The COVID-19 pandemic required sales teams to create instant and sweeping changes in how they approached their jobs. Everything from prospecting to lead nurturing to presentations and ongoing client maintenance has been impacted. But now that we are looking ahead to a new year, what can we expect post-pandemic?
More of the Sales Cycle Will Occur Online
Prior to 2020, a rule of thumb in B2B sales was that 60% of the sales cycle happened before a prospect picked up the phone. That was truer for some industries more so than others, but the fact is most prospects did at least some online research before talking to a sales rep.
Now, people are very used to doing almost everything online, including research for their jobs. It is highly likely that people who resisted much online research or who preferred face-to-face interactions will have settled into researching on their own. Companies will have to support their sales reps by providing vital resources on their websites to help push prospects through the sales cycle.
Travel Budgets Will Remain Lean
Companies have gotten very used to nonexistent if not super-lean travel budgets, and this could continue in a post-pandemic world now that they know sales can be made from a distance. Travel to trade shows and some onsite visits will likely remain in the budget, but the odds are high that sales reps will have to justify any overnight or air travel in the future.
Relationships Will Matter Even More
Relationships have always mattered in sales, but during the pandemic, sales reps probably found out quickly which clients they truly had strong relationships with, and which may have been on shaky ground. If account management isn’t a function of sales, it would be wise to incorporate some relationship-nurturing approach to ensure that all clients feel valued and respected and trust their sales reps as a resource.
Clients want to work with companies that are willing to step in and help when the chips are down, and the pandemic was proof that strength of relationships can ensure customers stay on the books and pay their bills, even if they are struggling or if margins must take a slight hit for a month or two.
Management Styles Will Continue to Evolve
As customer preferences and interactions change, the ways sales leaders support their teams will have to evolve, as well. One of the best strategies being adopted by successful sales teams is an approach that allows for flexibility based on each customer’s unique buying journey.
This will mean adjusting communication with sales reps, so they understand just how much flexibility they have to make decisions without calling in a manager or sales leader. Pricing matrices may need to be continually adapted, as should internal processes. This may require an investment in ongoing training or short weekly huddles where new information is communicated clearly to all field reps.
Are You Looking For A New Sales Job?
If your company isn’t evolving with the times, take the opportunity to look for a new job with an evolving company and adapt and support its sales staff. If you are interested in inside sales roles in industrial safety equipment and PPE’s exciting field, contact the expert recruiters at The Charis Group today.