Your sales team has chosen between the three options:

Thrive – Survive – Dive

Remember that some of the survivors are already buying business with lower price points just to generate cash flow. It’s tempting; stay strong; stay competitive.

Just remember that optimism and pessimism are both choices.

People are creatures of habits. Habits are neither good nor bad, they are simply conditioned behaviors.

Thoughts create actions, actions create habits, and habits create character.

Contrary to what you may have read or heard from one of us motivational speakers, it does not take twenty-one days to develop a habit. The time it takes varies based on many different factors (not worth going into here).

So here are the

5 Current Sales Habits We Need to Be Developing:

Begin With Outcome

  • Know where your critical mass of customers is going
  • Help them go there or find another critical mass (or fold your tent)
  • Communicate your outcome clearly to everyone involved: leadership team, employees, customers, the bank, etc.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE (UC): Examining your customer’s customers may not be enough. Consider taking a broader look at your customer’s customer’s customers. You cannot look too deeply into the supply chains you sell into.

Break Down Your Sales Process

  • Some of what you did pre-pandemic cannot be done any longer
  • Some of what you did pre-pandemic needs to be done better or more frequently
  • Some of what you did pre-pandemic can be done with new accounts – perhaps in new markets and industries
  • Some of what you did pre-pandemic may be putting you behind your competitors
  • Continually find new ways to sell better, faster, at lower cost
  •  Remember, everything is up for grabs
  • Conduct a Kaizen for Sales Event

(UC): Your sales model will be in a state of flux for the remainder of the year. Your customers and their customers are moving targets subject to other UCs.

More Tools

  • Digital tools reign
  • Use to overcome “Zoom fatigue” and “Zoombies” (walking dead Zoomers)
  • Fewer talking heads!
  • Tools must be interactive, not just function behind the scenes
  • Customer operated is best
  • Focus on using them for Qualifying & Quantifying your value

(UC): Customers are limiting their Zoom time by asking for information in other formats, and by scheduling fewer and shorter calls.

Who Else? What Else?

(Primarily an executive-level exercise)

  • Watch the going-out-of-business stories
  • Who will pick up their customers?
  • Are there opportunities there for you?
  • What is the motivation behind the closures (cycle, trend, or fad)?
  •  Your leadership calls the shot
  •  Take input from the field – salespeople can bring street cred
  •  Take input from trusted resources

(UC): Vertical and horizontal sales approaches are increasingly important. Finding new accounts and finding new applications for existing accounts will be critical through year-end.

Win/Win/Win

  • Sales has always been win/win: Customer and vendor both win
  • Now consider internal customers, especially sales and service people
  • Become sales-focused, not just sales-driven
  • Consider unique compensation plans for each salesperson
  • Annual sales objectives but no 12-month sales plans – use a rolling x-month plan where X = three sales cycles

(UC): Remember that 2020 Sales Plan you developed last year? How’s that working for you? Finally, be open, flexible, and creative.

 

We have updated “The 5 COVID-19 Sales Habits” white paper to reflect some of the most common issues we are hearing. View that resource to develop the sales skills and build the tools you need for the next season. Decide to thrive, not survive. 

For more than thirty years Chuck Reaves, CSP, CPAE, CSO has been developing forward-leaning sales processes, technologies and leadership principles to help organizations raise their prices and their volumes simultaneously.

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Photo by STIL on Unsplash