Over the course of the last few months, while every team is uniquely impacted, sales teams across SMEs are facing an urgent need to adapt their strategies and sales approach.

Not only are they confined to screens to make their case for their products, they are also having to think on their feet to produce new leads.

We spoke to our Sales Directors to find out what priorities they have put in place to stay on track.

"First and foremost, our focus was the enablement of staff to function safely and effectively from home. The cultural shift from our sales team being present in front of our customers, to being in a screen, meant that our branches increased their engagement with our resellers and clients. We stripped back our strategy and focused on 5 keys areas to support sales."

Listen to your stakeholders

"Customer facing teams are the eyes and ears of our operation. As our customers are impacted by this global pandemic, it's more important than ever that our teams are listening to our customers issues and prospects."

This information is shared business wide during daily virtual team meetings. With shared knowledge we can bettter understand the broader impact to all industries we are involved with and activate solutions.

"Keeping lines of communication open with all departments ensures an aligned approach to customer challenges and guarantees a faster delivery of a solution."

Communicate more

Now is the time to talk - to our customers, our resellers, our colleagues and our teams.

"We have increased direct communication, social content and website updates, sharing our market insight and wading through the explosion of information to find the key points for our customers."

We increased our internal communications to twice a week. It's challenging to keep teams engaged and our company culture vibrant through quarantine and remote working. Finding light hearted ways to stay connected supports those feeling isolated, like team hang outs and interactive games.

Focus on value

Our teams are continuing to highlight the value of our products during the current crisis. The sales pitch needs to prove to potential customers that our leasing product is the best form of purchase when money is tight.  We need to offer solutions to their immediate cash flow issues. 

"Communicating these values effectively can make or break any company, and it's certainly a challenging time to do so." 

Stay motivated

For most sales teams, there is a likely element of competition. While it is hugely important to stay positive and celebrate wins, leaders need to be swift in recognising low performance and determine what can be done to support them.

"Environment must also be taken into account, with some staff supporting family and having higher commitments than others." 

Streamline and advance your business

If the sales team isn't able to work at maximum capcity towards the sales strategy, look at your operational processes. Could there be improvements made, to help the business function better once sales activity rises again?

"Can the customer journey be improved or the product delivery be streamlined? This investment of time could pay for itself in the long run."

For sales, new opportunities may be scarce, but prioritising these key areas and ensuring they are driven throughout the business will help sales teams keep focus and drive towards the light at the end of the tunnel.