Over one year ago, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Since then, COVID-19 has upended almost every aspect of our lives, our jobs, and our businesses. While navigating a global pandemic and surviving the economic uncertainty was priority number one in 2020, the question now becomes: how do sales teams move from responding to the crisis to planning for a recovery and renewal in 2021? Here are three priorities to consider.
This article is a shortened version of the white paper "Top Priorities for Sales Teams in 2021".
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#1 Remote Work an Advantage
The ongoing pandemic has forced sales teams to swiftly adjust their selling activities for the virtual environment. Remote work went from a niche decision some companies made to an inevitable and massive shift in the way that sales teams work together. While initially perceived as a short-term adjustment in the sales approach, the uncertain nature of the global market, as well as the promise of cost savings in the future, indicates that virtual selling is likely here to stay. In fact, Gartner research found recently that 23% of Chief Sales Officers plan to permanently shift field sales to virtual sales roles.
Top sales teams in 2021 will require the ability to leverage remote work as an advantage. Ultimately, the ability to make remote work an advantage can create unique opportunities to establish more synergy between sales leaders and their workforce. Sales leaders should look for opportunities to connect with their remote salesforce in ways they couldn’t when reps were constantly out in the field.
#2 Generating Leads and Revenue
No matter what industry you are in, or what technologies and systems you use to run your business, at the end of the day you’ve got to make the sale to be successful. Where does that leave us in the months ahead? Early on in the pandemic, most sales teams worked to close already advanced deals and doubled their efforts with existing customers. Now, sales organizations are coming to realize that mining existing customers won’t offset the anticipated revenue loss moving forward. This has prompted a renewed focus on lead generation and new customer acquisition. Ultimately, this lack of connection inhibits the effectiveness of sales teams. The result is a negative impact on the bottom line; especially as the pace of competition increases as countries and communities turn the corner with the coronavirus.
#3 Sales Enablement
Throughout the pandemic, sales teams have leaned heavily on sales enablement. Sales leaders all over have worked tirelessly to structure their enablement strategies in order to best set up their teams for success and continually optimize the environment they have created for virtual selling. This focus on sales enablement will gain more momentum in 2021.
Effective sales enablement in the new normal will require a different set of capabilities. Virtual teams, seamless access to information and sales content, and integrated pricing tools will out-perform the competition. A motivated sales team that has the technology tools and content resources they need to excel in a virtual environment will close more deals. However, success will also require that sales teams return to some fundamental business skills. Writing a persuasive business case, thoughtful pricing and integration, and strategic problem solving will all be required to navigate the uncertain course still ahead.
How can you move forward today and empower your sales teams to sell more? One solution worth evaluating is XaitPorter, a progressive database-driven document co-authoring software with integrated configure, price, and quote features. It is an ideal approach for complex tenders, proposals, and contracts. The solution enables sales teams to more effectively and more collaboratively create, manage and produce high-value bids and proposals and other business-critical documents. And the ability to seamlessly and accurately select and price combinations products and services will give you an edge on slower-moving competition.