For a workforce that is used to earning more immediate dividends on their work, most sales professionals have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, their sales progress is measured in spoonfuls, rather than wheelbarrows. The sales cycle has been extended, and the traditional sales playbook, for many, has been torn up.
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Seemingly overnight, the business world, as we know it, has changed, albeit temporarily. However, it’s hard not to imagine that some of these changes might become permanent. People, undoubtedly, will find more ways to be productive in a more virtual workspace – and, as I write this, I and my team are still trying to figure out the rules of engagement.
As sales professionals, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what the selling landscape will look like, both in the near, and long term. But two things are certain: We need to find ways to maintain some level of productivity during these heady times of social distancing and economic turmoil; and, though it’s hard to picture now, eventually, the threat will pass, the clouds will part, and we will need to be ready to resume activities in the new normal.
Ask most sales professionals when they last took time for themselves, and you’ll likely be met with one of three reactions: A pregnant pause while they try to remember; a scoff about the preposterous nature of the question – or simply a blank stare.
Technology has made it a difficult time to be a human during online communication – advances like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and bots have mitigated the need for organic beings to be involved in many aspects of the selling paradigm.
Fortunately for those of us who walk upright, humanity is still critically important – particularly given the importance of consultative selling as a means of resonating with buyers.
So, you’ve embraced the concept of consultative sales training; you understand your responsibility as a trusted advisor to be attentive and to put your client first, and you’re ready to take your new mandate to the field.
But, before you go charging into the unknown, one last question: Are you truly an expert on your client’s business and industry? I mean, have you REALLY taken the time to understand the landscape?
Working Remotely From Home
The Coronavirus and COVID-19 infection have thrust us all into unfamiliar, if not uncharted, territory. Along with other mandated changes to our daily lives, the requirement to implement “social distancing” measures, to avoid the spread of the illness, carries with it some of the most draconian of implications.
Though it’s likely true that the CEO of your business bears the most responsibility, headaches, and bottles of Advil, I came across a definition of the term “business development” recently that, taken literally, would give any CEO a run for their money.
Change, for the win: Consultative Selling Habits
Many creatures of the forest, as we learned in grade school, tend to hibernate through the winter. After working all season to hoard their nuts, berries, and other fortifications, they slink off to take their long winter’s slumber.
Action Plan for Sales Target Achievement - 4 Steps
Fishing, it would seem, is not as simple as one would think. Sure, you could grab the gear you have collecting dust in your garage, lazily toss a line from a dock into a backyard stream, and eventually, you may grab a bite or two on the line.
But what if you decided that, today’s the day everything’s going to change? Today, you will elevate your fishing game, and set your sights on a larger, more productive body of water – say the Atlantic Ocean, as an example. Using your same technique, you head down to the shoreline with your trusty rod and reel and rubber worms, cast your lines into the deep blue – and, well, you can almost hear the fish laughing at you as they swim by.