by Tara Pawlak, Head of Marketing for Get Accept
We talk about it all the time – “when things go back to normal.” But will they? Will sales ever be the same?
2020 forever changed us. Sales processes were turned upside down. In-person meetings – probably not happening for quite some time. Remote presentations – now the norm. Sales engagement software – a must. These changes are not temporary. If you aren’t yet, how do you adapt to the next normal?
1. Digital first.
The pandemic accelerated the rate of change and digital transformation much faster than any of us anticipated. Now, B2B buyers and sellers doing business digitally is the norm. According to Mckinsey, more than three-quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-service and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. The path forward is clear: Digital is here to stay.
We might physically have to remain six feet apart, but digitally nothing is slowing down. In a digital selling environment, speed of sale is increasing in importance. Gone are the days of sending a PDF attached to an email or getting on a plane and waiting days for more the next step in the sales process. In our time of immediate gratification, inefficient, time-consuming sales processes will no longer be acceptable.
Digital first also transforms the traditional sales hire. Tech-savviness is now part of the job description. A high-level of familiarity with popular CRMs, sales enablement solutions, and contract automation are now a must-have. As we continue digitally, the technical requirements for sales hires will increase.
2. Humanize the digital experience.
Today, buyers have more access to information and knowledge than ever before. They’ve read online reviews, seeked advice from peers, and compared features of multiple products before they even speak to you. If you want to remain competitive, you have to go beyond the basics. You must provide value that a buyer can only receive from an expert. By putting your prospect-first, you will stand out from the crowd.
In addition to putting your prospect-first, it’s important to keep the personal touch throughout the digital sales process. Without personal touches, trust issues can arise and closing the deal becomes harder. You need digital tools to create engagement and human touch with prospects. Adding a personal video when presenting proposals and sending out agreements is an emerging way to humanize the digital experience. Live chat has also emerged as a top channel to create engagement and trust with prospects.
Empathy is key to the digital experience. The need for empathy for your prospects and yourself continues in the next normal. We wake up ready to slay each day, but inevitably something will humanize the day. You want to answer your prospects questions and provide a solution that will help them thrive, yet it won’t dominate every conversation. Connect human to human when dogs bark at the mailman or children need help with virtual school. We’re all in the next normal together.
3. Technology is a co-worker.
Digital first not only transforms the traditional sales hire, it transforms co-workers. With reliance on digital selling, so does the need for sales software solutions that helps sales reps humanize the digital experience and close more deals. It starts with a team of technology co-workers automating the sales process from proposal to eSignature. Combine that with the tools to connect with prospects through video, live-chat and real-time data tracking, your sales team will stand out from the crowd. Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a solid team of technology co-workers.
When it comes down to it, sales will never be the same. Legacy processes can’t keep pace with today’s buyers. Being digital first, humanizing the digital experience and building a team of technology co-workers will have you on your way to succeeding in the next normal.
Tara Pawlak is the Head of Marketing for Get Accept, the all-in-one sales platform where you design, send, track and market your proposal to get more deals digitally signed. Tara has over 15 years of experience in Marketing Operations and Automation, Marketing Strategy and Demand Generation, Marketing Technology and B2B Lead Generation with companies such as Community Brands and PerkinElmer, Inc.