Of all the new skills you thought you might gain this year, becoming an expert social distancer was probably not one of them.
You’ve probably become pretty good at multitasking, too. That’s what happens when you need to pause your work to field endless complaints about boredom, teach your kids how to Zoom so they can keep up on math, and to hold lengthy negotiations with your spouse about whose turn it is to sanitize the mail.
Maybe you’re new to the “home-based office” lifestyle or the home office you work in every day could suddenly be mistaken for a busy train station. In either case, life and work have merged in new and, let’s go with exciting, ways.
If you’re a B2B sales pro, you’re no doubt facing canceled events, postponed conferences, and significant hurdles when it comes to networking and promotion. If you weren’t focused on digital outbound before, it’s likely to become your new reality soon.
But hey, here’s the good news – it’s 2020.
Even a few years ago, mass quarantining would have had a much more devastating impact. While this is a challenging time for everyone, for some workers, the tech advances we’ve seen develop over the past several years will make the difference between dropping out of the workforce or forging ahead.
As a B2B sales professional, you are uniquely positioned to come out the other side of our collective time in quarantine better for the experience.
Here are five ways you can both survive and thrive in our new, temporary normal.
1. You can draw from your amazing tech stack.
You may have trouble narrowing down all the great choices available to you to keep on keeping on:
· Smart scheduling tools
· Google Docs
· And so many more
The beautiful thing about our connected world is how easy it is to hit your marks by channeling your efforts through a different conduit. It’s easy to connect, share, and collaborate at the click of a button. Sometimes it’s even fun! You’re a wizard. A tech wizard, anyway.
In some ways, your focus may not shift much from your normal day-to-day. According to Sirius Decisions, 67 percent of B2B sales happen in the digital space.
2. It’s an excellent time to celebrate our human connection.
There’s something encouraging and relatable when your video call is interrupted by barking dogs or sibling bickering. We really are all in this together. Suddenly, many of us are recognizing the human nature of our interactions that sometimes seems to take a back seat to just getting through the workday and on to the next task or prospecting adventure.
Take a moment to reflect on the authentic relationships you’ve cultivated as a sales professional — your calls are about so much more than making your next sale. You’re empathizing, connecting, and fostering relationships built on a shared experience none of us will ever forget.
Not only do real connections make us feel better, but stronger B2B relationships also lead to more sales. The Baine & Company B2B Elements of Value study identified two emotionally driven categories driving B2B decision making, “ease of doing business,” and “individual value,” which were highly correlated with emotional connection. Companies that made buyers feel more hopeful, engaged, and heard were more likely to convert.
3. You may finally reach the end of your “to do... someday” list.
Make the most of all those canceled meetings and networking events by using found time to work on tasks that keep getting pushed back. You can even catch up in your pajamas if you want! If you haven’t taken the time lately to do some database housekeeping, this could be an ideal opportunity.
Conducting data cleansing and data validation from time to time is vital. Your clients will change jobs, leads might opt-out of your email communications, companies close, and contact info is never etched in stone. It's hard to network when your network is unreachable.
If you aren’t managing your lead generation data in an organized way, now is the time to take a peek at the latest and greatest lead generation tools. Systems like LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator can be a real game-changer, and right now, you probably have the time it takes to get rolling.
4. Appreciate the heck out of your customers.
Now is not the time to be coy. It’s time to express your true feelings and let your customers know how much you love them. Right now, we could all use a boost!
Consider sharing some stories about your amazing customers on your social media feeds. You could feature a business that is doing its part to help people as they quarantine, for example. You’ll make their day, and you’ll show the world how well you take care of your clientele while helping to spread the word about the generosity of your contact. Who wouldn’t want to be in your network?
Look for other ways to make the most of our unusual shared circumstances. Chances are, you have customers in your pipeline that could use some help. Reach out to your contacts personally and ask if there’s something you could do to help. Sometimes, just connecting people with the right resources in their local area can make a world of difference, so put those Google super-searcher skills to work.
Check out some of our other ideas for unique customer appreciation ideas.
5. You have the freedom to try new things.
Right now is an ideal time to experiment with the tech you have yet to try or to take a foray into new outbound sales techniques. Have you tried content marketing? Email newsletters?
How are your social media ads looking? Canva is a powerful tool that allows even the most novice designers to create professional-looking social media cards. Give it a whirl! The sky’s the limit (and if you’re lucky, you may even get to see it today).
What You Can Do Today
As we move forward during this strange, and sometimes stressful, time, one of the best things you can do on a personal and professional level is to keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other, so to speak, even if your feet are only actually taking you from the kitchen to the den to your bed every day. It’s time to create an actionable path forward, make the most with what you have, and focus on the values you hold dearest.
As we move forward as a nation and as a part of the global community, we will need professionals across all sectors to help lead the way to recovery and healing.