OPINION: Readjusting to sales during COVID-19


OPINION: Readjusting to sales during COVID-19
File image of people walking in the Nairobi CBD. PHOTO| COURTESY

By Kagwe Kibugu

It is becoming quite evident that the start-and-stop economic environment has largely affected and changed how the pursuit of business is strategized for, conducted and executed during a pandemic period.

What has also become quite clear is that we will not be conducting “business as usual” but instead, we will all be battling to forge new ways to reconstruct an ecosystem around us that has been severely shaken and torn apart by Covid-19.

For any business development and sales enthusiast such as myself, a dynamic shift is occurring before our eyes and the difference between closing shop or staying afloat could potentially lie in the microscopic details of how businesses conduct their respective sales strategies.

Digital Migration

The growing occurrence of reduced physical human interaction is causing a great headache to the conventional sales methods that have been successful for generations before Covid. The accelerated shift to digital and global emphasis on online engagement has exposed businesses
that have not been quick to conform to the changing environment.

Slow to react businesses with outdated strategies are likely to experience reduced sales and customer retention as a result of not keeping up with the swift transformation of consumer behaviour.

Nevertheless, a great way to counter this growing dynasm is to place more emphasis on understanding consumer data and consequently investing in detailed strategies that can capture the full genesis of the evolving target market. The migration to heightened digital channels now
means that consumers are likely to amass more product knowledge, deliberate more over purchase whilst having more options to pick from as information becomes easier and more accessible online. So how can you stand out?

Personalise Sales Pitches

Given that the pandemic has affected each and everyone differently, it would be wise to analyze how your target market been specifically affected. A great way to generate insight and build sales presentations is to gather critical information through surveys, phone calls and client visits ( observe social distance protocols).

More importantly, this is a great period to gain in depth understanding of customer needs that your organization/ business can address and further learn about the challenges that hinder or reduce the uptake of your products. Also, determining what additional solutions a business could help customers solve can be advantageous in building a successful sales strategy.

Consumers tend to feel an association to a product or service through excellent customer service, understanding and genuine interaction. By utilizing personal touch, sales teams stand a better chance of retaining a customer base whilst at the same time, using the data to reach out and acquire a larger market share.

Remote Sales Plan

With an unpredictable curve ahead and increased emphasis on remote working to protect prone populations, a large percentage of business to consumer (B2C) interactions are happening through video conferencing(VC), phone calls, and webinars. While doubts remain about the long
term viability of this interactional shift, business owners should strongly consider the establishment of a compulsory sales strategy that targets remote workers and that can be implemented during and post Covid-19.

As the world accepts this new style of work, this can be an advantageous strategy that would seamlessly be implemented once the world reestablishes a sense of normalcy to its business operations.

Improve Communication

During and after the pandemic, it is crucial for businesses to be in constant communication with the target audience by utilizing various communication channels that can allow consumers and prospective clients to experience new products and stay up-to-date with new information about business solutions.

With businesses and customers both experiencing many changes in their respective day-to-day live, it is imperative that the relationship is sustained by regular communications throughout all times.

Keep Selling

Don’t stop selling! With persistence and luck, this a storm that your business can weather and can get through.

Kagwe Kibugu is a Senior Relationship Manager Government and Financial Institutions

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