Selling during a crisis: A salesperson's perspective for B2B sales

In a crisis like Covid, it is often time to step up, come in with confidence, demonstrate expertise and provide your B2B customers and leads with that extra bit of support, motivation, strategic insight and guidance. Here are five pointers that you may find useful to help get your sales game back on track.

Simon Hall

Simon Hall

Selling during a crisis: A salesperson's perspective for B2B sales

Selling during a crisis: A salesperson's perspective for B2B sales.

During troubled times it’s easy for sales people to step off the gas, anticipating little but roadblocks. If anything, in crises like this the opportunity can be quite the opposite. Now is the time to step up, come in with confidence, demonstrate expertise and provide your B2B customers and leads with that extra bit of support, motivation, strategic insight and guidance.

Here’s five pointers that you may find useful in the coming weeks to help get your sales game back on track.

1) Be empathetic and supportive!

Initially, check in with your customers and prospects to make sure they are ok. It’s easy to become isolated from your contacts, but now is the time to ask pertinent questions so you get a better understanding of their pain. Focus on what is going on in their world, connecting through real empathy without the hard sell – more than ever it’s about helping people. The goal at this point is to make a positive difference in the life of your customer. Many people are scared about job security and their company’s performance. Providing them with inspiring stories that they can relate to could lift their spirits and further improve your relationship with them and value as a resource.

2) Your solutions could make all the difference right now!

Customers now need solutions more than ever. They are open to ideas that will help them get back on track. However, we just need to bring them in in a different manner. When presenting solutions keep it simple. Avoid multiple meetings with complexity and numerous people required where possible. Provide solutions which are easy to grasp, that will step them up and show them a way out of the turmoil. We need to adapt to survive before we can help them thrive.

For business decision makers, Forbes magazine say there are two key things at the forefront during difficult times – cutting costs and improving cash flow. It is vital the solutions we present address at least one of these challenges, providing demonstrable commercial value from the get-go.

Struggling to find the solutions needed? Talk to your connections about what they are doing. Read blogs that would be helpful and ask yourself, do you have a truly good understanding of the market and the issues they are experiencing? Take a mental stroll in the shoes of their customers. Once you come up with possible ideas discuss these with work colleagues. They might be able to add another angle, helping your client even further.

When presenting your suggested solutions, keep it simple. People’s heads are full of family and work issues right now, so avoid complexity in what you are delivering.

3) Motivation and positivity are infectious!

Stay motivated by keeping weekly goals and remember to celebrate them when achieved. Don’t get caught up in the mayhem, ignore outside noise. Focus on the solutions you can provide your customers, and remember the value these can provide. Putting yourself in the right headspace to engage with positivity is vitally important.  No prospect wants to deal with a negative, defeated sales person. This is especially true if they are also being impacted by similarly difficult circumstances. Be the positive influence for them, so that they can see you as someone they want to engage with who is capable of helping them truly succeed.

4) Prospects are so important right now, so remember them!

A sales funnel stocked with good leads can be a business lifeline – and that’s even more vital right now. Prospects are our future revenue streams, so it is helpful to understand the relationship status, the business they are in and their particular challenges. The best way to track your prospects and communications with them is with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database.

Knowing what you discussed last time you spoke is important in planning your next call and improving on the connection you have with your prospects. Refer to your notes on your CRM to help with this.

In business, it’s a truism that people buy from people. Relationships count, so prospects expect us to remember previous engagements. We need the content of our conversations to be hyper relevant, so do your research. You might want to first engage those prospects who are facing similar adversities as existing clients who you are finding solutions for. These maybe the easier ones to get across the line.

5) Gear up for sales success with marketing automation

The decision making process for prospects and customers could take a lot longer during a crisis given the inherent uncertainty. Staying engaged with them, nurturing them along with meaningful helpful content via a marketing automation platform could add significant value to present sales initiatives.

Marketing automation refers to software platforms that help businesses automate their marketing and sales engagement processes to generate more leads, convert those leads to sales and optimise ROI. Combined with a CRM, the platforms help ensure conversations don’t get missed so prospects and customers don’t fall by the wayside. Marketing automation also helps by providing trigger based notifications when prospects proactively re-engage with your business, website or content. And that can make for highly relevant and timely conversations!

If you want more information on marketing automation and customer engagement strategies or if you already have a marketing automation platform and need help with making it fly for you, contact us.

Finally, remember, sales is best played as a team sport! Associate yourself with subject matter experts and team members, and bring them along for the ride. In particular, draw on their strengths, especially where you may have weaknesses in your game. Discuss your challenges and share your successes together. Here’s to getting things firing again… There’s never going to be a time like the present after all!

Simon Hall

Simon Hall

Sales Director
Simon has deep experience in domestic and international sales. He thrives on adding value for clients and working with them to optimise CRM, marketing automation and digital customer experience.
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