GHJ’s CEO, Ade Gill, provides a summary of the key challenges faced by SMEs when selling on Zoom and offers some tips on how to make sure your sales strategy is primed to work in a remote environment
We coach a lot of sales teams and it will be no surprise that the current hot topic is how to adapt to a pandemic environment and, specifically, sell on Zoom.
Probably the most common statement we hear is: “We’re not going to hit sales targets this quarter due to lockdown and because selling on Zoom isn’t as good or as effective.”
There are two interpretations to that statement. One is okay and the other is not.
If sales are down because clients are struggling themselves and are therefore holding onto their cash, then fair enough.
But if the reason is purely because ‘selling over Zoom isn’t as effective’, then I have to question this.
It’s at this point we usually hear two things:
- It’s harder to get meetings with new prospects on Zoom.
- It’s difficult to build rapport and create a relationship with a new prospect over Zoom.
Instead of taking these comments at face value, when we dig a little deeper, we usually uncover more fundamental issues that were probably already festering away but have now been cruelly exposed by Zoom:
- The salesperson has been over reliant on a conversational style of selling that is dependent on the face to face environment.
- Their preferred style is an informal chat over coffee and a ‘please like me‘ style of selling.
- The salesperson doesn’t have a value proposition they can explain for the prospect who is in front of them.
- The salesperson does not have high quality sales materials to support them – presentations, video, research, case studies, stories, testimonials and references etc.
To be clear, when I say value proposition, I am looking for an elevator pitch that is truly relevant to each and every prospect they are trying to engage with.
And when I say elevator pitch, I don’t mean one sentence that describes what you do to a general audience, but rather a crafted proposition that provides prospects with the information that is important to them, that matches their buying criteria (based on your own insights or research) and is supported by proof from other people (your customers) who are just like them (creating more relevance).
In contrast when coaching sales teams that are continuing to do well using Zoom we see the following:
- They have a structured sales process that delivers results and so builds confidence.
- They have relevant propositions prepared for each target audience.
- Zoom allows them to screenshare in the first meeting and often present with quality materials and cover what would normally be done in the second meeting which often delivers quicker lead times.
- They can do more meetings in a day given there’s no travel time.
- They often have fewer prospects (given some of their clients and prospects have cut back) and use this time for better research ahead of each Zoom call to make the sales deck even more relevant.
- They also use this planning time to pre-arrange the likely case studies, stories, examples and demos that they may want to quickly dive into during the call.
- They are employing better targeting and pre-qualification rather than relying on the old ‘spray and pray’ approach to sales.
- They still listen more than they talk, even when on Zoom.
- They’re focusing quality time on upsell and cross-sell with their existing clients rather than just trawling through cold prospects.
- They make a point of asking clients for referrals.
The Zoom selling environment is a challenge for any business, but especially SMEs who tend to be more entrepreneurial and less structured than larger businesses.
However, there’s no reason why your sales teams can’t adapt…
In fact, we’d even go as far to say that Zoom could and should help you sharpen up your sales strategy and make it even better when face to face selling resumes. And to prove a point, and assure you this is not idle theory, using the techniques mentioned above, we’ve won and delivered significant consultancy projects with new clients who we’ve never met in person as far North as Scotland.
For more details on how GHJ can help you grow your business visit ghj-planningday.com
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