Sales at a social distance
Even after the Coronavirus lockdowns are eased we will still be practising social distancing for sometime to come, but your business still needs to make sales. For organisations that have always relied on outside sales people to drive their revenue, the pandemic is causing significant challenges to their business.
So what can marketing do to help?
1. Content and presentation
Outside sales reps are trying new tools and systems to help them navigate the social distancing era and maintain their targets. Face to face meetings have not only been replaced with an increase in phone calls, but the use video calls has rapidly increased.
Video calls enable sales people to have a more engaging experience with their prospects and allows for the sharing of more information than just a conversation. Presentations, photos, videos, calculations and application notes can quickly be shared on a video call.
Firstly it’s important that sales people have the right tools and training to be able to do their jobs, remember not everyone is tech-savvy, and not everyone will reach out for help.
Talk to your sales reps to find out if your marketing content is supporting them in this new environment. Are there new ways to present and repurpose your content to work more effectively across video calls?
2. Help sales solve customer problems more quickly
Ensuring rapid access to the correct supporting collateral is essential. Make sure your collateral databases and literature libraries are up to date, easy to navigate and searchable. Review your file naming conventions, check that they are clear and meaningful to both sales reps and customers.
Make sure your sales people know how gain access to collateral and are trained on how best to maximise the use of different pieces.
3. Integrated thinking
Working as a cross-functional team ensure sales and customer services have access to up to date stock levels and a clear line of site to potential future logistical challenges.
Offering a demo or a sample is usually a key part of the scientific product sales process, with an external sales rep typically being part of product demonstration. Have you developed countermeasures and reviewed you demo equipment and arrangements?
4. Get social
With people working from their home offices there has been a noticeable increase in outside sales reps engaging with social media. This is great, however, try to give your sales team content to engage with, post, share and like. Providing on point content will safeguard your brand and ensure you stay on message by preventing “home made” flyers from entering circulation.
5. Keep your sales teams motivated
Be sure to celebrate and share successes across the complete team. Sales people are usually social creatures, so consider hosting regular virtual sales huddles where you can share ideas and best practices.
If finances allow consider additional small sales incentive programs, or even sending care packages to your remote teams to help build engagement and thank them for their continued hard work.