I don’t know about you but I’m starting to get used to this home office stuff. I’ve finally sorted myself out with a pretty sweet setup, right by the window, for a full view of the erratic English weather and only a stone’s throw away from a fridge full of snacks.
Amidst all the carnage of empty McCoys steak and onion crisp wrappers (I’m an unpaid ambassador), is one man and his laptop, charging head first into the abyss of this dark and scary new world (soz for being overdramatic). For most tech organisations right now, the show must go on! I’ve put together some of the best tips I’ve picked up to try and help Sales pros keep calm and carry on closing.
1. Adapt With Your Prospects
For most sales reps, there is nothing more frustrating than that big deal that's been cruising through the motions, going totally quiet on you. It’s super important to approach each deal with a fresh perspective and try to understand what that person/company is going through – put yourself in their shoes.
Now is the perfect time to take a fresh view on your sales process. People have opened up to new ideas and approaches, so pinball these with your team and see if you can find under utilised methods that could be effective - there’s a lot of noise on how effective video is right now. Put a bit of gamification into your outreach and make it fun. Prizes on webinars, competitions on LinkedIn and landing pages to send people gifts to their home addresses are a few eye catching methods. These approaches are unique and will come as a breath of fresh air to your prospects.
2. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Now is the time to be showing your prospect you’re an expert in this process. If you need to guide them through and do a bit of hand holding, so be it. Create a ‘mutual launch plan’ that includes all key dates of the sales process. Always work backwards from value and their compelling event – what are they going to be getting out of using your product? If they need to get going by a certain point, when is that date?
Once you have this information, you can start to determine the remaining key milestones in the process. “If we want to start seeing value by X date, onboarding and kick off need to happen at Y time, which means we’ll need to sign by Z date. This means that Legal, Procurement, Security etc need to happen on these dates”. Key question to ask right now - “Have you purchased anything during this pandemic?” This will help you understand the process better and look for red flags. If they haven’t, you’ve got some work to do together with your prospect. Once you’ve got these in place and your prospect has agreed to the timeline, you have reasons to then have clear deadlines, chase dates in place (if needed) and a surefire plan for success!
3. Build Rapport and Maintain Relationships
The amount of Zoom calls that I’ve been on with kids flying around in the background, dogs barking, funky hats being worn and bizarre backgrounds popping up, the world is definitely a different place to a month ago. Now is the perfect time to use the start and end of calls to build rapport. Zoom wrote a blog early last year around how virtual backgrounds are very useful in breaking the ice on a demo call, how relevant is this right now!
At the other end of the stick, there will be deals that you’ve been working that, unfortunately, will move into closed lost due to the current situation. Don’t give up on these prospects! Create a deposits sequence (if you aren’t familiar with Josh Braun on LinkedIn, check his content out!) and continue to supply valuable insights into the industry and your solution - keep educating your prospects. If things are going badly right now and your solution isn’t right for them, it doesn’t mean to say things won’t change down the line.
4. Get Social!
People are spending more time than ever on social sites like LinkedIn. If you see some content that would interest your prospect, make sure you tag them. If your company uses a messaging app like Slack or Microsoft Teams, set up a channel called ‘social posts to share’. If you get your social strategy right, you’ll notice a tonne of organic leads coming through and those deals you’ve been nurturing progressing to the next stage.
5. Make Your Champion Feel Special
If you think you’re feeling the heat right now, imagine how your champions are feeling. They’re approaching their CFO with a shiny, new tool during a pandemic and global recession that’s going to be hitting that alright tight budget right where it hurts. It’s never been more vital to support your champion, and what better way than to reward them for fighting that internal battle on your behalf. Send through a gift that’s relevant to that person. You’ve been getting to know them for a while now and should have some insight into their life. If you know they have kids, send over a Netflix voucher to keep them entertained. If you know they are isolating alone, get them a book voucher to make the weekend that little bit easier. The possibilities are endless!
6. Don’t Stop Selling
Times like this bring out some pretty awful advice; one of the worst being that salespeople shouldn’t be selling. Alec Baldwin would be fuming, you’ve got to keep that coffee flowing! If you have a product that can deliver value you should aim to be selling, even if it’s a no now, it could be a yes in a few months. Many businesses are still operating as normally as possible and need to continue buying tools to aid and maintain growth. If your solution still has the ability to fix a problem, find ways to show your prospects this. Work with your Customer Success team on wins your current client base are experiencing, and put together some relevant use cases to present. If you can show examples of relevant companies fixing problems that your prospects may be facing, it will go a long way.
7. Celebrate The Wins
It’s never been more important to celebrate those wins that are coming through. When a deal moves into closed won, celebrate with all the team members that were involved from start to finish. A great way to do this as a team is to create win reports. Include all the important details and timelines of the deal closing. Everyone’s feeling the heat right now and celebrating as a team really helps to improve motivation and reminds us why we do what we do!
Need Help Getting Creative?
Well, that’s all from me folks. If you’re looking for creative ways to surprise and delight prospects to close deals from home, get in touch with myself or the Reachdesk team.
If this helps one person push a deal forward, get back in touch with a prospect or to close a deal, then I’m happy. On the subject of help, if anyone can teach me to run this 5K I keep getting tagged in, or has some legs I can borrow, I’d really appreciate it.