Think back… 18 long dark, dreadful months ago.
The roads were clogged with commuters, schools were filled with kids, restaurants were packed liked sardines to max revenue per square foot and “pandemic” was a Jeopardy trivia question regarding the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic which killed many seemingly healthy young soldiers, or SARS – which was a fly by for North America.
Spring 2021 is not business as usual.
Your target audience interaction, buying patterns, timing and behavior has changed more dramatically in one year more so than any other (non-wartime) in the past century. Yep, the Pandemic had major buying behavior effects that economists are licking their chops to research and understand.
That’s swell but how does it affect CRM sales post pandemic?
- Will buyers refuse to meet in person
- Only communicate via email, text, or SMS
- Beg to meet in person as they are dying for human contact
- Who the heck knows?
I think D, though boring is most likely. Why?
Because each state, company, family and individual chose to respond to Covid19 in different ways, times and with vastly dissimilar resources.
Targets covid19 experiences will be incredibly different company to startup, state to city and most importantly person to buyer.
CRM’s often get a bad rap as management software “make work and do nothing for me type tools” to sales reps.
Sadly, most CRM’s are just what sales reps think – lots of wasted data entry time to create the illusion to management that reps are working. Post pandemic that must change.
Targets are now used to utilizing digital interchange to keep sales reps at bay while bypassing slick talking sales reps raps – promising software solutions that “solved” everything except for the problem business asked them to RFP on and most importantly solve!
The key to today’s successful post pandemic sales communication is advanced research, understanding, flexibility, timing, and communication medium preference (text, email, phone, Zoom or in person)!
Winning sales reps must accept that their target’s preferred mode of interaction has likely changed and they must adapt to it. Whether it’s more emails instead of phone calls or phone calls instead of meet ups in person or Zoom. Adapt to their new buying behavior, be flexible in communication medium timing and content or lose clients.
The trending best practice key is developing a deeper knowledge of each targets (or client) behaviors, desires, upsell opportunities, competitive offerings to counter and precise, timely information fed to front line Sales Reps. That way they know what to sell to which clients, when, via which medium (phone, email, in person) and most importantly how does that client prefer to interact with sales reps.
Top sales reps have already adapted to a different playing field than they faced just 12 short months ago.
Truly understanding what their targets need to succeed will be more important than fast talking over promising and under delivering as they often saw from competitors in the past.
Companies have had to slice to the bone to get through the past year and having the best software available to support a new communication and buyer journey has never been more important. Choose your software just like you target your clients, wisely, buy what you need (not what they want you to buy) and with a plan to sell more with whichever software solution you choose!
David is a Director at Sentia, a next generation sales enablement technology company. Dave’s passion for helping people with their sales, marketing, business strategy, startup growth and strategic planning has taken him across the globe and spans numerous industries. You can follow him on Twitter @intlmktentry LinkedIn or on Sentia Says.