3 Steps to Pivot Your Sales Strategy During a Crisis

3 Steps to Pivot Your Sales Strategy During a Crisis
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Is It Time to Pivot Your Sales Strategy?
Are you and your sales team agile enough? You will find out just how quickly you can pivot your sales strategy and your sales team when a crisis occurs. And now we have one – COVID 19.

  • Do you need to pivot your sales strategy or sales approach?
  • Is your sales team engaged, healthy, and equipped to sell solutions and add consultative value in new and different ways?
  • What are the immediate needs of your target clients? And their clients?

3 Steps to Pivot Your Sales Strategy During a Crisis
Unfortunately, the natural reaction for many sales leaders is to withdraw during a crisis and hope that the challenges will pass. But hope is not a strategy – especially during a crisis.  Going silent just increases anxiety and the rumor mill.  To reduce speculation and fear:

  1. Actively Stabilize Sales with Key Stakeholders in 30 Days or Less
    First, pull a cross-functional team together from sales, marketing, pricing, finance, legal, product development, and service to identify how to best stabilize, forecast, and optimize strategic accounts and the sales pipeline in the next 30 days.

    Have the team monitor, discuss, and openly communicate key sales metrics, risks, boundaries, issues, and challenges related to sales strategies, target clients, unique value propositions, competitors, cultural misalignments, capabilities, technologies, and engagement levels.

    For example, when COVID-19 hit, sales leaders were forced to shift sales and service teams to working virtually, invest in new technologies, and reset expectations with leaders, suppliers, and customers.

  2. Reimagine and Prepare for the Next 12 Months
    A sales leader’s ability to discuss and prepare “what if” scenarios often makes the difference between high and low sales performance. Once you have stabilized the current sales situation as best you can by focusing on the most important and most urgent areas, it is time to imagine what makes sense for the next nine to twelve months.   This should involve a comprehensive review of your sales plan from all angles.

    The greater the uncertainty, the more you should play out different sales scenarios and strategies to account for various macro- and micro-economic forces by scanning for future trends, prioritizing possibilities, identifying leverage points, and generating sales strategies for each situation.

  3. Create the Foundation for Long-Term Sales Success
    The crisis will eventually end. The challenge is to be prepared for the return to a more normal world. Though you may feel totally immersed in the stress and uncertainty of surviving the present, it is important to cast an eye toward the long-term future.

    What do you need to do to ensure you are prepared for the new normal?  How can you take advantage of the techniques you employed during the pandemic to acquire new customers, streamline your operations, and leverage new sales processes and models?  How can you assure existing customers that you can guarantee the highest levels of quality and service going forward?

The Bottom Line
Top sales leaders plan for the future even while dealing with an immediate crisis. They prepare for worst-case scenarios, aggressively deal with constraints, and actively navigate the turbulence of the unknown and the unexpected.  Is your sales strategy, sales culture, and sales talent aligned enough to navigate a crisis?

To learn more about how to pivot your sales strategy, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Sales Strategy

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