The world is constantly changing and there's no such thing as 'normal' anywhere - especially in the digital landscape. New ways of doing things means that businesses will need to be flexible and ready to adapt, pivot and improvise.
The need to be agile has led businesses to find more effective ways to stay connected with their customers and prospects. This couldn't be more true than to the sales teams. Traditionally, it depended on wining and dining clients and taking them on exciting experiences to convince them that you're the right people for the job.
Post-Pandemic, that old approach seems less viable and too high-risk beyond "spending money to make money", it's now become a health risk. 2020 was the start of an era when digital technology is changed permanently and transformed the way we do business and approach sales.
According to research conducted by McKinsey to understand interactions between customers and sales reps, they've found that:
• "More than three quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions" - and this stands true post-lockdown too.
• High-performing sales reps now spend 22% more time with customers — and they often prefer that time to be spent remotely. What’s more, 70 to 80% of B2B customers say they prefer remote interactions.
• Since the pandemic, the power of video as a way to connect with customers has surged, and digital interactions with sales reps are up 41%.
One unchanging factor to sales is that it's about making personal connections with the buyer. So what and how can we identify the best ways to make those connections?
As video conferencing and video emails increase in their use, it has become a no-brainer way to connect with prospects (and clients) in a productive and less-expensive way.
The amount of revenue generated from video-related interactions has jumped by 69% since April 2020. Together, e-commerce and videoconferencing now account for 43% of all B2B revenue, more than any other channel. Customers also made it clear that, given the choice, they prefer video to phone.
As with all changes, it may take a little getting use to and a lot of older folks may be disheartened or frown upon the idea. They too will need to adapt to stay in the game. The reality is that the younger generations will be inheriting positions of authority over time. They are essentially dictating the future of selling and buying and because they've grown up with technology. Growing up on social media interactions and platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok mean that video is simply the format that makes the most sense.
How can you prepare your business for the transition into the video age?
Be open to new ideas on how you can structure your next sales pitch. Whether it be to generate more leads or to be that last point of contact to get them to convert. Get your team comfortable and confident and excited about making video a part of their process. Teach them and empower them to be in front of the camera and learn how to use the latest tools.
Developing templates and an integrated program will ensure that it becomes a daily habit rather than an awkward part of the process.
It might seem overwhelming at first but remember, you're not alone and you don't have to ride the wave solo.
The shift to virtual sales can help sales organisations lower their cost per visit, extend their reach, and significantly improve sales effectiveness—while delighting customers who are demanding these new ways of interacting stick long term and who are likely to reward suppliers that do it well.
Engage with experts to help get the ball rolling and show you what best practice looks like. You have to start sooner or later, so you may as well do it now!