HARDISON’S TIPS – NOVEMBER 23, 2020 – SELLING IN A COVID 19 WORLD (PT. 1)
A month ago we were cranking out calls, traveling to meet clients, and shaking hands with colleagues. Now, we are facing dramatic change that we have never experienced before. Joking aside, this is a new frontier for many of us, and the old rules no longer apply.
Over the past week, our Information team has seen a dramatic increase in customers asking for guidance on how to adapt their existing strategy to accommodate a global pandemic and a struggling economy. Below are the four steps Leaders, Outreach Administrators, and Sellers need to take to:
- The Value You Provided Yesterday Might Be Irrelevant
- Re-Evaluate Your Content
- Collaborate, Don’t Pitch
- Don’t Lose Your Low-Hanging Fruit
What does it take to lead and adapt in a remote sales world?
The Value You Provided Yesterday Might Be Irrelevant
Part of our job in sales has always been putting ourselves in the buyer’s shoes, and this is still true now. Ask yourself, how have your prospect’s priorities changed in the last 30 days, 7 days, or today? Are they facing more risk or a sudden opportunity? Your content most likely references a value proposition (“We are the fastest in the industry”) or “why buy now” statements that won’t resonate with your prospects today. The value you provided yesterday might be irrelevant or how you message your value might need to be tweaked. Before you change anything in your Outreach instance, think critically about how your value proposition and personas should be changed.
Sales & Marketing Leaders: Update Your Value Proposition and Personas
If your prospect’s business focuses on change, you will want to reflect that in your persona messaging/targeting. For example, here at Outreach, the shift to remote work provides us an opportunity to double-down on our messaging about how we support distributed teams. Our customers are focused on supporting their newly work from home (WFH) teams as well, and we have pivoted our content to highlight the value we provide remote leaders and employees. Our customers in analytics and business intelligence are adapting their messaging to talk about how businesses can forecast and manage risk in these uncertain times.
Don’t automatically write-off entire industries. For example, selling into restaurants sounds unilaterally difficult now, right? Not quite. Some of our customers in food service have revised their messaging to highlight how they support delivery and takeout operations. Lauren Alt and the team at Solv have a similar challenge right now – they provide on-demand in-office visits for urgent care clinics. Lauren and the team recognized that these clinics need Solv’s telemedicine solution more than ever to keep doctors and patients safe, and maintain access to care for at-risk populations. Lauren focused on updating their Outreach strategy to focus on the value provided by telemedicine, and the team at Solv signed over 100 new customers last week.
I spoke with Dan Gottlieb, Analyst in the Sales Practice at TOPO, to talk about what they’re seeing in the market and in the results of their “Impact of COVID-19” survey. Dan advised sales orgs to adjust their strategies to reflect the changes–some seismic–that COVID-19 has had on companies. He notes, “Everybody is experiencing some degree of change right now, and the degree of change varies by their role, industry, size, and geography. To design extremely relevant and valuable engagement tactics, capture the insights below about key personas across the buying committee:
- The juxtaposition between roles, priorities, day in the life from pre-COVID19 vs now
- The top 2 critical issues preventing leaders from achieving adjusted priorities and the risk of not fixing them, and then capture the rhetoric they used to describe the issue
- 2-3 insights from your current customers about their plan to address similar issues.”
Make It A Champion Day!