Salesforce have put out a number of articles that talk about the end of the office as we know it.  I understand they are already subleasing their worldwide office space, they are being proactive at off loading their office space.

You may have seen that Pinterest, pulled out of their San Francisco office back in August 2020.

If you have been watching the news, you should be aware that the pandemic will change how we work.  But let's unpack some of this and add a sales and marketing twist.

Where will we meet our clients in the future?

In the past, we went to meet clients at their premises or maybe a local coffee shop.  In the post-pandemic world, if companies have nominated not to have offices then we won't be able to have meetings at a clients.

Maybe this is a great time to get into coffee shops or co-working space? 

Talking to a CEO the other day, one of his sales team said "if I cannot see a customer face-to-face, I cannot sell".  If one salesperson is saying this, how many people are thinking it?  If this is the state of sales and marketing today, our businesses are in trouble. 

In a Gartner webinar last week they said 

"We are see sales leaders shifting headcount to those salespeople that are digital savvy"  It looks like Gartner is backing this thought process.

These are "Covid years"

A friend of mine recently called these Covid times as "the covid years".  OK we have a vaccine, but will we be able to roll out out across our country? The world? What about new variants? Are we going to go back to the way it was in 2019, I doubt it.

The smart money seems to be us needing a vaccine every six months or every quarter.  Either was, this is a massive undertaking for any country and while it's possible, it does seem like we will need to live with Covid, like we live with Flu.

(One of the nurses in my father's nursing home has refused a vaccine, where as all of the other nurses has been vaccinated.  Welcome to employment law 2021!) 

We are used to working offline

Listening to a Gartner event the other week, their feeling that we are all now online, social, digital, virtual, remote, call it what you will, this is the way we are now.

Two other quotes grabbed me

"We are no longer looking at a bare minimum of virtual selling, it is now a core competency for salespeople today”

"the world is not going back to the way it was before, we are going to be selling virtually for a long time”

As the CEO of a virtual company, we have never had an office, but for many this is new and while I hear people saying "it will all be back to normal in ...... weeks".  Will it?

Either way, as business leaders, should we bet the business and the livelihood of our employees on hope? 

Will a business allow you onsite?

My partner works for a large corporate, you can go into the office but you need to have a form signed by a VP, explaining why you need to be in the office.  As far as this corporate is concerned, you go into the offices for emergencies only.

Once you get the form signed, this gets sent to facilities, who send you full PPE (personal protection equipment) for while you are in the office.

As you can imagine, the corporate policy is that you work from home, they are given a laptop, Microsoft Teams.  We even had a chair arrive the other day, so she can sit ergonomically. 

If a company is stopping it's employes going into the office, what is the likelihood they are going to allow, people from "outside" the company onto the premises?  They won't.

Then you are back to the coffee houses and co-working spaces.  

The buyer wants a seller free experience

Another point raised by Gartner was that the buyer wants a seller free experience.

This isn't because buyers want to transform to a web self-service, it's because they are bored with salespeople.  We are the enemy.

Salespeople have traditionally gone to buyers and "pitched" they had said "buy my product because we are great".  But they buyer has moved on, the buyer is bored with all those interruptions.  The buyer is empowered.  They can make buying decisions without salespeople (in many cases).  According to Gartner, "30% of B2B buyers make buying decisions without salespeople".  That figure is going to grow from 30% to 40% to 50% .... 

It's time for sellers to rise up

It's time for sellers to rise up to this challenge of the new empowered buyer.

Sellers need to be human, not product pushers, they need insight and they need to educate the new buyer. 

Maria Boulden, Vice President, Executive Partner, Sales at Gartner said that we should

 "Reshape the Selling Motion as well as the Buying Motion. Enjoy the fact that you are at this nexus and help define the next Sales motion...".

How has DLA Ignite reacted to this change in the buying process?

We expect each of the people we train in Social Selling to be able to make (if they do what we say) at least one additional meeting per week (minimum). Let’s assume that 4 of those meetings turn into proposals and you close 1 of those proposals. That means you are closing one additional deal per quarter. If your average deal size is £100,000, then each salesperson is closing an additional £400,000 per year. As sales team of 10 will create £4 million additional revenue per annum. This isn’t a one off, this is every year.

You save money, maximise your exposure in the right areas and see your company transform.

This is not guesswork or a Beta test for us, it’s what we do for large organisations and SMEs around the world and, we have the results data to back it up.  

We’ve already run all the experiments and tests, so you don’t have to – You can go straight to work.

How are you and your team defining the your next Sales motion..?

And finally ...

Late last year McKinsey and Co reported that its corporate clients experienced on average 7 years of digital transformation in the first six months of 2020 as they hustled to adjust to the global economic COVID disruption. 

Another way to think of that statistic is that if you didn't start transforming your business in those months you are now 7 years behind your competitors!

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 in the form of case studies, what we are doing for other businesses to transform them to digital.  No hard sell, just practical examples.

DLA Ignite is a global business and we understand that a "cookie cutter" approach to digital does not work, we have to take into account local language and cultural sensitivities.  Which is why we have built teams across the globe, that can support you by country and industry sector. 

For more information contact me here, visit our website, or visit our Linkedin company page and contact one of the DLA Ignite team members.