How to Prepare your Sales Team for 2021

prepare your team

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world this year, it affected almost all kinds of businesses around the globe.

Companies suffered losses. Business leaders were unable to properly adapt to the new change on such short notice. The whole sales process suffered.

At present, as the havoc seems to be in little control, companies have started responding to the crisis.

Even though business leaders are struggling to stabilize and bring sales back on track; companies are striving to make a comeback and not only trying to recover from the damage but also working towards growth.

But firstly,

What are the problems that hit our door since Covid-19?

1. Restricted human touch or face-to-face meetings

Covid-19 has changed many things. The most important of them being the change in the old classic model of face-to-face meetings.

As the current situations have deprived us of basic human interaction, the need of the hour is to change the old models of interaction and selling.

Changes in the old sales method have also affected customer behavior vastly. With the new problems that have hit our doors, it has become necessary to enforce new ways of interacting and carrying out sales.

2. New “digital” entrants in the industry

There is an increase in the number of competitors. With new digital entrants in the industry, companies are trying hard to adapt to the advanced technology and the competitive pricing and quality offered by the new players.  

According to research carried out by the Board of Innovation, only 15% of the companies seem to show a positive impact so far.

This means, only 15% of the companies are winning and the rest of them are struggling under the burden of financial pressure.

To add to that, the ambiguous sales forecast has made it difficult to even invest, let alone the idea of cutting costs.

3. Increased organizational disconnect

Disturbed interaction, hampered selling processes, and haltered cash flow… are not the only things that the pandemic has changed for the worse.

The Covid-19 crisis has also left the employees wondering why they are working for their respective companies.

This is an apparent case of increased organizational disconnect.

In a new survey by FlexJobs and Mental Health America, 75% of the employees suffered burnout. A whopping 40% of them mentioned Covid-19 as its reason.

As the employees are feeling increased levels of organizational disconnect, their stress levels have followed resulting in burnout and loss of motivation.

So, now

How to deal with these challenges?

Like all other businesses, your company may also be suffering from one or all of the above-mentioned problems as well. Going on with the same approaches that were adopted at the beginning of the year 2020 is not going to prove useful in 2021. If you want to see positive results, let’s have a look at the approaches you need to follow to prepare your sales team in 2021 –

1. Update your marketing mix with new technology and great stories.

It’s time to stop depending solely on your website to gain sales. Rather, update your marketing mix with new marketing tools to pursue your marketing objectives.

Start from being more active on various social media platforms. Increase your opportunities to interact with potential customers over new modes of interactions such as WhatsApp and Messenger.

Focus on increasing your SEO. Make sure that your social media includes relevant posts that connect with your audience.

Including call-to-action and landing pages in your posts can also prove to be helpful.

Remember, telling great stories is going to give long-term benefits. Great storytelling, case studies, and testimonials are not only effective to build a connection, it also motivates your potential customers to buy your products/services.

2. Train your employees to use new tools and technologies.

Implementation of new tools and technologies can work wonders in boosting sales and revenue.

Providing your sales team with new tools and technology is only half part. The other major part is to train them to use them. This is hard as getting accustomed to new technology can be challenging.

The task can be made easier by discussing the real value that the new technology can bring to the company and individual sales reps. Then, pick out the best performers who can be role models for the rest of the team.

Some of the best new technologies to receive better sales opportunities and to improve performances include CRM, social networking platforms, video conferencing, etc.

There are also Virtual Learning platforms and Learning Management Systems to help salespeople engage with online sales training.

3. Focus on creating a better customer experience with your team.

A company can work towards creating a better customer experience by acknowledging whom to target along with the proper knowledge of the best time and best way to communicate with them.

By updating your customer persona, you will be able to adapt your commercial approach in accordance with their continually changing buying behaviors and altered ways of interacting.

It’s high time to analyze your commercial efforts and bring modifications to the existing value proposition.

While focusing on customer experience and providing new offers, don’t forget to make sure that they are incomplete alignment with your target audience.

4. Calculate sales velocity at every stage and adapt depending on it.

It is necessary to calculate your sales velocity at each stage of the funnel to adapt accordingly.

Calculate the speed as your sales opportunities progress while moving from one stage to another.

Keep a clear idea of the conversion and leakage ratios from each stage of the funnel.

Calculate the number of meetings and interactions required in each successful sales cycle and the number of leads your growth journey needs before you gain a single sale.

Check out different tactics to use for your company’s funnel. Use and reuse them to find out the most effective ones. 

5. Brainstorm innovative ways to help sell virtually.

When your sales team comes together to brainstorm ideas, listening to their opinions and ideas not only gives you innovative ways to sell but also makes them feel invited and encouraged.

Before we enter 2021, make sure your company is fully prepared with an able virtual sales team.

According to McKinsey, almost 90% of the B2B sales are now taking place online through different modes of online interaction.

Keeping the current situations in mind, online meetings, web sales, chats, and online conferences have taken over the old methods of interaction.

If you are still unsure about the new module, you should know the results of the research conducted by the Board of Innovation. It says that almost 60% of the managers are of the opinion that the new method is as effective as the classic old ones or in some cases, even more. 

It has become really important to invest in tools and enablers that help in the process of selling virtually.

6. Organize frequent virtual meetings to escape organizational disconnect.

Take the advantage of virtual meetings to help your employees to escape organizational disconnect.

Rethink and replan your internal meetings. Make sure you allow two-way communication during meetings so that the employees don’t perceive it as a lecture.

Bring new ways to make sure your employees get the chance to express their opinions and take initiative.

Find the “why” for them. Give them the reason that they so hopelessly look for while working with a company. Announce your company’s objectives or find a new one so that they work with firm dedication and motivation to fulfill a purpose.

2021 is coming and you need to be prepared!

The year 2020 ruined so many businesses across the globe. While some of the companies fell headlong, we are lucky to still survive.

But it’s time to finally graduate from the surviving phase and conquer the new business world. We got sufficient time to adjust to the unwanted changes and now it’s time to rule.

So, prepare your sales team for a new beginning and let 2021 be the year for your company to kickstart on the journey to growth.

However, if you are struggling, it’s best to seek expert advice from B2B sales and marketing consulting firms. Since accelerating sales is their core job, they know all the buttons that must be tapped to help suit-up your sales team for a fresh start!

Are you ready to conquer 2021?
Let’s do it together!