The damage of the pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has an extended impact on selling. There was a thought that with the reduction of restrictions there would be a restoration of successful go-to-market strategies, messaging, and sales process. Sales lessons from 2021 show us there has been a dramatic shift in the selling process and value proposition calculation by prospects and customers.
Lesson 1: Speed Sets Price
The customers and prospects will pay a premium for faster delivery. This varies by market segment; however, the premium is being paid. This is discreetly represented in current inflation. Speed should be a key language of messaging as integrated into your sales process.
Lesson 2: Capacity Is More Important than Culture
Turnover in personnel in touchpoint positions undermines the confidence of prospects and customers that culture is a key driver of value from your company. The language in your sales process must move from “who” to “how.” Your technology, processes, value chain, and supply chain are all more important than the language of culture and personnel longevity.
Lesson 3: Iron Clad Reliability Wins
There is little patience with delays regardless of reasons. Customers and prospects with greater frequency are seeking penalties, warranties, and guarantees as a part of their conditions for working with you. Your past work increases their confidence, but it does not eliminate their fear. Transparency of why your reliability is strong, including current testimonials and case studies, can often alleviate the penalties that are requested in contracts.
Half Lesson: Top Buys from Top
Salespeople are less important in closing large sales. Because of the other lessons, senior executives will be necessary for increasing close rates for big sales.
It has been a regular question of all business leaders, “What will the new normal look like?” The future is fluid and rapidly changing, therefore unpredictable. However, the lessons of 2021 will be a part of the sustained elements of the new normal.