We cannot escape from Corona and have all been infected - at least when we look at the impact on our daily work. Sales staff can no longer work in their familiar environment - the one-on-one with the customer - but have to rely on new, especially innovative ways. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, it is all the more important that we do not forget the human component on this path. On the one hand, this involves understanding and responding to the other person. Only in this way can a healthy and strong relationship develop. On the other hand, it also means taking the sales staff with you. Because you have to leave your familiar environment, which is not always easy for people.
The current challenge is the optimal opportunity for this, since it is clear to everyone that this will not work in the future as it has done in the past. Taking this chance now will give you a competitive advantage in the future.
Why does digitalization make sense in sales?
According to a study by the Ruhr University, companies with a high level of digital maturity increase their return on sales by an average of three percent. No entrepreneur can afford to leave this potential on the street, especially now.
But why is it so difficult to successfully convert one's own sales department to the digital age?
With "Sales 4.0", customers increasingly have the reins in their hands. Surveys have shown that sales managers see the following as the biggest challenges for the digitalization of their area:
- Rising customer demands require constant investment in the further development of their own product range.
- The balance of power in the purchasing process is increasingly shifting to the customers' side.
- New competitors are questioning conventional business models and are asserting themselves on the market.
Today's customers operate digitally and are changing over more quickly. Offer yourself right offers.
Customers have been able to obtain all the information they need in advance of a sales decision. The Internet means that purchasing decisions are often made before the first contact is made.
But what do you have to do for this?
- Find customers
The classic cold calling is still glorified. The best employee in sales is the one who wins the battle with the customer and wins it for the company. Unfortunately, right now the customers are in the home office and have other things to do than talking to their salespeople. Especially when the reason is missing.
Wouldn't it be better if the prospects approached you on their own initiative, because you are on the right track. If you have recognized the customer's problem because you have interpreted signals correctly. This can be a website visit, but also a change in the company.
These signals can provide good CRM systems and help your sales department to find the customers who also offer a high sales opportunity.
- Using data
Each of our actions is determined by data. Especially in the present time data give us the best possibility to inform the customer at the right time. The right time for contacting the customer plays a particularly important role.
However, data alone does not make any sense, only the interpretation and the concrete derivation of action turn data into gold. What is the point of knowing, for example, if a person has a birthday, if I don't make anything out of it. Or that a company has a change in management. The interpretation that this represents a good opportunity and calls for concrete action is crucial. It still applies: "A fool with a tool is still a fool." The tool data does not make us smarter per se - unless we use it sensibly.
- Simplifying communication
Marketing is the entertainment with everyone, sales is the 1:1 communication. Psychological components in particular play a decisive role here. And in today's world, where everyone wants to avoid contact, digital communication media play an even greater role.
Why don't you use media such as video, text and messenger and the voice message for your communication? But don't forget that despite the entire digitalization, the human being still carries the purchase decision. This makes it all the more important to orientate communication to the person opposite. Because only if I speak the language of the customer, I will reach him.
This is probably one of the biggest challenges for change. Up to now, sales employees have been used to seeing the customer and being able to assess him. But this possibility is currently being drastically reduced. Here, too, there is support in the digital age that gives your sales staff the security to assess people correctly and communicate in the right language.
The most important thing – take care of your employees and take the matter on your hand
Every change begins with the employees. Because they have to go along with the chosen path. Every change process is characterized by 7 phases:
- The shock: change hurts. The typical reaction in this phase is shock and surprise, fear of the new situation and lack of understanding.
- The rejection: After the shock, people often cling to the past and would like to move on as if nothing had changed.
- The rational insight: Employees acknowledge that their rejection of the change does not bring the desired result, and they see a change as inevitable, maybe even necessary.
- Emotional acceptance: At the lowest point of reflected competence, a decisive turnaround occurs. Employees begin to accept the change and not just understand it
- Learning: Employees begin to deal with the situation, curiosity for the new path and the processes involved. Through trial and error the appropriate measures are learned.
- The realization: Realizing that change also has its good points. Through initial success in expanding one's own abilities, the successful integration of actions into practical everyday life begins.
- The integration: The new measures and behaviour patterns are ultimately fully integrated into the work process and are taken for granted by the staff.
The current situation offers the unique opportunity to go through the difficult phases more quickly at the beginning, as all employees are aware that they have to change due to the general conditions. Therefore, now is not the time to bury one's head in the sand, but rather the best time to take the right steps to emerge from the crisis stronger.
Seize the opportunity now and take your employees with you on the path of change.
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