As any business professional is aware, the pandemic caused a major shift in the competitive landscape of the business world. Sales leaders were forced to adjust their strategies quickly amid the pandemic, and according to Hubspot, those who did not, are now playing catch up.
The Modern Sales Approach
Hubspot’s Research Global Sales Enablement Survey outlines how modern sales leaders exceed their revenue targets following the pandemic by adapting their sales models, leveraging technology, and by enabling their reps to sell remotely. Without face-to-face interaction with clients, those sales professionals who did not adapt, struggled to meet their targets, and furthermore struggled to keep up with competitors post-pandemic.
Adaptability is Key
Hubspot found that sales leaders who adopted a hybrid or fully remote sales model met or exceed their revenue targets, with 64% of those who transitioned to remote sales in 2020 exceeding their revenue targets, compared to the 50% of those who did not make the transition. In order to run a successful business amid the pandemic, sales representatives were pushed to sell from anywhere by utilizing their phones, as well as video and online chat, and management was asked to coach and enable remote teams while motivating representatives and improving productivity. Video conferencing software is ranked as the most important tool for those using the remote selling model, with 72% of over-performing sales leaders stating virtual meetings have been just as or more effective than face to face meetings.
The Power of Sales Enablement
Having a dedicated sales enablement team that focuses on improving sales productivity is crucial for the success of sales organizations, as 65% of sales leaders that outperformed against revenue targets have a dedicated sales team or person. High performing sales teams automate their sales tasks and leverage competitive data by taking advantage of enablement and Customer Relationship Management tools. Regardless of their performance, most of the sales leaders surveyed by Hubspot, rank CRM and video conferencing software as the most important tools for remote selling. The difference between those who over-perform and under-perform is how they are utilizing these tools. Those who over-performed used their CRM tools to automate parts of their sales process, which in turn freed up sales representatives time so they could focus more on selling. CRM is used to automate tasks such as meetings, scheduling, content delivery, contract generation, leveraging data to make strategic decisions, forecasting reports, performance against quota, and representative activity. Successful sales leaders understand they need to keep representatives focused by minimizing the time they spent away from revenue generating activities, and by having a dedicated sales enablement team, representatives can dedicate more time to clients. Along with the traditional tasks of creating supporting materials for the team, enablement is now asked to evaluate and implement tools and technology to improve representative training, coaching and team productivity. Not only do these tools help save representatives time, but they also allow leaders and managers to leverage data and identify high impact coaching opportunities, allowing data-backed coaching to further support the success of representatives.
What the Future Holds
Sales leaders who exceed revenue targets in 2020, are now focused on winning new customers, selling into new markets, and increasing sales to a product or service line in the future, while also shifting their focus to improve pipeline velocity and digital buying channels, such as chat in the following year. Whereas those who under-performed in 2020 are also focused on winning new customs, but must also catch up by improving their sales processes and enabling representatives to sell remotely in the long term. The pandemic brought a need to fulfil buyers needs in unconventional ways, and those who have focused on adaptation and innovation have seen success and will continue to succeed in the long term.