We live in a truly virtual world now. Many weren’t ready for it, but we were inevitably forced to adapt. A whopping 90% of sales moved to a digital sales model, yet almost half (46%) feel that digital sales is less effective, according to McKinsey. Sales as we know it has changed compensation packages, quotas and more.
We spent the past year maneuvering around the unexpected. To reflect and gain a better understanding of how to move forward, I recently got together with colleagues and found ways to review an uncertain year in attempt to make something certain in 2021 – a new mind-set, an encouraging outlook and a recharge in sales.
I have a background as a systems engineer and developer, so I look at problems as an opportunity to find new solutions. One great first step in solving the sales problem is reviewing your high-growth verticals. Now is the time to invest your efforts and focus on account prioritization. Once you know where you’re going, you’ll need to get on the right gear based on the road you’ve taken.
Here are a few more considerations to turbocharge your sales strategy in 2021.
Be Flexible But Don’t Discount Your Worth
When the pandemic hit, I saw software businesses respond quickly with discounting measures and free offerings, but I’m not a fan of either. Slashed prices set a bad precedent. Instead, I demonstrate from the beginning the value and focus on the customer journey. I recommend getting more creative to benefit both sides. Since we’re in a digital space powering digital experiences, I had the opportunity to offer free months versus giving a discount because I am focused on keeping pricing intact.
There isn’t one simple solution for showing value rather than succumbing to the urge to discount. You’ll need to find something uniquely you about your sales strategies that will entice customers to sign (or re-sign) a contract.
Focus on the Prospects with Actionable Events
In 2020, we saw a higher propensity to slip and/or lose deals to no decision. Focus your resources on deals with strong compelling events and drive toward closure using the customer’s timeline for business outcomes. If a prospect has a strong reason and timeline where they must make a purchase decision (such as a digital transformation initiative, a new product launch with deadlines, etc.) these are deals you should label as “must wins” and use a variety of resources and relationships to secure the win.
Amplify Reach With Partners
Seventy percent of Insight Partners’ portfolio companies sell at least partly through the channel, according to Pablo Dominguez, operating partner at Insight Partners. This is a strategy that will be embraced in 2021 and will be important in your goals to amplify your reach. Your channel partners have an ear to the ground at your most strategic accounts. They will most often be looped into which companies are going through budget cuts, purchase freezes, etc. Use partners to identify target accounts and map out initiatives, buying centers and relationships.
Personally, I’ve seen enormous engagement in the field with my direct reps and partners and these relationships have doubled my pipeline as a result. Find the value in amplified reach internally, with your partner team, across your pipeline.
Leverage a Cross-Functional Account Based Experience (ABX) Top of Funnel
Start the year with a comprehensive account list and use a multi-channel, cross functional approach to generate and progress pipeline. This includes aligning strategies across departments; the saying “the whole is better than the sum of its parts” applies here. Combine and collaborate with those in demand generation and persona identification, a sales development representative’s (SDR) personalized outreach, channel partner influence, and the sales representative pipeline management. Aligning these efforts to craft a holistic customer experience is key to creating and progressing a pipeline, most especially in an enterprise sale.
You may not get a restart on everything that went awry in 2020, but there are ways you can take your sales strategy and give it a reboot or a turbocharge.