During the COVID-19 lockdown it has been reported that:
• B2B sales opportunities are down by 73.9%
• 37.5% of B2B salespeople lack confidence about their job security
• 66.7% of B2B sellers lack confidence that they will hit sales targets this year
The learning curve for B2B sellers has never been sharper than during the COVID-19 lockdown. Perhaps the biggest change has been adapting sales strategies and customer outreach to this new world.
Despite the challenges presented by social distancing, B2B sellers have had to find new ways to remain close to customers – to understand how customers are feeling, how their needs are evolving, and most importantly how to remain helpful to them.
Lockdown and social distancing measures are now slowly being eased, and the Government and businesses alike are focussed on recovery and how to kick start growth.
Whilst it’s fair to say we haven’t yet arrived at the new normal, or fully understand what it will look like, it is coming – and B2B sellers need to be prepared to reimagine their sales strategies.
How can B2B sellers reinvigorate their pipeline and customer relationships in order to recover?
How can they remain effective and productive in the new normal?
The answers lie in data and insight.
Changing customer behaviours require a dynamic new approach
Customer behaviours have been fundamentally changed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent report by McKinsey, to win in the new normal (or next normal) companies need to identify current behaviours and what will define the new customer experience landscape.
McKinsey particularly highlights the importance of digital excellence and the use of dynamic customer insights in the new normal. They believe that the companies that invest in enhancing these capabilities will cement their advantage.
Be led by data, be fuelled by insight
So how can you demonstrate your understanding of what matters most to customers, devise innovative strategies to overcome their pain, and exceed their evolving expectations?
1. Update intelligence on a daily basis
Tracking and filtering what is happening within customer segments will remain vital in the new normal.
With customers likely to suffer the after-effects for months or even years to come, you need access to the latest real-time news about them, triaged from the widest possible range of data sources – structural changes, company financials, risk data, sentiment, pain and buying triggers to name but a few.
By keeping your intelligence feed up-to-the-minute accurate, you will be poised to assist those that are struggling with new solutions to problems, as well as seek out new opportunities to deliver value and differentiated customer experiences.
2. Maintain relationships at social distance
Homeworking and social distancing will be here to stay. It is therefore important for you to create virtual, digital experiences that are on a par with, or perhaps even better than, the in-person sales experience if you’re to keep customers engaged with you and your brand.
Sharing content, delivering personalised communications, and crafting tailored, relevant and timely outreach all require a constant stream of actionable insight and intelligence.
Digital sales tools that provide such a stream can drive content creation and uncover trigger events to highlight when a customer would benefit from a well-timed email or piece of content.
3. Work smarter and stay motivated
The new normal is likely to be underpinned by instability and uncertainty, but you will still be required to drive growth and hit targets.
Likewise, your customers will still have needs and problems to be solved if they are to succeed.
Digital sales tools that automate the analysis of data, identify trends and insights, and deliver them straight to your desktop or mobile device will help you stay on top of your pipeline, stay in touch with customer dynamics, find information easily, and respond efficiently and quickly to customer changes.
They will also keep you motivated by reducing time-consuming routine tasks and freeing up your capacity for more complex and fulfilling relationship-building responsibilities.
Be at the vanguard of shaping B2B sales for the new normal
The new normal will be anything but static. In a dynamic and fast-moving new B2B sales world, we believe that in order to respond quickly to a constantly changing environment, B2B sellers will need to have unrivalled access to customer intelligence and advanced abilities to apply customer insights.
As McKinsey so rightly points out, more than ever before, this is the time for organisations to invest in building these capabilities and taking advantage of the digital sales tools that are now available.
Find out more about how Artesian can help you and your organisation prepare for the new normal.
If you’re an Artesian user returning from furlough, then check out our Back to Business Toolkit to help you get back in the game and back in the customer mindset quickly.