Hybrid working is on everybody’s radar. Whether you’ve returned to the office or not, it’s very likely your clients or suppliers are spending a day or two in the office each week. With that comes its own set of challenges. Everybody’s schedules are so different to how they looked a few years ago. While that’s a great thing for our work/life balance, there are some adjustments that have to be made to make sure that we continue to get the most out of the working week, no matter where you are sitting geographically!
Sales in the post-pandemic world has had to adapt and change quickly. Sales teams need to stay connected, be it face-to-face or on calls, and there are some simple tricks to help your sales teams build and maintain great relationships in this new, hybrid world.
Keep it authentic
When we were in the middle of lockdown, business was starting to really turn around for a lot of people, and I found myself pitching in some of the most bizarre circumstances imaginable. I never thought I’d pitch to someone who was standing in their kitchen making dinner for their family, but I very quickly had to shift my understanding of what sales now looks like.
There’s one thing that remains at the heart of BDM success: authenticity. Customer service shouldn’t change just because the environment has, which is why it’s still so important to know your brand, the story and to make sure you’ve put in the time and leg work to understand who your customers are and what they need.
Nurturing looks different
Nurturing looks very different now. A tip I learned years ago was to gift current & prospective clients gorgeous, luxury biscuits in a branded box or tin. A gimmick, sure, but a gimmick that meant your brand was next to the kettle for all to see, keeping you present in conversations even when you couldn’t be there.
With the loss of face-to-face meetings comes new challenges around creating meaningful impressions and building relationships in a way that doesn’t feel natural or staged. The best way to overcome this is to understand your customers from a digital perspective. Where do they exist online? How do they communicate with their peers, and like to be communicated with? How do they transact? We’re all au fait with traditional customer profiles, but the focus now needs to be on how your messages can resonate with the right target customers in the right places online.
Maximise your tech stack
One of the biggest frustrations related to hybrid working is getting everybody together at the right time, to have conversations and make decisions together. Sales engines can have the propensity to be very manual and reliant on where your sales team is at with each lead. We already know that communication channels are even harder to navigate now, so one of the best ways to free up time is to look at sensible automation. That’s not to say that you should outsource and automate each step of your sales and nurturing processes – as discussed earlier, that wouldn’t feel very authentic! – but it is well worth exploring where you can make those smaller, incremental improvements to get the best from your BDMs and your tech stack alike.
A favourite of mine is that my CRM reminds me of when it’s been five working days since I sent an email, which hasn’t been replied to yet. A simple trick but it keeps me honest and on top of who I need to reach back out to.
Explore scoring systems
Exploring a scoring system is a great way to minimise friction between your marketing and sales teams. A robust lead scoring system will create an easier line of communication between the two business areas and will make sure that time is being invested in the right leads at the right time.
Most CRM systems have an inbuilt lead scoring but the intricacies in setting them up to require some consideration, especially when determining which goals, forms and downloads are of most value to you and your business. The setup time may feel intense but the long-term gain is well worth it.
Amelia is the Commercial Director at Curated, a digital marketing consultancy specialising in organic content, SEO and paid media. If you are looking to take your B2B sales & marketing efforts to the next level, you can find out more here, or get in touch.