Selling well is no longer enough to close deals in a crisis. To make the most of the resources you have ‘at home’, managing sales is essential. See tips from our customers!

Covid-19 brought significant impacts to Brazilian companies, especially those that were not yet adapted to sell and produce digitally. As a first barrier, they faced adaptation to remote work. Afterward, the difficulties of selling at a distance and the drop in demand brought about a drop in sales.

Did this also occur in your company? Are you also trying to find ways to sell in the crisis?

According to our customers, after the initial impacts, the biggest difficulties have been closing sales, overcoming the insecurity of those who have not yet bought and retained current customers.

Like your customers, you are also unsure about investing in new projects. So it’s time to reinvent strategies and make the most of what you already have. You can do this by ensuring good (and affordable) sales management.

Selling in the crisis: the first impacts

At the beginning of April, Blue World City analyzed the situation of more than 5,000 companies from 24 states in Brazil – which together add up to more than 12,000 salespeople and sales managers. Data was collected using our sales tool, RD Station CRM.

The analysis pointed out that many companies had an average increase in the generation of opportunities. After all, generating new business is one of the ways to get out of the crisis, and we’ll talk more about it throughout the blogpost.

But closing sales opportunities have different behavior by segment.

Main sales challenges in the new scenario

Sales did not only drop in micro and small businesses. According to another survey, carried out with more than 100 companies, 30% of them pointed to the drop in sales as the main impact generated by the Coronavirus crisis in their companies. And, following this data, 15.8% of them pointed to a decrease in the volume of leads and business opportunities to work.

In addition, they also felt an impact on the customer base. About 33% of respondents said they were facing difficulties in retaining their own customers,  with frequent requests for renegotiation of values, cancellation of contracts and many even defaulting. In the chart below

Selling well is no longer enough in the crisis

If before, companies could only rely on the skill of their salespeople or on products that ‘sold themselves, now everyone is looking for a new way to close deals. With social isolation, the migration to digital was forced, and few people had time to prepare and understand that traditional ways of selling are no longer enough.

Much of this difficulty in selling in the crisis comes from the insecurity and fear of customers, who are unwilling to invest in new purchases now or are reviewing contracts already signed, seeking to reduce expenses.

At the moment of adaptation, the sales process is one of the ones that suffer most from the changes. Not only because of the need to learn to trade at a distance and use little-known tools and technologies but especially because the discourse can no longer be the same.

Yes, it’s harder to sell now, in every way, not just because of the economic downturn. We are migrating to a ‘new normal, in which we will need to reinvent strategies to close the sale.

More than ever, every customer makes a difference

With social isolation, we were forced to stay at home, consuming only as little as possible to maintain our routines. Our house, which was previously just our home, also became:

  • Office  individual or shared;
  • Play area for children and adults;
  • Classroom, with the support of teachers producing content at a distance for schools;
  • Rest space;
  • Restaurant and food court;
  • Gym and fitness space, to spend all your accumulated energy.

The change didn’t just happen in the economy or at work, the Covid-19 crisis transformed our routines as a whole. We became more aware because it was necessary to give up a series of freedoms and desires that cannot be fulfilled at this moment. We need to be more careful with everything we do, including consumption.

In companies, all this individual transformation is manifested in the difficulties we are facing to continue with our business. Therefore, we understand that in order to be able to sell in a crisis, it is necessary to understand the individual needs of each customer, because their life has also been turned upside down.

It is not about selling at any cost, but about helping. How can your product or service help your customers and audience to face this crisis? What kind of information do you have that could make a difference for them?

consultative sales

It’s time to deepen your knowledge of consultative sales and maintain a constant relationship with your Leads because now each sale makes all the difference in the company’s revenue. And each purchase will need a lot of grounding, persuasion, and value perception to make it happen.

An efficient sales management, during this period, is one that allows a broad view of the business opportunities that are on the table, so that your salespeople can make the most of each one of them. Therefore, if the seller realizes that the ideal time to buy is not now, he should be instructed to keep the doors open, and who knows to get in touch when the time is right.

Customer retention

In addition to the effort to sell in the crisis, it’s time to invest in retaining the customers you already have. What is the use of putting all the focus of your Sales team on selling, while your current customers are canceling? The account will not close.

Maintain the relationship with your customer and propose solutions that will help you to overcome the crisis. An internal example: here at RD, we have made available a series of content  – such as this post you are reading now – to bring our insights and learnings to our customers, which we have already tested in this crisis and which can help them, like us we understand the moment.

We are also taking the time to implement improvements to our products, RD Station Marketing and RD Station CRM, to address these new needs.

In addition, we review all our communications on a weekly basis so that only content that can help our ecosystem overcome difficulties is published. This vision of a partnership relationship, much more than a contract, has helped us to overcome the moment and will ensure that your company does too.

Sales management is the key to overcoming the crisis, according to our customers

Good sales management will ensure that your company does not suffer so much when an adverse scenario, such as the one we are experiencing, presents itself. Based on our research, we compiled more than 600 responses from companies of different sizes and segments and brought together the three main practices that are working to deal with the crisis and overcome its impacts.

1. Organize your business, information, and activities

When asked about how sales management has helped their companies to face the moment, 30.5% of customers pointed out control and organization as the main benefit.

