most likely references a value proposition (“We are the fastest in the industry”) or “why buy now” statements that won’t resonate with your prospects today. The value you provided yesterday might be irrelevant or how you message your value might need to be tweaked. Before you change anything in your Outreach instance, think critically about how your value proposition and personas should be changed. Don’t automatically write-off entire industries. For example, selling into restaurants sounds unilaterally difficult now, right? Not quite. Some of Outreach customers in foodservice have revised their messaging to highlight how they support delivery and takeout operations.

Re-Evaluate Your Content

A good example: should we be making calls right now? Given that many people are suddenly working from home, some may or may not have set up call forwarding from their business phone to their personal cell phones. Others may have a sophisticated phone setup and may still be getting emails when you leave a voicemail, so keep at it! If you’re worried that your team will just be calling into corporate 1-800 numbers, maybe limit call steps for now.

Consider expanding to other channels, like social touches through LinkedIn, or utilizing an integrated chat application to support inbound or e-gifts built into Sequences for late-stage deals. Regardless, re-evaluate the mix of steps in your Sequence and think about the channel that may work best in your situation. This will likely evolve over time so researching different channels or constantly testing will be important.

Collaborate, Don’t Pitch

Your prospects’ attention is more divided than ever. Market research is proving this to be true — TOPO surveyed 350+ sales professionals to understand the early impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their pipeline, and found nearly 50% of buyers aren’t willing to book a meeting right now. Fortunately, sales is not about one meeting or just about the short term – especially in today’s current environment.

Leadership: Make Sure Your Calls Aren’t “Business as Usual”

What you do on that first meeting with your prospects sets the tone for the entire deal. This isn’t the time for your typical discovery or demo call. Be laser-focused on the 1-2 pieces of critical value your solution provides, and collaborate with the customer on how you can meet the needs of their business. Watch the agent to merchant talk time ratio on these calls – we should be listening more than ever to understand our prospects’ current pain, and work together on building a solution. Don’t demo your features, demonstrate extreme value to your prospect.

Article Credit https://www.outreach.io/

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