Keeping Calm and Closing Deals
For months, sales teams have felt the effects of a crawling economy—the COVID-19 pandemic has lingered long enough for almost every industry to feel its ripple effects. Now, finally, many businesses are starting to reopen—though there’s no guarantee that “business as usual” will look anything like it did a year ago.
With so much chaos and uncertainty, it’s easy to get trapped in a doom-and-gloom mindset. However, the sheer magnitude to which certain high-profile industries (such as entertainment and universities) have been hit by the pandemic can obscure the reality that some markets are actually doing quite well. And across industries, a clever sales team can keep closing deals by adjusting their strategy and chugging along.
At VSA we’ve been inspired to see certain clients take exactly that approach—think strategically, act creatively, and never give up. Here’s how we’re seeing savvy sales teams continue to close deals in certain industries:
- Healthcare services companies: shifting focus to how their service affects the bottom line. Many hospitals are busier than ever, of course—but at the same time, they’ve been losing money. The shrewdest B2B healthcare service providers realize this. When they reach prospects, instead of describing the general value points of their solutions, they’re expressing that value in terms of hard numbers: how much can their solution help a hospital save in up-front costs or recurring revenue? What ROI does it generate for a typical client? These teams are successful when they spend less time trying to describe how their service or product functions and focus more sharply on the numbers.
- Manufacturing: focusing on customers that still have a need and products for which there’s still a demand. Most B2B manufacturing companies sell to a variety of different markets and verticals. For these companies, the key is to identify which markets are stagnant and which have not been affected by the pandemic—or are even doing better—and focusing their limited resources specifically on those verticals. For instance, transportation and logistics may have taken a hit, but online retail is booming. When our clients sell into both spaces, they succeed by focusing on the one and not the other. But if they don’t currently sell into any successful markets, they can still succeed by taking this opportunity to reposition their product and break in.
- Software and cloud services providers: taking advantage of messaging around the new mostly-online economy. Companies that provide cloud services and/or software as a service, regardless of industry, are actually in a pretty good position. After all, strong digital systems are essential to adapting to a new business environment which, however it ends up looking, is almost certain to involve a lot more remote work. It’s important, therefore, to emphasize how their products will help employees and leadership adapt to the remote workplace. Even though software systems are usually large, complex purchases, providers can position themselves well by emphasizing how their solutions can help companies be better prepared for the new normal—saving them lots of time and money in the long run.
- Education: preparing for schools to reopen… or not… or hybrid. Even as classes begin, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the extent to which educational institutions will reopen physically. As this continues to play out, it’s important for companies that serve educational institutions to cover all their bases—that is, account for plans A, B, C and D—and to be able to communicate this flexibility to the schools themselves. One advantage that vendors have right now is that education’s notoriously slow sales cycles are being forced to speed up due to the urgency of coming up with an immediate workable solution. The companies that will be most successful are the ones that can put out the message that, whatever happens, they have their prospects’ back.
The post-pandemic economy may be a tough new world, but it’s one in which sales teams can still be successful. Across industries, businesses have been able to keep closing sales successfully by rethinking their strategy, adjust their approach, and remain laser-focused on their best prospects. While we’ve certainly seen our share of challenges during the pandemic, at VSA we’re also fortunate enough to help many of our clients continue to close sales. And that’s more than just inspiring—it’s good business.
If you’re interested in learning how we can help your sales team continue to close sales by refocusing your strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out!