With everything that is happening today I thought of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. I wanted to share how I changed my sales approach to maintain my pipeline and achieve my targets.
Most B2B businesses have had to review their sales model: no more events, no more face-to-face meetings, a total change in prospects priorities and so on.
Looking at the Darwinian theory, we can extract 3 approaches to this crisis:
- There are the people thinking their solution is so strategic that they will still manage to achieve their quota.
- The groups who are smart enough to see how their solution is relevant to the current crisis and can describe its value in line with the current events.
- The ones who stop everything for 5 min and ask themselves, how do I change my strategy? How do I adapt?
I personally started at the second level. My first thought was: why are we still relevant?
My answer to myself was: Our solutions helps organisation be more targeted and identify their Active Market. In these unpredictable times, people are more active online, so tracking cookies will give you a clearer understanding of who is still actively interested in your solution.
But I quickly realised this was a limited approach, I was missing something. I was not adapting to the situation and I was not changing how I target and reach out to my prospects. So, I took on the big challenge of reviewing my entire sales approach.
I started my journey in our Cyance platform (formerly known as Nexus). I had a look at our Customer Intent Data to identify my Active Market. My goal was to find out who was still actively searching for our core value proposition.
"I took on the big challenge of reviewing my entire sales approach."
I quickly realised that people who are actively searching for our value proposition has dropped by nearly half since last month (data from Cyance).
This is my new reality. But is this good or bad news? The bad news is that I have most likely lost lots of potential prospects who shift their priorities.
The good news is, I know it and I can focus my energy to tailor my message for the ones that are still active.
Moving forward my next step was to reach out to my new prospect list in the most efficient way. We tend to hide behind emails and avoid direct calls: prospects never have time for a call and we always disturb them.
But as people are now working from home, they are more flexible and quite often they want to speak with people – even salespeople! So, I decided to double down on the number of calls I’m doing every day. And guess what – people are picking up the phone and are keen to discuss their challenges and what they can do to solve them. They are looking for human interactions.
"The number of people spending time on LinkedIn has increased by 2,000%!"
A friend shared this graph the other day about the surge on LinkedIn since the beginning of the Coronavirus. It is incredible to imagine that the number of people spending time on LinkedIn has increased by 2,000%!
Taking this information onboard my next logical step was to make sure I engage with my prospects on LinkedIn, where they are spending more and more time. Following prospects, inviting new connections and building relevant content may take some time, but has been critical to building successful engagements.
Finally, Demand Generation still follows a certain workflow (refer to the Sirus Decision Demand Waterfall graph). To ensure success, I wrote my actions next to the graph (below) to evaluate the impact of my new strategy at each stage of the sales cycle. For the moment, I can tell you my pipeline is growing, and I have more confidence in my ability to close opportunities.
Despite all the effort that I have put in I still feel more can be done to improve customer interaction and for that reason, you can expect some short videos coming up soon on our social channels. Hopefully they will be engaging and give us the opportunity to connect.
In the meantime, please let me know your thoughts on my strategy and your recommendations. What do you do to adapt? What are your challenges?