Jim Preston, VP EMEA Sales at Showpad, discusses what resellers can do to keep making sales in the current environment
By now, most of us have adapted to the reality of remote selling, spending far less time with customers on-site than we used to. Clearly, it’s been a bit of a necessary evil, but now that the schools have gone back and the home office is a bit quieter for some of us, the novelty is fast wearing off.
However, with the rising rates of Covid in the UK and the likelihood of a second spike in the virus, a rapid recovery to ‘the old normal’ seems increasingly slim. This makes it doubly important for resellers to check that they’re doing all they can to stay smart, sell well and beat the competition. Although some of the following tips might already be in your toolkit, they represent what we’ve seen from the most successful businesses in the last six months, so they’re well worth mulling over.
Bring virtual customer meetings to life
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome with remote working is adapting your selling tactics to ensure your sellers can still deliver incredible buying experiences. According to SiriusDecisions, 82% of B2B buyers make a purchase decision based on experience, ahead of product and price. That means the charisma and charm that’s on display in face-to-face interactions cannot get lost when meetings go virtual.
Several studies have concluded that communication is 55% your body language, 38% voice and tone, and 7% what you actually say. With so much being communicated visually, it underlines the importance of prioritising video to engage buyers. From on-camera sales presentations to valuable video messages, resellers have to be comfortable being in front of the camera. Using video allows sellers to deliver sales presentations, ask and answer questions and determine next steps “face-to-face,” which is more personal and engaging to the buyer.
What’s more, video calls let resellers more effectively gauge buyer interest by accessing both verbal and non-verbal communication, like facial expressions and tone. This information is essential to helping a seller determine how the meeting is going, and potential next steps.
In addition to video, there are other ways resellers can engage buyers. Consider using technology that enables sellers to set up branded microsites, where they can share content and collaborate with their buyers. Better yet, these digital spaces can provide sellers with analytics showing which stakeholders accessed which documents, allowing them to better tailor their follow-up to accelerate the buying process.
Improve content accessibility
Even before the coronavirus, many companies had sales content locked away in individual siloes, on separate SharePoint or Google Drives, rather than in one single shared space. This is dangerous: you don’t want your team wasting precious time searching for the right resources when they could be selling – or worse, sharing incorrect or outdated information. With one, easily accessible online space for all content, resellers have accurate, up-to-date information at their fingertips, and can share this with customers and prospects in real-time. Content systems with intelligent search can also recommend additional, relevant assets to help secure the deal.
With the addition of insights from analytics you can see what content is being used and is well received and get visibility into what is not performing so well. This grants a more holistic view of your customers, how they’re engaging with your business and their purchasing journey. Better insights also makes it easier for resellers to create personalised content for really engaging buyer interactions. This is vital to help you stand out and prove your value, especially when you cannot interact with customers or prospects face-to-face.
Commit to continuous coaching from anywhere
While in-person training and coaching is no longer possible, you can take these efforts online. Digitalise your training and coaching to ensure that on-going training is still available, regardless of location.
Resellers need to make a special effort to prioritise training and coaching during this time. If using a digital training platform, managers can track the development and progress of individual sellers to identify potential weak spots and opportunities for further coaching. This allows managers to ward off bad habits before they start and ensure that each team member is operating to the best of their ability, even at this difficult time.
With so much uncertainty, ensuring that your sales team remains motivated and can work from anywhere at any time is crucial. Your whole workforce still needs to be able to do what they do best. For resellers, that means working harder to sell, using the best possible tools and approaches to keep making those sales, keep customers happy and keeping those margins up.