The world is shaken
Weighted by a serious outbreak, the entire world is shaken by the pandemic coronavirus. It is rightly termed a social ‘infodemic’ that has fueled fear, anxiety, panic and hope at unprecedented levels.
Everywhere important events are getting cancelled, stock markets are plummeting, there are restrictions on travel, big brands are shutting their doors and people are embracing social distancing. Nonetheless, in my opinion, the need of the hour right now is a shift in perspective.
In the current scenario, every business has to learn to see the glass “half full” by exploring ways to sustain this crisis by way of alternatives. As businesses it doesn’t make us mean or selfish, it simply makes us adaptable and helpful.
Brands have already started to become very sensitive to the current issue on hand, Hershey’s ad campaign involving hugs and handshakes was pulled down while Coors halted the launch of its ad titled “Official Beer of ‘Working Remotely” as it could be perceived that it is making light the concept of working remotely.
While some marketers have shown sensitivity by holding back campaigns that seem to be far fetched for the situation at hand, some businesses are using this opportunity to give back.
Some retail brands turned to give donations and extending support. Ustoday reported, LVMH, which produces scents for companies like Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, said in a press release that it intends on producing hand sanitizer at its factories in France for distribution across 39 hospitals in the region.
As restaurants, airlines and other hospitality industries have seen a massive slump, many B2B companies have been upended with travel restrictions and cancellation of big events resulting in a dipping sales pipeline. However, to circumvent the crisis, businesses should be encouraged to redefine their traditional approach. They will have to re-imagine their selling strategy which is now feasible while operating remotely too.
Traditional vs New Approach / A ‘Shift in ‘Perspective’
Businesses have a large dependency on sales functions which revolves around people and that has now taken a serious hit. This brings us back to the question of what sales folks can do while they and their prospects are staying home.
Traditional approach involved interaction at every stage of the sales cycle. Sales being the forefront of any business, needs to find a way to communicate with the prospect that is relevant, engaging, actionable and lively. With the absence of in-person meetings, the opportunity to build trust is lost. Text-based communication wasn’t lively and lacked engagement.
However, the new video technology can lend help by incorporating all the above aspects right from prospecting to closing. Here is how videos can support remote work in terms of engagement, convenience, live interaction, building trust and nurturing relationship.
- Lead generation and Establishing Trust – while events and meetings are a thing of the past (at least in the present state), businesses can use video invites in their cold outreach. They can contact leads by sending out recorded video emails that come with a – video inside the subject line to bump open rates. Further to this, when prospects get to see a face behind the message, they tend to associate trust and confidence with the brand. They feel connected as it gives them an impression of a spokesperson talking to them.
- Virtual Events – Considering companies allocate large chunks of their budget on trade shows, it is time to mobilize and redirect them to online video marketing.
Figures published by data intelligence company PredictHQ indicate that in February alone, concerns about the coronavirus led to a 500% surge in cancellations and postponements of significant events.
Even a fraction of this budget, if used for virtual events, can not only avert unprecedented losses but will also have a host of benefits such as larger attendee pool, lower venue cost, greater flexibility and increased repurposing of information.
- Followup – Sales follow up is one of the most significant exercises in the sales process. Without this step, all the hard work goes unnoticed. Ensuring that we take advantage of technology by calling, texting and going on a video conference or sending pre-recorded video messages based on relevance to the prospect is going to help keep sales activity buzzing even while we stay indoors.
- Closing – Signing a contact or reading proposals will need salespeople to be present in front of the prospect. Helpful tools, such as Hippo Video allows one to leverage the greatest asset, oneself, to be there in front of the prospect, explaining, detailing by recording videos. One can record product tours, demos to add value to prospect engagement or even send personalized sales pages with customer testimonials to re-emphasize trust and add credibility.
The Silver Lining in Sales Cloud
While it is true that all around the world, fear is gripping people and businesses alike, sales have to be on their game to pull it off. The entire world is connected by sales, and there exists a big community of sales experts who aim to help customers and keep the economy running. We have three key takeaways which can act as a silver lining during these difficult times.
Firstly, businesses should become agile to digital transformation and adapt to the new ways or re-imagining their sales strategy quickly.
Secondly, in the current context, videos help in building trust which is a challenge when there is very little personal interaction. However, videos bridge the gap by building REAL relationships across the globe by helping deliver personalised messages.
Lastly, during a crisis such as this, sales teams and people are faced with lowered motivation levels. However when sales leaders are in constant contact with these reps using video calls or sending motivational videos, they should be able to up the morale and boost productivity of their sales teams.
By embracing the new alternatives, it time that we all get together to join virtually to help #flattenthecurve.
- A ‘Shift in ‘Perspective’: Re-imagining The Sales Strategy - March 20, 2020
- Hippo Video: A Look Back at 2019 and A Look Forward at 2020 - December 31, 2019
- Hippo Video Surges Ahead- My Musings - May 7, 2019