Here’s the challenge for sales leadership: After well over a year of somehow making do with predominantly virtual selling, how much of the return to business travel is necessary? Is there a downside to resurrecting the B2B road warrior persona? What will our customers want?
How much travel is the right amount? Where should the pendulum come to rest in a post-pandemic sales world? Sales leaders can start solving the riddle by answering the following two questions:
What Do Buyers And Customers Prefer?
This survey by Accenture, taken during the pandemic shows that only 10% of doctors want to go back to having face-to-face meetings with sales people. I wonder what your customers are thinking? Zoom and Team does provide a very clinical efficiency to the ability to see people, quickly and easily, with little or no fuss. Sales people might not like that, but prospects and customers are able to cut to the chase quicker, without the fluff.
Talking to the people in my company, we don't want to go back to travelling for hours on public transport, for an hours meeting, where they buyer, may or maynot want to buy. I'm sure that buyers feel the same.
Action item: Ask your customers which 2020-influenced interaction adaptations should remain in place, and which should return to the “Before Times.” Customers’ preferences should always guide your sales motions, and you’ll stand out from the competition by simply asking them this question.
How Have We Made Things Work Remotely?
Virtual selling is more than lights-camera-action video tactics. It’s a new muscle that must not only adapt to buyer personas and industries, but also be influenced by how we’ve internally managed our sellers in a quarantine-driven world (i.e., repurposing presentation formats, prospecting competencies).
This whole working from home experiment has proven that selling on social, can create you a better output in terms of leads and meetings than the legacy sales methods such as cold calling and email. Sales leader, after sales leader tell us that email and cold calling ceased to work before the pandemic, but all their leadership says is "make more calls" or "send more emails".
Regardless of the momentum to get us out of lock down, hope isn't a strategy. It is our duty as employers to make sure that our team(s) have the right digital skills. This is not about "nickel and diming", this is about getting an outside company with a tried and tested methodology, that can provide sales with a framework and set of measurements.
Action item: As your sellers who is it that wants to become digitally enabled and work with the outside company to empower those digital wannabes so they have the support and space they need. Digital should not be seen as "yet another task" it should be supported by the business as a strategic option.
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.
Sales Leaders: What Happens When We All Get To Travel Again?