Unprecedented times call for a change of strategy. If you haven’t yet adapted your sales tactics to address the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to think about how to pivot as you position your company to rebound from the crisis. The priorities and needs of your prospects and customers have changed—and so have the opportunities for you to grow your relationship and win more deals with them.
In a recent set of five webinars, we covered the essential issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic and offered practical tips to help sellers strengthen bonds with customers and achieve higher levels of performance. We’ve memorialized the key lessons from each webinar, along with top questions and feedback gathered from attendees, in our latest sales resource, a guide to Selling Through the Turn.
Here’s what you’ll learn in each chapter.
Chapter 1: Qualifying Opportunities Virtually
In the opening chapter, you’ll learn why it’s important to change how you qualify leads in the pandemic. We discuss the four elements of the strategic opportunity pursuit equation: people, solutions, perceived return on investment and opportunity pursuit strategy. Our focus is helping sellers develop a strategy that allows them to quickly and consistently qualify sales opportunities.
We show you how to prepare a strategic opportunity quality scorecard that you can use to evaluate leads based on their desirability and winnability. We’ll also share the “big six” qualifying categories that point you to which deals you should pursue first: solution alignment, decision-making process, timing, other people, competition and budget. Then we’ll teach you how to use questions aligned with the big six to get the information you need to determine whether to move deals forward.
Chapter 2: Motivating Customers to Take Action
In the wake of the pandemic, sales cycles have lengthened, and your buyers’ needs and perceptions may have changed. Before you attempt to get your customers to move forward, evaluate their mode and mindset to determine how likely it is that they will act. Many buyers are risk-averse and hypervigilant given the uncertainty of their market, which may cause them to revert to a “freeze” state, where they’re unlikely to make any decisions.
When a buying influence is in a freeze state, a seller’s job is to figure out how to move them from emotional to rational thinking. This chapter reveals how empathy and listening encourage buyers to act without pushing them away. We’ll also give you a four-step framework to guide you through an empathic conversation that helps you build alignment between your customer and your solution.
Chapter 3: Staying Relevant to Customers in Crisis
Sellers today face a quandary: how to break out of the buyer apathy loop while they’re selling from home. For buyers to see sellers as a resource, sellers must find ways to offer valuable insights and perspective. Fortunately, the pandemic offers a situation where buyers welcome receiving insights and thought leadership from sellers.
In this chapter, we show you how to expand your knowledge of your customer’s situation and challenges and how to use that knowledge to deliver perspective that addresses an unrecognized problem, an unanticipated solution or an unseen opportunity or how to serve as a broker of capabilities to better support your customer. We also explain how to use tools such as a value matrix to organize your thinking.
Chapter 4: Using Perspective to Move the Deal
Now that you know why perspective helps move deals forward, in this chapter, we show you how to develop that perspective through research. We then help you understand how to connect that perspective to your buyers’ highest-priority issues during the pandemic.
Additionally, you’ll discover how to tailor your message to your stakeholder. We’ll explain the different types of buying influences, the vehicles for sharing perspective and the five buying personas—charismatic, thinker, skeptic, follower and controller—that you should consider in crafting your message.
Chapter 5: Adjusting Sales Compensation Design
In the final chapter, we address ways that organizations can take steps to adjust seller compensation during the crisis. The goal here is to make temporary adjustments that account for the uncertainties in the market without adopting permanent changes that may affect the organization’s ability to bounce back once the economy begins to turn around.
The chapter discusses a variety of ways that organizations can motivate sellers, including by setting up an incentive compensation relief team to guide decision-making and establishing new policies and procedures. We share the key factors that play into organizations’ compensation decisions: job roles, target pay levels, mix and upside, measures and weights, mechanics and links, quota setting and allocation, implementation and administration and evaluation and planning.
Start Your Rebound Now
Survival after the coronavirus requires sales organizations to prepare to pivot, both now and in the future as the situation continues to evolve. These chapters give sales organizations a blueprint for how to adjust their business for what’s next.
Download A Guide to Selling Through the Turn today to start planning your organization’s rebound.