First, the organization of all business opportunities into a sales funnel, to gain a clear view of which opportunity is closest to closing, which trades are stalled, and which ones can be resumed.

Then, a record of the contacts and information that was collected about each opportunity. Having control over this data is essential for your sellers to know how to start the negotiation and assess whether the customer is at the right time to buy.

Furthermore, this record allows the seller, when resuming this same opportunity in the future, to recognize the customer’s profile, recall details of the negotiation and be much more agile when making an offer.

Finally, manage the tasks you have to perform on the day and week. This organization ensures that every opportunity in the pipeline will be seized, leaving none behind. At a time when each sale makes a difference in the company’s revenue, it is important that your salespeople know all the opportunities that are on the table and always have tasks scheduled to take them forward.

Example: Juscon Assessoria Contábil

An example is Juscon Assessoria Contábi l, a user of our CRM. The commercial manager, Kaue Guella Buso, told us that the company has achieved positive results during Covid-19.

The first thing Juscon did was to take initiative to reinvent itself. First, it adopted the entire team to remote work; then it reviewed contracts with suppliers and accelerated the exchange of tools they used. Changed sales strategies and approaches to  Inside Sales, using CRM  daily to organize traded information and upcoming tasks, ensuring closing sales.

Even with the drop in the generation of opportunities, the company is closing deals and greatly extending the customer retention agenda through weekly contacts with each one of them to exchange information.

2. Keep a close relationship with each opportunity

As we talked about a moment ago, the current scenario demands that companies propose to help their Leads and clients, in any way they can. For this, it is important that the team closely monitor the opportunities that are in its sales funnel, to ensure that none of them will remain idle and without consultative attention.

Ensuring follow-up is even more important than before Covid-19, as this practice will remind your client that you are there for them to face the crisis and that you will remain available when it passes.

And more: if your customer cannot invest in your product or service now, you will maintain a relationship with him, with regular contacts or making an appointment in the future to discuss a purchase again. After all, when he can buy, you guarantee that it will be with your company.

Invest in good communication with your opportunities and also with your Leads. In our survey, 13% of respondents said they are submitting relevant content to help their customers with ideas and suggestions they can apply during the crisis. More than thinking about selling in the crisis, good communication now guarantees sales in the future!

Example: GiroVip Turismo

Bringing one more example, we have the case of GiroVip Turismo,  which is part of the segment most affected by the Covid-19 situation. The company is working to convert trip cancellations into rebookings to avoid an even greater impact on cash and projections.

According to marketing supervisor Adinilson Guimarães, salespeople work this communication through consultative sales, showing the customer that the service will still be available in the future and it will be even better to travel after all this has passed.

Since adopting this approach, GiroVip has had better results with regard to markdowns. They also reformulated the service model, due to remote work, seeking to daily build a new shopping experience. With the use of CRM, they are able to schedule new contacts with customers, as well as the resumption of negotiations in the future.

3. Look for different ways to generate demand for your sellers

The conversion rate for sales tends to decrease in the crisis. To compensate in the funnel, it is necessary to generate more opportunities so that salespeople are more likely to maintain the expected volume of sales.

One way to facilitate this process is to be able to analyze your Marketing and Sales data with fluidity, to assess how much demand needs to be generated and what strategies to adopt for this.

A good practice is to take advantage of opportunities you already have but have failed to convert into customers. In your CRM  you can do this in different ways.

The first one is to take back lost opportunities, customers who didn’t buy before but maybe interested now. Evaluate cases where it might be interesting to approach these people again and make contact, always in a consultative manner. Remember not to be opportunistic: don’t try to sell in a crisis at any cost!

The second way is to search for sales closed in the last few months, and try a new sale to the same customer, whether it is the same product or another offer from your company. Customers who have already bought from you once have more potential to buy again than those who have never bought. And if it’s not the right time, schedule a multi-sale that reminds you to get in touch with him again in a while.

However, taking advantage of what you already have may not be enough to generate demand: it is necessary to use Digital Marketing.  With the market less heated, Marketing and Sales need to generate more opportunities, seeking as much revenue as possible to keep companies’ cash flow sustainable – and avoid even bigger crises.

Adopting a marketing tool is necessary to ensure that your sales team has opportunities to work. With good sales management, the opportunities generated by Marketing will be very well used and will be more likely to close.

Our suggestion to help you overcome the crisis

The impacts of Covid-19 made one thing very clear: your company cannot be unprepared. After all, changes of all kinds can happen unexpectedly. Thus, maintaining effective sales management will be essential to face this crisis and any other that may occur in the future!

The tool that helps and enables this efficient sales management is CRM, the software that allows you to control the end-to-end sales process.

With it, you ensure that your salespeople make the most of the opportunities that are in your pipeline, whether those in progress or returning lost. It is also CRM that helps you maintain a close relationship with each one of them, making it possible to sell in the crisis and in the future. All this with the total organization of data, information, and tasks to provide a consultative rather than an opportunistic sale.

I invite you to discover our sales tool: RD Station CRM. It will help you in this efficient sales management, essential for your company to overcome the crisis and strengthen itself for the future.

RD Station CRM has a free plan, with no user limit, for those who are starting this journey. And, for those looking for more organization and structured processes, count on the Basic plan. Let’s, together, adapt to this new normal.