2020 has been one of the worst years in most sales reps’ careers. With so many businesses going bankrupt, closing, and spending less money until the economy shows more signs of recovery, as well as major networking events being cancelled or moved online, it seems impossible for sales professionals to meet the sales targets they set for themselves at the beginning of the year. However, Roman Shovkun, the EVP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Revenue Grid, disagrees with this pessimistic mindset. He believes that there are still plenty of opportunities for sales reps to meet their sales targets, they just have to shift their work methods a bit.
How to Meet Your Sales Targets
Rearrange Your Plan
Maybe you’re one of the 10% of sales executives who have taken the time to craft a plan to go back to pre-pandemic sales practices. But statistically speaking, you’re probably not. And that’s okay. In all honesty, it’s a good thing. We’re way beyond business as usual, and attempting to go back to pre-pandemic sales strategies will only leave you struggling to land sales and, therefore, your sales targets.
Shovkun says you need to pay attention to new trends in your industry. “Will the new services and solutions you brought into your business continue to appeal to customers when the pandemic is over, or will you need to shift your strategy again?” asks Shovkun. “Perhaps you’ve discovered a new market in this time, and you need to think about maintaining their interest. For instance, companies selling marketing software may have begun hosting webinars during the lockdown. If that’s the case for you, is there still demand for that education?”
The general consensus in the sales world is that things are going digital and will remain that way until the pandemic is behind us. Which leads us to Shovkun’s second piece of advice.
Focus on Your Online Presence
Until business returns to normal, and possibly even beyond then, you need to focus on forging relationships with new and existing clients using the digital platforms available to you, such as social media sites. Make sure you’re available to your clients on these digital channels, as well as any other social distancing means of communications they’re comfortable with. You also need to be constantly providing useful content for both your existing clients and potential prospects, such as white papers and webinars, and spotlight this information on your company’s website.
Both existing and prospective clients are being more cautious with their money than they have been in years prior. They’ll be doing their research on you and your company in order to make sure or find out that they’re making the right choice doing business with you. How can they be comfortable doing business with you if you and your company haven’t kept up your digital presence and research efforts during the pandemic and posting new findings your clients can continue to benefit from? Give clients and prospects something to find when they go looking if you want to meet your sales targets. If you leave them empty-handed, they’ll become disinterested in you and look for your competitors who have been more proactive these past six months.
Continue to Communicate with Clients
“Just checking in” messages will be just as annoying, if not more so, as they were before the pandemic. Your clients still want to hear from you to make sure everything is still going well with your company, but they’re simultaneously focusing on the well-being of their company, as well. If you want to meet your sales targets, make your outreach regular and worth their time.
You can do this by utilizing the research and other content you’ve been posting to your company’s website and social media. Your clients are busy, they don’t always have time to go looking for new and useful content. Save them the time and effort by sending any content you have that would be useful to them to their inboxes directly. Shovkun also notes that you should be reaching out to your clients using the contact methods you know they prefer. “This could mean sending messages over social media or just creating a weekly newsletter to be sent via email.” You know your clients best. Use the methods you already know they prefer.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Selling in the age of COVID-19 is new territory for all of us. Very few sales reps are going to be able to easily meet their sales targets without asking for some assistance. If you encounter a roadblock that seems impossible to bypass, reach out to your sales manager or a coworker. They may have experienced the same conundrum and figured out the best way to handle it. It could end up being a simple fix using a method you hadn’t thought of. If you don’t ask, you could be stuck for much longer than necessary on a single problem.