The Post Covid-19 Impact on Sales Teams: 3 Long-term Effects
Sales and marketing teams in countries worst affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have adapted to the needs of today’s largely remote selling environment by now. The B2B / tech marketplace has undergone a drastic shift too. In an environment where B2B networking events were a strategic source of leads for several tech and SaaS companies, adjusting to a new normal that enforces no physical events in the midst of social distancing norms have pushed several B2B tech marketing and sales teams to think about re-aligning their processes for the rest of the year.
While adjusting to an extended period of virtual Zoom prospecting calls and redefined sales outbound strategies to suit the temperaments and needs of the new normal, it is inevitable that sales and marketing teams will now witness a fundamental shift in their basic functioning even in a post-Covid-19 world.
What are some of the long-term impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on Sales?
A Different World for Field Sales Executives and Teams
Sophisticated sales technologies allow marketing and sales leaders all-time visibility into every kind of sales and marketing activity. Having the same kind of visibility to assess and measure every field sales activity is not something many sales and marketing leaders can boast of, yet.
But when outsides sales and marketing activities come to a stop because of an ongoing pandemic, the immediate next steps involve realigning the goals, processes and strategies for field sales teams. Given that several businesses did witness drastic operational savings when they didn’t incur expenses on outbound activities like events, field sales visits and meetings during this downtime; going ahead, and keeping in mind that there is no concrete solution to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic yet, the state of Field Sales is bound to look very different in a post-Covid-19 era. Not only will the must-have skillsets in field sales people need to evolve, to adapt to a virtual selling room as opposed to actually selling face-to-face, the ideologies and methods used by these teams will transform, making them adapt to a more digital-role.
A New Standard for Sales and Marketing Messaging
Over the last few years, the high priority allocated to personalizing marketing and sales efforts while focusing on a more hyper-targeted outbound strategy that helps prioritize key prospects over others created the need for a more authentic, omnichannel messaging standard. Come 2020 and with the gradual spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on day to day business and life, sales and marketing leaders around the world stood united in establishing a need to focus on empathy when conducting business during this time. At the end of the day, people buy from people and people make the company (or sales team!). The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has now established a long-term need for sales and marketing to focus on building and developing customer relationships and not just with the aim to sell their products. This impact will continue to influence the basics of sales messaging and marketing positioning strategies.
Reducing Time Spent on Non-selling Activities
The Covid-19 pandemic has not just created a strategic shift in the basic functioning of departments, teams and businesses, it has led to teams revisiting what kind of salestech or martech they need to adopt in order to boost outcomes despite the evolving challenges caused by the pandemic. Sales teams who have capitalized on auto-dialers during this time for instance, sales teams who use automated sales responses to standard prospecting questions found ways to double their efforts with the right automation and technologies. In several conversations with sales leaders, executives spoke about how their teams ended up booking more than the usual number of prospect meetings on a particular day during the pandemic induced lockdowns between March and June. Using the right set of tools to move prospects down the sales funnel and focusing more on these sales interactions and less on non-selling functions during this time was a big reason for this. As sales and marketing teams get accustomed to conducting every business activity virtually, the standards set for day to day roles will change in the long-term. Better investments in technologies that help align and centralize data and analytics will lead to sales teams spending less time on daily meetings within team members while upping their outbound process and tactics, in the long-term.
Sales and marketing teams are now leveraging new operational mindsets and processes to orchestrate better processes for the new normal. Besides fixing evolving real-time challenges that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic keeps throwing up, sales leaders are focusing more on creating resilient long-term sales processes as a lesson from this current pandemic. The focus on shifting to more adaptable, cloud-based, transparent processes that boosts better internal and external alignment is a need of the hour and will set a new standard in the long-term.