INDEED, HOW CAN YOU COPE WITH THE CHANGING SALES PROCESS DURING COVID-19?


INDEED, HOW CAN YOU COPE  WITH THE CHANGING SALES PROCESS DURING COVID-19?

The dynamics of the sales world have gone in for a rough change. The usual processes that salespeople know like the back of their hand are no more the same. They now have to manage the new requirements of the customers, have difficult conversations and get their deals scrutinized. How can you cope with the changes in the sales process and close deals?

Let’s find out.

How are the deals changing?
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many businesses in ways they haven’t imagined. Since most industries are affected, there are some unforeseen changes in the business deal structures.

In the SaaS industry, the clients that previously opted for yearly payments are now asking for half-yearly, quarterly or even monthly payment terms. So, the terms and conditions of the deals are also changing to accommodate such requests of the clients. 

In the current situation, you cannot afford to turn down clients. Therefore, you have to be flexible and find common ground to meet the prospects halfway.

On the other hand, there are a few industries that are doing quite well than earlier or at the very least, keeping up with the past momentum. Companies from such sectors are also taking advantage of the current situation and are asking for concessions because everyone else is. 

As a seller, ‘one size fits all’ isn’t the best approach. You have to tailor the deal structures based on clients and prospects instead of offering uniform concessions to all.

What to do when prospects are uncertain to invest in your product?
Many employees are feeling uncertain about their jobs. So, it is becoming hard to convince an employee from the prospect company to stick their neck out to the management and convince them to invest in a product. 

Some companies even have new regulations about buying products for the first time and some scrutinize every single employee purchase with a microscope. In such situations, it’s natural for employees to tread cautiously. 

The only way to ensure that you don’t waste your time with such prospects is to weigh the current state they are in.

  • Consider two buckets: Evaluation Bucket and Purchasing Bucket.
  • Find out which bucket the prospect is in.
  • If the prospect is in the Evaluation Bucket, then think about what you need to do to move the prospect towards the end line—either into the Purchasing Bucket or out of the conversion line. Some prospects aren’t open to buying and you don’t want to waste your time with them. It’s better to know soon about it instead of hearing ‘No’ after you spent time putting together an attractive deal. 
  • After the prospect moves into the Purchasing Bucket, now is the time to think about packaging the deal. Consider custom packages, flexible pricing terms, trials, etc.

If you want to know the right stage where the prospect is in, it’s essential to ask the right questions, even if it’s uncomfortable. At this stage, you should flush out prospects that don’t have any chance of conversions and focus on the ones that have high potential to close the deal.

These are unprecedented times and you need to stay ahead of it. Track the recent purchase journey through the FaceValue app and gather valuable insights for your next prospects. You can even build a predictable revenue with the insights from FaceValue even in such unstable situations!

How are the top management reacting?
Previously, the CEOs, CFOs, CMOs and other people in the top management used to spend less time in offices and more time travelling around offices. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been spending more time in their offices. So, they are sitting down more for customer meetings and taking part in conversion calls. 

You can notice from the below graph that customers of Chorus.ai are noticing a 91% increase in the directors and a 65% increase in the executives joining the customer meetings.

Not only are they sitting down for customer meetings, but they are also participating more in buyer conversations—deciding the non-negotiables, assessing the prospect, discussing the accounting details, etc. This behaviour shows the prospects about the level of importance they have and may increase the chance of conversions.

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How can you change the mode and approach of messaging?
Picking up the phone and calling prospects is one of the strong suites to land customers for SaaS companies. But in the past few months, there is a noticeable reduction in outbound sales calls. Salespeople are reluctant to call the prospects because most are at their homes and so, they don’t want to bother them.

Even if your salespeople aren’t comfortable to call, there are numerous ways to reach out. You can implement a multi-channel approach to increase the possibility of landing deals. 

FaceValue’s 20 Points of Purchase is just what you need to approach prospects 20 different purchase points like social media, newsletters, landing pages, online marketplace, public relations, online market research and many more. With minimal cost per purchase, you can maximize the ROI with FaceValue, the Purchase Generator.

When it comes to the actual messages you put out there, salespeople are conflicted. The times have changed and salespeople are worried about sending out the right message.

A simple solution for that:

Why did people buy your products before?

That will be the same reason why they would want to buy it now. The basis of your message wouldn’t change for your product; you may just need a tweak in the messages to convey it creatively.

Here are a few more tips to craft messages:

  • Why does your product make sense to the prospect right now? 
  • What can you do to prepare before you approach a prospect?
  • How can you align your product to align with the buyer’s interests?
  • What relevant business cases you can use?

Key takeaways
In the face of COVID-19 pandemic, companies have to be flexible with the deals based on the prospect’s current conditions. Use the KPIs from the FaceValue App to better understand the prospect’s actions. 

Salespersons can use business cases instead of generalized use cases to connect better with the buyer. And most of all, believe in the product you are selling. This will reflect on your approach, messaging and all your sales conversations.

This blog is based on SalesHacker’s webinar: From Call to Close: Three Strategies to Uplevel Your Entire Sales Process.

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