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Converting a dry sales pipeline into a river of opportunities amidst a crisis

2 min read

Over the past few weeks, the world has been swarmed by an invisible pandemic, crippling businesses, triggering stock meltdowns, and creating a hue and cry across boundaries.

The impact of this black swan event has been swift upon businesses. Work structures across organizations have gone for a toss, ongoing business strategies became obsolete and companies are forced to rethink their plans about how they will conduct sales and keep businesses in motion.

With remote working becoming the new normal with the enforcement of work-from-home measures, businesses are pivoting to a digital sales model by inducting new tech tools for business optimization, workforce management and remote tracking of teams. Though nimble and innovative organizations have successfully embraced this transition, there are businesses that are overcoming teething pains.

However, one of the main problems sales teams across organizations are facing is to maintain a healthy sales pipeline. The crisis has triggered behavioural changes in consumers, with most of them postponing deals and delaying purchases owing to a lingering fear about this virus contagion. And this has led sales pipelines to go bone-dry, causing panic among sales teams.

During such troubled times, it’s important to undergo a change in mindset and look at opportunities from a different kaleidoscope. With a calm head and the right mindset, you can tide over this crisis and let the boat sail smoothly.

Most salespeople get anxious when leads flow come down to a trickle and resort to shoddy methods to compensate for the drought. This can result in poor deals and loss of potential prospects.

Mistakes sales reps must avoid at any cost

  1. Purchasing lead lists: Rather than using proper lead generation methods to fill the pipeline, sales reps resort to buying lead lists. While this may satisfy the requirement for leads, the quality of those leads will be poor. Purchasing leads lists can cost you money as well as lead to wastage of time by going for unqualified leads.
  2. Selling to wrong prospects: Generating revenue in crisis times can be tough. Sales executives chase leads to sell their products and often end up selling to the wrong prospect. Keeping such a prospect becomes expensive with time.

Tackling a sales leads drought

Normally, when you have an abundance of leads, your main target is to attract the prospects and close as many deals as possible. However, with fewer leads, you have to go into an exploration mode; weigh the potential of the leads and try different tactics with them. This will help you learn sales skills and give you the confidence to sell even in a crisis situation. Below are some ways.

  1. Focus on upselling: Upselling is one of the best ways to lure customers into your business and increase revenue. Existing customers who have a very faithful relationship with your business and bank upon your words at the drop of a hat will continue to stand by your side even in tough situations. Milk these customers, get in touch with them on a personal note and ask their requirements about your products. Getting a stream of revenue from such customers can help your business overcome a difficult situation.
  2. Experiment with sales presentations: Sometimes the usual sales tactics and presentations lose steam with time. It’s time to get creative and wrack up some kick-ass sales presentations which will seem like a breath of fresh air. Like taking your client on a virtual property tour or sending a YouTube video featuring your product and discussing how it will benefit him.
  3. Increase contracts: Businesses need swathes of cash during crisis times. A steady flow of revenue is what businesses aim for to get through difficult times. Try to increase your contract or license periods, maybe from one year to two years. And take payment upfront instead of monthly. Naturally, your customers won’t make such a lengthy monetary contract. But if you can convince them that the money is important for them to survive such difficult times, they will oblige, and it will be a win for both you and your prospect.
  4. Gun for referral sales: Word of mouth can be a great tool to promote your business without an ounce being spent and earn revenue. You can begin by reaching out to your existing customers through quizzes and events. As a token of participation, ask them to tag some of their best friends in those online events. Faithful customers will happily do that which will auger well for your business.
Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards.
Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards.

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Square Yards started its journey in 2014 and is headquartered in Gurugram, India.

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