Finding Sales Success in 2021
It’s safe to say that 2020 was not a breeze for anyone, including the sales industry. For sales reps, adjusting to virtual selling meant finding new ways to interact with leads, improving content from boring to interactive and rethinking PowerPoint presentations to address shrinking budgets and risk averse prospects.
While we couldn’t predict the impact the global pandemic had on our lives personally or professionally, one thing is certain we quickly learned to adapt and adjust. As we head into 2021, I put together several trends that sellers should keep in mind.
The ongoing death of the traditional PowerPoint
Sellers are relying on PowerPoint presentations to connect with customers now more than ever since moving online. However, these presentations are not effective in-person and are even less effective online. During the COVID-19 pandemic, sellers reverted back to relying on PowerPoint versus having engaging, personalized conversations with interactive content. As 2021 approaches, sellers must get rid of their hundred-page decks and simplify their multiple page PowerPoints into visual, dynamic and clickable interactive content. Additionally, they need to incorporate vignettes and interactive navigation to “pick a story” based on the customer’s challenges. Whether it’s from marketing, sales, or customer success, Everyone involved in the selling experience must elevate the engagement experience and optimize it for the customers in this new remote, digital environment.
Marketing and sales leaders working more closely together
As we move forward and the customer journey shifts online even more, marketers and sellers need to be more aligned. Customers might not see the difference between sales and marketing even though there are significant variances between the two. In 2021, there needs to be more engagement amongst sellers and marketers before, during, and after a sale is made. The more connected sellers and marketers are, the less likely buyers are to deal with disconnects, hand-off issues, messaging challenges and more. In the scheme of things, everything that happens before a prospect reaches out to a sales rep and after a deal is closed are both just as important as the actual interaction between the sales rep and prospect.
Simplify the decision-making process
When consumers and buyers are stressed out, the status quo bias is amplified. This means the risk of making the wrong decision and the perceived cost of the decision increases. Throughout the sales process, if any complexity to choosing a solution is introduced, it is seen as a negative. Before COVID-19, companies could present many different options to customers without running into neurocapability limitations, but this is no longer the case. Looking into 2021, sellers should simplify the options presented and facilitate the decision-making process to be incredibly diagnostic and prescriptive. Sellers should use low or no risk language, perceived low cost, extreme value, and facilitated choice, resembling a concierge for the prospect. This will
provide an appropriate recommendation rather than giving the prospect too many options to choose from.
Proactively deliver financial justification
As we move forward, sellers need to share business value outcomes and financial justification early and often. When your customers have their budgets slashed and are under a spending freeze, like has happened to many companies in 2020, it’s essential to turn to financial justification. It’s important for sellers to proactively provide an ROI business case on all proposals. Your customer will want to see how your proposed solution will allow their company to cut costs, do more with less, reduce risks and transform to grow.
2020 created a wide array of challenges that significantly impacted the sales industry. With the selling process moving more online, sellers will continue to rely on technology. As outdated tools like PowerPoint get replaced with interactive content and sellers simplify the
decision-making process through facilitation, the selling process will transform. Building transparent relationships with clients and marketers, along with delivering financial justification early and often to clients will also allow sellers to find success in 2021.
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