2020 has certainly been a year unlike any other. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything we know, and transformed our ways of working – potentially forever. Gone are the days of the routine 9 to 5 office job with the mundane daily commutes getting to work and the inevitable traffic queues or public transport cancellations, and in their place are remote working and phased returns to work at staggered hours or across just a few days each week.
The sales sector is one that has been hit particularly hard by the changes, but in some ways that is no bad thing. Industries move on, and those who stand still for too long are left behind missing out on vital investment or growth opportunities.
New processes and innovations are seen as highly beneficial across most industries and sectors, and that is no different in sales. Having the infamous gift of the gab is one thing, but you need to be able to show that you’re a salesperson who is capable of moving with the times, too. What worked for you on a campaign last year is already out of date – you need to adapt. Just like the world we live in, the sales industry has changed and you need to be willing to change with it in order to succeed.
Spending habits have changed
One of the biggest changes in the sales process has been related to spending habits and the fact that, in a lot of cases, people have tightened their belts and even cut costs as a result of the recession that has followed the pandemic.
The UK is officially in its worst recession for some time and businesses have been struggling to make ends meet forcing them to make redundancies, while consumers have tightened their belts with shops closed and decisions to make over whether or not the investment they would’ve made was a wise one or not.
Where that leaves us now is a position where businesses have less money because they have less customers, and customers are not spending because the businesses are closed – or because they’ve had to tighten their belts as a result of being redundant or put on furlough, reducing their monthly income. People are prioritising what and where they spend, reducing their disposable income, meaning a sale is tougher to make than ever before.
No escaping new technology
Technology is everywhere and there’s no way of avoiding it, especially in the sales process. Customers are much more willing to provide certain snippets of information these days safe in the knowledge that legislation such as GDPR is in place to protect certain aspects, and this enables the technology to personalise their experience.
By giving their favourite brands and high street retailers their personal information they can receive targeted ads online, along with tailored emails and phone calls from sales teams that are genuinely relevant to them and likely to result in a purchase – or at the very least serious consideration about making a purchase.
The data doesn’t lie
Data is freely available for sales teams to use and it’s down to those teams exactly how they wish to interpret the facts and figures. Internal figures may once have been used solely to monitor how many sales have been made, but now it is being analysed in the finest of details to pull out snippets of information that could help develop a data-led strategy.
If teams can understand and implement strategies based on genuine facts and figures then it gives them the foundations they need to put plans in place, develop new campaigns based on demographic, geographic and other freely available internal data and ultimately succeed in their end goals.
It’s not just the sales team who sell
One of the things that we have learnt here at Meet Hugo is that it’s not just down to the sales department to make a sale. Every member of every team has a part to play in selling products and services, ranging from blog posts to e-Books, conference conversations and digital PR campaigns.
Sure, it may then be down to the sales department to seal the deal by having those important conversations with prospects but all members of the team can use their own individual skills to generate leads.