• May 29, 2020
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Companies Change Sales Tactics Amid COVID-19

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As businesses slowly work their way back from the COVID-19 pandemic, companies expect long-term changes in how they do business, according to a survey by revenue growth consulting firm the Alexander Group.

Ninety-six percent of company leaders surveyed expect the coronavirus to negatively impact revenue, with 37 percent of them expecting that impact to be significant.

The research also finds that uncertainty is making it difficult for companies to engage in long-term planning, with most instead focusing on securing short-term gains to stay afloat.

“As this disruption continues, sales organizations must pivot and design an action plan,” says Gary Tubridy, senior vice president of the Alexander Group. “Sales leaders are trying to prep for acceleration upon recovery.”

Companies are optimistic, though. With face-to-face selling still on hold, most companies expect some return to normality by the end of the summer. And while 94 percent of respondents have adjusted their event and trade show plans through the summer, they are optimistic about events in the second half of the year.

In the meantime, videoconferencing and other support tools are increasing engagement, both externally and internally.

This does allow for some business continuity; however, many companies do not expect this to be sustainable for long periods of time.

According to an unrelated study by Corporate Visions, the majority of salespeople are skeptical of selling in a virtual setting. In fact, nearly 70 percent of respondents feel that remote selling is not as effective as in-person, and 93 percent consider current virtual presentations to be too passive.

Ninety percent of sellers agree that remote presentations should be different and more engaging than their in-person presentations, but 76 percent also admit to using nearly the same slide decks for in-person and virtual sales.

To change that, Corporate Visions suggests enhancing sales materials with attention triggers, memory magnets, and decision drivers, three concepts it says are backed by brain science and are proven to usher marketers and sales reps in “a more productive and successful selling environment.” 

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