Adapting Sales for a Hybrid World
Sales is about meeting people where they are. As a branding agency, we’re creatives who diagnose client values to tap into what drives sales, and that sentiment is at the core of every successful sale.
It’s not as simple as a strong handshake and a confident smile, and it hasn’t been for a long time. This is especially true now. Meeting people, and the brands they represent, where they are means adjusting to their levels of comfortability. Now, overwhelmingly, the workforce is skewing toward the hybrid work model.
Consulting firm McKinsey & Company revealed in a study that more than three-quarters of B2B buyers and sellers prefer remote human interactions and digital self-service over in-person sales.
It’s time to up your game. Read on to learn how to adapt your selling techniques and your sales team to hybrid work, and how doing so makes service synonymous with your brand.
Put your phone down.
According to the same McKinsey study, e-commerce and video conferencing now account for 43% of all B2B revenue, more than any other channels of communication. Interestingly, about three quarters of respondents said they preferred video conferencing on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or WebEx to speaking over the phone.
Respondents overwhelmingly preferred video conferencing to phone calls in every instance, including:
- meeting with others in your company
- meeting existing customers
- meeting with prospects
- meeting with vendors/suppliers
Hybrid work isn’t about interacting less. It’s about utilizing new ways to stay connected. You’re more likely to remember someone’s name when you can attach a face and persona to it, and your potential client feels the same way.
So, even if you’re used to alternating between martini lunches and phone calls, you’ll need to get used to video conferencing to establish and build rapport. Also, get a ring light.
Focus on Outcomes
Without a standard office schedule, the sales process is no longer linear. Don’t let this scare you, though. It’s an opportunity to create a slow build.
We already know seeing someone helps to establish rapport. Use your influx of Zoom invites to your advantage by slowly gathering intel. If you focus on what you’re trying to sell every time you chat, you’re not meeting your potential client where they are. You’re trying to show them where you are. But if you lead with curiosity about their needs, they will trust you have their best interests at heart.
Invest in team alignment
Let’s look inward. As convenient as video conferences can be, they take a lot of preparation. One thing to consider when your team adjusts to the hybrid work model: how you can reinforce work culture to retain talent.
As the Stanford Graduate School of Business covered in its Think Fast, Talk Smart podcast, the hybrid work model is making leadership more complex.
According to Fortinet Founders Chair and Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University Pamela Hinds, “Leaders need to be able to communicate a vision and have that be understood across a wide variety of groups and locations. I think that’s going to be an opportunity for leaders to figure out ways to do a better job of conveying and reinforcing the culture of the organization.”
Hinds instructs a multifaceted approach.
“Maybe there are ways to package up parts of the culture and the mission and the vision that work better for remote, that work better in person or in a hybrid fashion just instead of thinking of culture and mission and vision as one big monolith,” she said.
When you consider sales in the hybrid-working world, remember: service is on-brand.
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RUSSO is a strategic branding agency that uses consumer insight to change the conversation; forming emotional connections with the target audience. To learn more about Razor Branding visit brandrusso.com, or CLICK HERE to schedule a meeting with one of our Business Development Managers.