Back to Posts
Blog

After COVID: How the Sales Cycle Shifted

4 min read
February 9, 2021

The sales landscape changed this year — likely forever. The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital sales and caused buyer expectations to irreversibly change. Sales leaders had to pivot to adapt and evolve their strategy, quickly.

But how do you plan for a situation that is constantly changing? How can you solve a problem that sellers have never seen before? With the right people, processes, and technology in place, your sales team will not only survive — they can thrive — and come out on top.

Read on for a closer look at the three areas to focus on to carry you through a global pandemic and beyond. Or, watch revenue leaders and experts from Salesloft, Forrester, and Falcon.io dig deeper on the topic in the on-demand webinar, Transforming the Sales Cycle.

People

A well-built team has always been the key to sales success. But things have changed. To tackle the new sales playing field, you need your team to work more cohesively, communicate more efficiently, and most of all, feel motivated and energized to perform. Managers also need to be more efficient and accountable over what’s working and what isn’t so you can prioritize the activities that matter most.

When building a remote team, a considerable focus should be placed on culture — how the team operates and functions together, both personally and professionally. Culture also encompasses talent management and how you develop and retain star sellers.

Motivating and encouraging reps can be difficult in this climate. Incentivize the behavior you’re looking for through added perks, recognitions, and other rewards. This can encourage reps to book higher-quality meetings that are more likely to close and also gives them a mission to rally around and fight for.

Align under one mission by creating a charter around what you are trying to achieve and why. This ensures that all parts of the revenue organization, and even other areas of the company, have a shared understanding and a common goal to work toward — not just in the short-term as a response to the pandemic, but as a long-term business plan.

Process

Look to automate processes that do not need human interaction, and concentrate your team’s time on where value is most added. Focus on understanding your buyers’ problems and their priorities rather than selling to them. When a seller solves a buyer’s persistent problem, even in an economic downturn, you can win a deal. You’ve made your product an important investment, rather than a “before times” nice-to-have.

You probably already know a lot about smile-and-dial and spray-and-pray practices… now, forget them. Selling today is about precision prospecting and targeting the accounts you really want. Minimize canned emails and standard call scripts in favor of sales playbooks that allow for personalization and directly address unique issues your prospect is facing. Show them how your product will alleviate this pressure.

Technology

If you’re not taking advantage of technology to guide reps through the sales process while automating steps that don’t require a highly personal touch, then you’re already behind the curve.

You also need visibility into what your team is doing; otherwise, they’ll never improve. Especially when you can’t be with them in person, coaching tools like Live Call Studio allow managers to coach their teams remotely. Managers can hear exactly what reps are saying in sales conversations (in real-time or after the fact), track their sales activities and performance, create a set of best practices, and use those best practices to coach new reps to be as great as your top performers.

Making It Through and Coming Out the Other Side

Aligning your people, process, and technology is the first step to powering through a strange and difficult time in history. COVID-19 doesn’t need to spell the end of your success, but simply a shift in how you sell, build, and operate. These days, only the adaptable survive.

Want to Hear From the Experts Themselves?

Watch revenue leaders and experts from Salesloft, Forrester, and Falcon.io discuss how the sales function has changed and what it should look like — from structure and process to systems in the webinar, Transforming the Sales Cycle, now available on demand.