Updated: May 31, 2020
If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us—change can happen at warp speed. The ability to change requires an ability to learn. Put simply: What got you here, pre-COVID-19, won’t get you there, post-COVID-19.
As we reflect upon the last ten years of economic growth, it has become crystal clear:
A high tide lifts all boats.
You could get away with a mediocre strategy.
You could get away with a mediocre value proposition.
You could get away with mediocre sales skills.
Those days ARE OVER!
After 10 years of economic growth, the U.S. GDP topped $21.6 trillion. Enter COVID-19 and the annualized GDP is predicted to drop to $19.1 trillion in Q2 while unemployment tops 16%¹
So, how do you ensure you get your share of a smaller pie? You have a unique opportunity to adjust, adapt, and align with the new normal. Whether a salesperson or a CEO, the following are essential to growth during uncertain times:
1. Invest In Training
Why? Because the ability to change, requires an ability to learn. We must create learning organizations to position ourselves for the new normal.
Sales Effectiveness Training: virtual selling, social selling—the game has changed and will continue to evolve. The #1 reason salespeople fail is because they fail to prospect effectively. No meetings = no sales. Salespeople need to be able to work a multi-channel approach to prospecting. Segmentation, targeting, and nurturing your prospects with strong value statements in the prospect's operating reality will be crucial. Salespeople must invest in their development to be able to adapt to the new virtual selling environment.
Key Account Management Training: as stated in previous blogs, with COVID-19, client retention is the new acquisition. No one can afford to lose key accounts. It is critical that each account manager consistently creates value for these key accounts as well as have a firm grasp on:
Understanding Client Risk
Key Account Planning
Managing Strategic Initiatives
Quarterly Business Reviews
Leadership Training: with states and businesses reopening, one thing that is crystal clear is this: most people are in no rush to leave their virtual environment. Without a vaccine for COVID-19 and an anticipated second and possibly third wave before the year is over, the vast majority of workers are choosing to stay home rather than commute to work and having to deal with masks and social distancing. This makes a statement for training your leaders on how to lead in a virtual environment. Virtual is the new normal, and managing virtually can be a key competitive advantage while competing for a piece of the smaller pie.
2. Make Cross-Selling a Top Priority.
According to Bain & Co., it costs 6-7X more to sell a new customer than to sell into an existing one. The path of least resistance and highest return on investment is make going “deep and wide” into your existing customers a top priority.
This is done by:
Leveraging Financial Segmentation. Determine revenue, margin, and share
Determining which skills/services /products are highest Margin
Determining your Ideal Customer Profile. Put together a finite number of targets
Developing a Communication /Change Management Plan – the "why?" behind cross-selling
Developing commissions, sales credit splits, quotas, recognition
Developing a white space report
Dropping the barriers between departments and divisions
Providing the tools and training to cross-sell effectively
Charles Darwin is quoted as saying:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most responsive to change”
How responsive are you and your organization to change?
At Butler Street, we believe the companies most responsive to change will be the ones that are developing new skills from their leadership, straight down to their frontline revenue generators. Whether it is prospecting, sales effectiveness, key account management, leadership training, or cross-selling, we have a program for you. Contact us and we can discuss which of our many e-Learning and Virtual Instructor-Led programs will meet your needs.
¹-Source: Congressional Budget Office (CBO)