The world has changed and sales has changed.
Throughout the past several months, since the dawn of the pandemic, I’ve shared countless resources, ideas, and tips on succeeding in this new landscape.
It’s almost certain that the world will never go back completely to the way it was. While I’m not saying that we won’t slowly but surely begin traveling again, attending conferences or concerts, or walking indoors in public without masks on, we will almost surely see “residuals” of the pandemic for years to come in policy changes, certain restrictions, and how we conduct business.
To that effect, you need to be thinking about “tomorrow’s landscape” and what it means to sell now and in the future.
1. Don’t Just Accept Virtual—Embrace It
In other words, you can’t simply make virtual sales and meetings a band-aid solution. You have to create a sustainable and long-lasting infrastructure that allows your sales force to succeed virtually.
While, perhaps, your particular organization is planning to one day be back to “normal” in regards to physical workspaces and meetings, you can’t assume the same will be true for your clients.
In other words, you have to make sure that your sales team is prepared (via training, proper equipment, and procedures) to succeed virtually—not just for the coming weeks or months, but for the years ahead.
2. Be Prepared for Unusual or Unorthodox Restrictions
Building on point 1, each organization, industry, and decision maker will move forward with certain policies, restrictions, or processes that may be unique to them and unusual for you.
Everyone is adapting, and you can’t assume how your organization adapts is exactly how your clients and their industries will adapt as well.
In other words, when beginning or engaging a working relationship with a new client, never assume anything or take how things used to work for granted. Always be clear on each step of the process moving forward and clarify any potential restrictions or policies that may get in the way of your work ahead of time.
For example, perhaps part of your previous process required you or a member of your team to walk the client’s floor. In today’s (and tomorrow’s) climate, you can’t assume you’ll be automatically granted this access.
3. Ensure Your Online Footprint Is Updated
In all fairness, your online footprint has been critical for years and is not unique to post-pandemic times.
But, in a pre-pandemic world where your online footprint was critical, in a post-pandemic world—it’s absolutely essential.
People will increasingly flock online to learn about you, your offerings, and what your clients are saying about you.
If your online footprint (i.e. website, social media, etc.) hasn’t been updated since 2014, or isn’t revised to indicate new policies or restrictions in a post-pandemic world, your potential customers will be looking elsewhere for support. And, that usually means your direct competition.
The overarching point here is to not assume anything moving forward will be what it once was. Sure, one day (hopefully soon!) we’ll be back living in a world that seems remnant of the world before 2020, but it’s simply naive to plan to sell in a world that no longer exists.