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Challenges for commercial teams in today’s environment

Friday November 27th, 2020

In this post we want to analyze the impact that the current global situation is having on the customer experience. Specifically, the change in consumption models and channels is driving a change in the way of organizing sales strategies and teams, contact with customers, and even readapting the products and services offered to the consumer (for example, lines of textile masks in fashion firms, readaptation to online models of events, …)
What are the implications for sales teams?
For sales, the business landscape is changing at a dizzying rate and magnitude. This has these immediate effects:
Sales teams are adapting to remote work

While sales reps are used to traveling and have a number of desktop and mobile apps to help them stay on top of leads and deal progression, that doesn’t necessarily translate seamlessly into remote work to full time. Their personal lives are also likely to be turned upside down, with children and spouses at home and a less-than-ideal workspace. In addition to that, vendors are learning a lot of new technologies to conduct business virtually: team collaboration tools, virtual meeting platforms, electronic signature …

Recalibrate the standard sales pitch

Buyers are distracted on a personal and professional level. Their priorities are completely different. Salespeople need to be sensitive to this and lead with empathy. Additionally, capturing and interpreting buy signals has never been more critical. Marketers need to know when potential customers are likely to appreciate the disclosure, or not, at any given time.

Exploring new sales models to adapt to the “new normal”

The total addressable market needs to be reassessed. Odds must be adjusted to accommodate market downturns. The hierarchies of sales teams are changing. That’s a big change and companies often have a hard time changing sales plans even under normal circumstances. The ability to model different recovery scenarios will be crucial, along with the ability to implement new sales plans that inspire confidence in the sales team.
Sales managers can use this opportunity to strengthen customer data and intelligence strategies, putting them in a better position to get sales back on track as the market recovers. This is the time to:

  • Completely connect sales and marketing data.
  • Ensure that key customer data is managed and updated consistently across the company, from finance to support to sales. It’s imperative that everyone works from the same customer view, especially when that view may change.
  • Enrich customer data with market intelligence and real-time signals to make sales and marketing as effective as possible.

It’s also important for sales managers to rethink the way they develop sales plans. Under normal circumstances, it is quite common to use Excel to enter various bits of data. But a spreadsheet combined with intuition will not work in this unprecedented situation. The adoption of planning methodologies and solutions is more important than ever.

 

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