With the Pandemic, it was always going to be interesting to see the results as the research comes in for the last 9 months. The great thing being that the data wouldn't be just for a weekend or a couple of weeks but a solid data sample.
I'm not sure if you have been tracking the data from Hubspot, but it was them, back in April that said that email marketing (and this is from a company that sells email marketing tools) does not work. If you are interested, that research is here.
Back to this Hubspot report.
The Big Introduction Is
"How modern sales leaders are exceeding revenue targets by adapting their sales model, leveraging technology, and enabling their reps to sell remotely. And why everyone else is catching up."
"The word of the year for many is not growth, but survival. However, every era of change offers an opportunity to find a growth advantage. It’s time to reevaluate our approach to selling. We surveyed over 500 sales leaders across eight countries to understand what changes sales leaders are making to enable their teams to hit and exceed revenue targets"
I think we can all agree that this year has been challenging and have required us to think about, maybe the old ways are not the best.
The BIG Headline In the Report
"64% of those who transitioned to remote sales this year met or exceeded revenue targets, compared to 50% of the leaders who did not make the transition. Signaling a shift in how sales teams will be structured going forward"
Gulp, this research actually demonstrates what we have been saying about a clear analog and digital divide opening up in companies and the way they sell and market. The pandemic has meant that companies have had to make massive choices in how the both organise sales and marketing and execute sales and marketing.
Back to the data and analysis from the report.
"The Adoption of Remote Selling Is Creating a Competitive Advantage"
"Traditionally, sales organizations had a clear decision to make on their model for selling: Choosing between a field or inside sales model. Inside sales reps often sell remotely, while field sales reps travel, brokering face-to-face deals.
As buyers’ preferences for how they like to buy have changed, sales organizations have adopted hybrid models. More teams are selling both in person and remotely to meet buyers’ needs.
COVID-19 has had a significant effect on buyer behavior, and the economy has forced difficult decisions for sales leaders. Many sales organizations have been forced to operate remotely. Reps need to become more creative as buying habits have changed, managers are being asked to find new ways to improve seller productivity, and leaders are being asked to drive growth through uncertainty.
However, leaders who adapted quickly and invested in enabling remote selling were rewarded.
64% of sales leaders who invested in remote selling met or exceeded revenue targets this year."
"Sales leaders who did not invest in remote selling fell behind. 50% of this subgroup did not hit their sales targets this year.
But what kind of impact does missing sales targets actually have on future priorities?
Looking ahead, sales leaders were asked, “what are your sales organization’s goals next year? And based on their responses, the impact is clear: There is a competitive gap forming between those who have and haven’t invested in remote sales."
Let's switch away from Hubspot and look at some more recent research into sales by Hartner. If you missed my recent blog on the latest research from Gartner, they said something similar. No surprise as the data set (ie.what's happening in the world) will be the same.
So How Is Your Virtual Selling?
To quote the Gartner research "Most organizations were not fully prepared for what was an abrupt transition to virtual sales."
That was in the past, what about the future? Back to the Gartner research
"However, with the absence/restriction of in-person meetings and social distancing norms likely to persist for the near term, most CSOs (Chief sales Officer) recognize virtual engagements to be key for prospecting success."
I totally agree. But I'm biased, what does Gartner say?
"Organizations can enable sellers’ virtual engagements by helping them to leverage social media to create and nurture relationships with prospects."
"To drive digital dexterity, relevant behaviors and mindsets should be modeled and communicated to sellers."
"Coupled with this, CSOs can rethink how they pilot technology, creating an environment that enables sellers to safely experiment with technologies and access support as needed."
There is a Clear Analog and Digital Sales Divide Opened Up
A CEO Just Said to Me
"there is a race on. First we need to shock people into understanding that the world has changed. Second, we need to give them the skills to work in the changing world."
He went onto say "By giving my team(s) “new world” skills will gives us a competitive advantage."
Interesting that he finished by saying
"The thing is there is a “burning bridge” and we need to make sure we are over that bridge."
He's not wrong, both Hubspot and Gartner research back him up!
Who's Doing This?
Case Study 1.
This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite here is a post that he put up, it only took him 10 minutes to create. We have all seen posts like this, we see them everyday, but people treat social tactically. You post, because you think you have to or somebody tells you you should and walk away. Let's talk about this post.
Eric's post of his 16 year old son, Austin, on his Birthday got 8,000 views and 165 likes?
But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post? How?
Let's stop and think about this for a second. This post took 10 minutes to create and it got 6 C-Level meetings, how come?
Because, all of Eric's post are strategic. He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it. This is what remote selling is all about. It's not posting and hoping, there is a clear, structured methodology behind it.
He doesn't always post "humanised" content, I'm using this as an example. But an example of why you need to get your employees and sales team on social, just think of the $ impact to your business? Especially if you scaled this across your business?
How does Eric do this? He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage. Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out. If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time? Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out? This is remote selling.
The Microsoft Azure sales team actively use this as part of their sales strategy on accounts. They find "changemakers" who will take this insight and share within their businesses. This is how businesses are actively engaging with and influencing business and sales.
This is a sales approach, what about getting your your employees online?
Case Study 2
In this case study, Danielle Guzman, talks about how Mercer, empower their employees to talk on social. The ROI (return on investment)? Danielle explains how Mercer as a brand will develop the business a certain amount of business, because they are well known in certain markets. She also confirms in this video how empowering people on social and giving them personal brands gives Mercer 4 times more revenue than the brand.
Sounds like plan?
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform.
We've heard from hundreds of sales leaders that this year has been a battle. But if sales leaders know anything, it's resilience, and how to frame every challenge as an opportunity. Quota, to most people, would be scary stuff. But to sales teams, it's a goal to hit, a challenge to meet. So if there's any department prepared to do what's necessary to grow revenue next year, it's sales.