Since COVID began impacting our lives many people have reached out to us at Datasocial seeking help with an updated sales process now that face-to-face networking is basically gone.
There are severe doubts about whether we will go back to selling on golf courses and restaurants when the pandemic passes.
The pandemic has accelerated some changes due to the absence of physical relationships, yet many of them will never be the same as before.
The growth of Smarketing
Traditionally the sales and marketing teams have been at each other’s throats, but today they need to learn to work together. Thus, marketing has grown faster than ever. Why? Sales have always given very little value to marketing leads because they could generate their opportunities at expensive restaurants and golf courses. But with everything closed, they have had no choice but to look pleadingly to their peers for leads to work with.
And this has led to more and more talk about the “lead hand-off” – what the mechanisms are for handing off leads from marketing to sales and what each of the teams has to commit to. Who calls the leads? How long do sales qualify the leads they receive? None of this is new, but COVID has given it the importance that sales teams have traditionally tried to take away.
In this scenario technology tools can bridge the gap between sales and marketing and the tech is continually growing.
Prospecting by providing value is the answer
What if inbound can’t give me the leads I need? You simply have to pick up the phone or email and try to generate leads by providing value.
And providing value is the most important part. Finding opportunities so that in the sales process, the other prospect receives value even if they don’t buy from you, for example, with an audit of their website or CRM. It’s no use calling everyone with nothing to offer. We are past that time; it is the time to provide value, even if it is remotely.
Automation and value
The automation of sales and marketing tasks is here to stay. It did not arrive with COVID; it has been with us since the 90s when the first marketing platforms were born and have been evolving ever since.
According to Gartner, “A marketing automation system is a system that helps marketers execute multi-channel marketing campaigns by providing a scripted environment for creating business rules and interfaces to a variety of third-party applications.”
These tools, mostly from the marketing world have been overtaking sales and today many sales tasks can be done semi-automatically, such as importing leads into a CRM or sending sequences.
Far from worrying about the tasks that teams no longer do, there is an opportunity to add value to the tasks we don’t automate, spend time on the leads that are truly qualified, and focus our time on creating meaningful and value-adding relationships.
Sales teams have begun to value CRM
In times of scarce opportunities, each one must be carefully nurtured and worked on. CRM, which most sales forces see as a divine punishment, has become anally that gives them context about the relationship with the potential customer, informs them about the technology that customers use, about revenues and employees,
tells you about the interactions that other departments have had and in some way sheds light on the customer relationship as a whole.
Now that we do not meet our partners in the corridors or at the coffee machine and we cannot share customer information face-to-face, it is key to have real-time and updated information about the opportunities we are working on. Therefore, it is more necessary than ever that technology is at the heart of the relationship between the customer and the company.
A connected technology stack
Now that people can’t see each other, it’s time for applications to “talk to each other”. The switchboard can no longer be a horrible room full of underpaid people, where everyone is shouting simultaneously, but a cloud application that connects the whole team and is synchronized in real-time with the CRM to which it constantly sends information. The same goes for the other applications where we interact with the customer, which are many and create silos of information that are not accessible by the other team members that may contain very valuable information.
It is time to have a connected technology stack and a CRM that reflects all interactions with customers, wherever they are.