With the pandemic upending almost every aspect of the business world, it’s no surprise that sales prospecting strategies have also shifted dramatically over the past year. But which current sales trends and prospecting practices will stand the test of time? In the post-covid economy, a new sales model is bound to emerge, and businesses with the foresight to prepare properly will undoubtedly reap the benefits. Here are a few of our best tips for how to get ahead of the pack.
ASSESS WHAT’S CHANGED
Pre-covid, the art of sales prospecting mostly revolved around persistent and timely phone calls and voicemails. Now the most effective strategies revolve around a three-pronged approach: calls, e-mails, and a steady dose of LinkedIn.
The emergence of LinkedIn as a lead generator has been the most noteworthy development. Previously, in-person meetings and phone conversations were considered essential ice-breakers that would set the table for some light LinkedIn follow-up. But the recent dependence on digital platforms and the rise of automation products like Cleverly and Octopus have transformed LinkedIn into a powerful tool for introducing prospective clients to your brand.
Another significant trend is the mass shift to Zoom and Teams for sales presentations. Because these are visual platforms, mastering the art of visual presentation has become a difference-maker. Reading text off a slide may have worked in person but will not cut it when pitching through your laptop. Developing a personable on-camera presence along with visually appealing Powerpoint presentation skills is now an absolute must.
HAVE A PLAN
As we transition into a post-Covid landscape, it will be important not to get stuck simply chasing virtual trends that have emerged during the pandemic. Instead, a sound post-covid strategy will be needed.
Once in-person options become available, there will be a bit of a land grab, as companies that are first back to trade shows, lunch-and-learns, and in-person meetings will set themselves apart from the crowd. Resist the temptation to shortcut the process once this happens. Following steps that were standard before the pandemic may seem outdated, but if re-implemented correctly, they can be differentiators that set you apart from competitors that use the shift towards digital communication as an excuse to hide behind the screen.
It’s also important to remember that while specific industries were certainly devastated during the pandemic, other niches are sitting around with a lot of pent-up spend after hoarding assets waiting to see how the economy panned out. Anticipating the types of projects and services that these companies will be looking to spend on will give you a huge leg up on earning their business as they begin to open up their wallets again.
Even with a plan in hand, it’s important not to get ahead of yourself. No one knows what the future may hold regarding the pandemic, and in all likelihood, we will remain in a hybrid world for a bit where zoom calls are mixed in with sparse on-site meetings. Face time with prospective clients may be harder to get than you anticipate if they choose to work from home permanently or move their business to a new market. The smart move will be to position yourself to be ready to read and react as the full impact of the past year becomes more apparent.
If you’re looking to plan for a post-covid surge in business or just want to know more about what the post-covid sales world may look like so you can be as prepared as possible, contact OSR today.