It’s no secret that digital sales rose phenomenally during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Even though some sales enterprises may be lamenting the loss of in-person connections, we are all grateful that there was technology available for us to use. In fact, in some ways, by the time the pandemic began, the world and its technology had come to the point that we were as well-suited to respond with digital tools as we had ever been in our history.
In the spring and summer of 2020, company after company swung into a defensive posture to overcome the necessary demand for distancing and isolation. We reached out in new ways to potential customers through Zoom meetings, remarketing, e-commerce and online self-service, among other things. Now, with the new fiscal year looming, it’s time to go on the offense.
Switching to Offense: Two Thoughts to Challenge
As the calendar begins to wind down toward the end of 2020, one thing is becoming very clear: the sales world will never be the same. The pandemic pushed us to accelerate sales technology, but it also caused a huge existential shift in the way we think of sales – a shift that probably never would have happened without COVID. We didn’t understand the full potential of sales technology until we were all forced to actually use it.
Now in many ways we don’t want to go back, and we shouldn’t. But sales teams will have to make some changes to sustain the benefits we’ve gained.
Switch from defense to offense
Rather than focusing on sales technology that solves the problems we have been forced to address, we need to start thinking how that same technology can move us forward. How can we use the things we’ve learned and the platforms now in play to take us into a new era of innovative sales? What does sales look like for your company in the next five to 10 years? Maybe for you this means embracing the cost savings of remote sales and service, rather than just accepting it until things get better. Maybe it means shifting to more comprehensive online solutions. At the very least, it means looking to digital sales as your default, rather than as your defense.
Establish new methods of rich customer contact
In spite of the convenience of digital meetings and presentations that have gotten us through the toughest times of the pandemic, most buyers and salespeople will admit there’s still something missing. In-person meetings were far superior for building relationships that would culminate in a lifetime of sales. Rather than just settling for the defensive platforms we used to overcome the ravages of the virus, organizations that are determined to switch to the offense and look to the future will identify truly innovative, paradigm-changing ways to use technology.
The harbinger of defense is looking back – responding to the aggressive drives of outside players. But offense means looking forward, making plans, being in command of your drive to the goal. As this fiscal year unfolds, which way will you be looking?