The cascading effects of COVID-19 have affected global business in more than quantifiable ways, and likely in ways that we are not yet fully realizing. However, one area of growth has remained constant during the pandemic: sales promotion.
The size of the global revenue promoting market is projected to grow to $ 3.1 billion by 2026, from $ 989 million in 2020 – an average annual growth rate of 17.4%.
The B2B landscape has changed. While meeting with vendors and suppliers in person, sales and marketing teams have had to completely rethink their strategies and tactics for a post-pandemic world.
Sales promotion now depends critically on technology and on salespeople being able to work efficiently in a digital environment. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, videoconferencing connectivity is now rated by four in five buyers as more desirable for audio or telephone interactions in B2B environments.
The pandemic was the push B2B markets needed to accelerate digital sales promotion strategies. A full 97% of executives claim the pandemic has accelerated their company’s digital transformation, and 95% are now actively looking for new ways to interact with customers and prospects on digital platforms, McKinsey reports.
The global crisis has also shown top managers that sales enablement technology can help overcome geographic barriers that once forced salespeople to think regionally.
It is clear that a new era focused on enabling distribution has dawned in the business world. As with any change, investment in new approaches and new equipment on the part of your team is required to position your company for success.
Here are some recommendations that can help your company get on the right track with your sales activation planning and strategy.
1. Re-evaluate your processes and identify areas where the transition to a digital-first strategy can occur
This step can include upgrading hardware, tweaking or removing obsolete systems, retraining staff, and setting up reporting and analytical measurements that reflect your new digitally focused approach.
There are a variety of software and tools available that streamline the sales process and help employees become more efficient. Whether it’s project management software, updated presentation decks, or planning tools, such advances in technology can save sales reps time and focus on pushing more leads through the sales funnel.
2. Make sure your sales tech stack prepares your salespeople for the best remote sales environment
First, listen to your team. The field has the best sense of what potential customers want and expect, and loyalty is the name of the game. Your technologies should work together and integrate wherever possible, optimize your sales processes and exude efficiency and professionalism (think CRM integration, an intelligent presentation platform, reliable communication channels, dynamic apps for sharing screens and more).
It’s not just about your sales team, though. It’s also about your prospects and buyers – about making sure their sales experience is seamless. Technology issues can put someone off for your business and its product or service. If the sales process isn’t seamless, buyers may think this is a symbol of your entire business.
So, listen to your sales reps and ask questions about your tech stack – specifically, how all of your tools interact with each other. Is your tech stack as seamless as Gmail and Google Drive?
3. Find and appoint a suitable in-house champion to ensure that new technology is used properly in your company
Rebuilding a decade-long way of doing business requires special supervision and maintenance, as well as quite a few interpersonal skills. You need a reliable and savvy advocate for your digital systems – someone who is fully invested and understands the importance of getting everyone’s buy-in from top to bottom.
That need has mandated business leaders – vice presidents of sales, chief revenue officers, and the like – to help companies understand the technologies available to promote sales.
If you are hiring an executive or considering promoting someone from your company, investing time is important to understand the essentials, training, and understanding of each individual to build and retool a tech stack for sales promotion .
4. Plan your new digital-first approach in 2021 and beyond as distance selling will stay here
Unless your company is built for the new age of digital engagement, it is next to impossible to connect with prospects and build a strong sales pipeline. Adjust your budgets accordingly to match the right sales promotion spending to stay flexible for the future.
As we all learned in 2020, there can be no point in predicting the future. What is undeniable, however, is that the pandemic has revealed new business methods.
Home-based executives and technologists have been asked to develop methods to facilitate this transition. That demonstrated the value of sales enablement technology.
It is possible that after the pandemic ends, executives will still enjoy the opportunity to do business in person. However, as long as geographic restrictions exist, the sales activation software will at least help drive initiatives between these face-to-face meetings, shortening the sales cycle. This is music to a sales rep’s ears.