If the enterprise technology sales environment was becoming ever more challenging (increasingly complex, fragmented buying centres, a shift to LoB purchasing, new competitors springing up etc etc), the emergence of Covid-19 has just made the average sales person’s task even harder. With face to face engagement temporarily halted and the ability to reach people even on the phone severely hindered, the means to engage customers and prospects have been significantly diminished.
The ‘new reality’ therefore calls for a new approach to engagement, while we wait for the world to start to get back to some form of normality again. Here are our four suggested practical ways that sales executives can ensure they have a ‘reason to engage’ with their key accounts, and prospects, in order to keep that all important ‘conversation’ alive during the current crisis.
Keep abreast of the news – the current situation is clearly an incredibly fluid one, with developments happening by the hour. Find ways therefore to understand what the news means for your key accounts; track developments and understand how they align to the commercial challenges that your target accounts are facing so that you can best understand where you may be able to add value with solutions or products.
Unearth the pain points – do your research to understand the key issues the account, or crucially the sector it sits within, are facing as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic. There is a wealth of analysis from analyst houses in particular that highlights sectoral and specific organisational challenges; it pays to really dig into this insight.
Be alert to Initiatives or intent – while companies are mostly being reactive to the current situation, they are also taking proactive stances in how they are adapting to the changing commercial environment, launching initiatives that reflect their ways to manage through Covid-19. Similarly, they are exploring strategies for when we start to return to more normal trading conditions; this is showing up in Intent data trends and you should seek to access such data from your organisation’s marketing teams to better understand likely sentiment in your target accounts.
Identify and Track Executives – we’re seeing increased activity from executives on social channels so make sure you understand what your key target contacts are saying; look for when they comment or post and be ready to engage with appropriate comment or input.
Carrying out the four suggested approaches above is entirely possible for any sales person currently operating from their own home office, and I’d strongly encourage sellers to execute on each of the ideas above. However, for those sales executives who want a bespoke service, we’ve launched our Express Insights service to help them keep up to speed on target accounts by giving them a timely, efficient solution that provides the insights needed to action engagement. Drop us a link to find out more . Covid-19 has brought an unprecedented challenge to the art of engaging with key accounts but there are effective ways, as I’ve outlined in this blog, for sales people to improve their opportunities to engage.