5 Sales Best Practices in the Time of COVID‑19

Posted by Guthrie-Jensen Consultants
Sales Best Practices in the Time of COVID-19

We all know that COVID‑19 had sweeping effects on businesses, but to what extent did companies take a hit from the crisis? The following data from The CMO Survey can shed some light on what they have dealt with in the past few months:

  • On average, businesses posted a 17.8% decline in sales from March to April 2020.
  • On average, businesses posted a 14.7% decline in profits from March to April 2020.

Despite the odds, companies can get out of the slump by approaching the problem with creative solutions and boost sales even during the pandemic.

5 Sales Best Practices in the Age of the Pandemic

If your sales performance has been below par as an effect of the global health crisis, these selling techniques and ideas may invigorate your sales pipeline anew.

Take stock of your current products and services

Take time to assess the existing products and services you provide to your consumers. Depending on the type you sell, some of these may not be relevant to your market right now, while some may still work with a little sales pitch adjustment to frame it in a way that addresses your audience’s urgent concerns.

You can produce content and rework your sales pitch that taps on new industries or potential customers that will benefit from your products or services. While you’re at it, review the current ads you’re running and update them as per your inventory. You wouldn’t want to advertise products or services that are temporarily discontinued or unavailable.

Optimize your sales pipeline for a digital-first strategy

Businesses reach consumers through digital channels and use online marketing strategies to do so. However, the strict safety measures brought upon by the pandemic have completely immersed consumers in digital technology. It has fully become a part of their everyday interactions, from shopping and getting food delivered to conducting meetings and bonding with friends and relatives.

It’s not enough to put your business online—you must approach a digital-first strategy. Your customers have changed as an effect of the pandemic. Thus, their buying behavior changed, as well. Consumers are now willing to purchase everything online. With this, your sales team must know the challenges and opportunities to close more deals in this digital-first era.

Digital selling is different from face-to-face selling. Effective digital selling is one of the things you can find out more about in Guthrie‑Jensen’s Virtual Sales Excellence seminar, where you will be prepped for the new normal of selling.

Re-evaluate your value proposition and update your personas

As a sales professional, it’s your job to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes to help get your message across and improve your sales pitches. Due to the pandemic, your consumer’s priorities may have changed, so the value you provided before COVID‑19 might be irrelevant now.

You must reconfigure how your sales experience can bring value to your current and new customers. This doesn’t mean that you should write off specific industries or target personas. Instead, adjust your strategies to reflect the current changes and their effect on your consumers. Review your key personas and update them to reflect their new priorities, roles, current needs, and present issues they now face.

This is the key to formulating more relevant and valuable engagement and marketing strategies that can help you capture the right audience today.

Keep communication lines open for customers

Businesses and consumers are both affected by this global health crisis, and both are experiencing many changes (e.g., change in routine, new work management setup, financial struggle). Now more than ever, it’s important to build and strengthen consumer trust, and one way to do that is to show empathy.

Research shows that about 43% of consumers find it good to hear from brands they know and trust. Around 40% of consumers also find it reassuring to hear what brands are doing in response to the health crisis.

Use your communication channels to deliver important messages to your consumers, such as delays in production, expected delivery time, services that are returning and halted, and how you’re keeping your customers and team safe.

Modify your marketing strategies

Since it has been several months since the pandemic began, chances are you’ve already combed through your marketing plans to modify any tone-deaf or inappropriate marketing messaging and content in your materials. As people slowly adapt to a new normal, and as the world fights to the end of the pandemic, you may be able to gradually shift your tone back to how it used to be.

It’s essential to be aware of your tone and how you speak to your existing and potential customers. Don’t use the pandemic to capitalize on your target audience’s hardships, as they can tell if you’re taking advantage of their unfortunate situation. Here are some tips on adjusting your marketing strategies for more effective digital selling.

  • Do not approach the pandemic with insensitive humor.
  • If your business can inject a bit of humor in your marketing materials, do so. This can bring smiles to your audience, and they will remember you for it.
  • Keep your messaging clear and remain sympathetic.

Get Into the Right Sales Mindset

Facing the challenges and disruptions caused by the pandemic will continue, but it will eventually pass once it all blows over. You can’t stop selling now, but you can’t wait for things to get better. You have to view things differently to find new opportunities to help you close deals and drive sales.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you plan, modify, and improve your sales strategies and customer experience thoughtfully to rise from the pandemic stronger than ever.

Learn how to keep up with the changes with Guthrie‑Jensen’s Virtual Sales Excellence seminar.

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