By Libby Adams

Selling In The Now: How To Make Authentic Connections


The drastic economic impact of COVID-19 is changing everything about how we do business. So how do you sell in this environment?

To kickstart your sales ops and breathe new life into your business, four Simplus experts share their insights.

Deputy Managing Director Libby Adams on leading with empathy

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, every business was adjusting. Their emphasis shifted to putting jobs and the health of their people first, setting staff up to work from home, and keeping the business’s head above water. Things are a little steadier now but they’re still in flux. Leading with empathy is the key to a sustainable sales approach.

To succeed, salespeople need to truly understand where their client’s business is at, their new priorities and their pain points. For some businesses, the pain point is a huge surge in demand. Others are just trying to keep the lights on.

The more transparent you can be is also vital to building connections. Continue to ask what’s happening in your client’s business, and check in to see if it’s still a good time to be doing X, Y or Z.

While forming new connections is happening differently now, it has never been easier because we need each other more than ever. Maybe you’ve seen another client struggling with the same issues. Pass on their journey and solution to other clients, so they can benefit too. Refer them back to the business, help your partners come together to sell together and support each other.

Just think: how do we want to be remembered as a company operating during this unprecedented time? Focus on listening and build a relationship. Whether this turns into an immediate business opportunity or not, the relationships and respect formed now will yield returns down the road.

National Sales and Delivery Director Alyssia Tennant on helping clients more

When it comes to selling, you’ll often hear of the importance of a customer-first approach. But what does that actually mean? We are in the business of taking companies from one state to another; a whole new state with higher growth and higher efficiencies at a lower ongoing cost. However, now customers need more.

To me, we don’t sell solutions, we sell value-multiplying change. It is no longer a case of ‘how far can my dollar stretch’ but ‘how much can I make my dollar multiply’. It is this surety and the surety that the value-multiplying change is in safe hands that elongates the COVID sales cycle.

So how can we help our clients more through the buying process?

  1. Accept that buying processes have changed; both the process and approval authorities.
  2. Know that there will more often than not be a group-buying dynamic, so align stakeholders, outcomes and benefits.
  3. Help customers with their business case, to quantify the value-multiplying change.
  4. Focus on providing early ROI to assist self-funding the digital transformation.
  5. Be sure all stakeholders are clear on how they will reach their goals. Where possible, you can do this through demonstration.

Marketing Director Danielle Ozolins on creating meaningful content

If it’s not relevant, your content is just noise. To make real connections with customers your messaging needs to talk to the now. Work with your on-the-ground sales teams to identify customer pain points so you can create content that adds value in a meaningful way.

What businesses want to hear about is how others have solved problems and challenges, particularly in these uncertain times. For example, your teams might say customers are having adoption issues or they don’t have enough bandwidth in their IT department to be agile. If you can help them find a solution, spread the word. Your audience will thank you for it.

Right now, we need to be helping each other, and customer success stories help those who are scrambling for support in the market. If you can solve a problem for a client through story-telling, that message will resonate and – as an added bonus – help build your brand.

Customer Success Director Adrian Vogt on identifying tech needs

Working from home means using at-home technology, power, workspaces, and more or less converting your living space to double as an office. Giving your sales team and customers access to the right technology will make that transition easier and it’s another good way to sell better during times of crisis.

Use virtual meeting technology to connect with customers and learn more about their situation. How can your organisation’s products or services ease the obstacles they’re facing or take one thing off their long list of worries?

For example, Simplus has launched Salesforce Quick Wins to help companies maximise their Salesforce investments and get more bang for their buck by providing short-term engagements with our award-winning Managed Services – we’ve even waived the client onboarding fees to get started faster.

In the current market, making sales can seem nigh on impossible. However, with the right strategies, like empathy, a strong knowledge of customer needs and pain points, meaningful content, and great tech, you’ll be in the best possible position to build lasting, profitable relationships based on all the good things in work and life – trust, respect and genuine connection.

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