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Why Your Sales Funnel Needs to Evolve
The economy may be open for business, but business sales haven’t bounced back. Due to economic uncertainty and high unemployment, consumers aren’t buying as much as they did before COVID-19. In fact, up to 60% of consumers plan to maintain at least some of the spending habits they’ve developed during the pandemic.
Some industries have obviously been more heavily affected than others, but overall spending is down close to 15%. With a few exceptions, there’s less business to go around than before. Who is that business going to--you or your competitors?
Focus Sales Efforts on Relationships
It’s critical to acknowledge that your previous sales methods may not be in sync with the way you need to sell right now. Certain pipeline activities that could be reliably counted on to generate leads probably aren’t getting you the same results.
Think about how you’re currently spending money in your personal life. Maybe you’re getting takeout from your favorite restaurants or buying gift cards to spend later at local businesses. You’re investing in the businesses you already know, like, and trust. You can’t spend your money at every restaurant, so you pick the handful you have a good relationship with and support them. You try to make a difference.
Those same behaviors show up in your business sales relationships as well. The customers who know, like, and trust you want to keep doing business with you. The prospects you haven’t met yet? They’re busy worrying about their own circle of relationships. There’s a lot of conversation around business pivots right now (including from us). Ironically, one of the most crucial pivots may simply be doubling down on working with your best customers.
Work Your Funnel
That’s not to say that your customers are ready to run into your open arms waving blank checks. You still need to work a funnel and do all your customary activities to close business. That sales funnel may need some adjusting: Maybe you’re scheduling Zoom calls instead of grabbing a beer after work. Maybe you break your service into a la carte options so budget-conscious customers have more freedom to pick and choose. Maybe you’re offering shorter contracts, waiving sign-up fees, or instituting payment plans.
We’re pursuing this course of action in my commercial painting business. The company typically works with general contractors, but we’ve added sales efforts that reach out directly to state and local governments, who are spending money right now.
A Little Tough Love
We mentioned that overall demand is down about 15% right now. If you’re a well-run company (i.e., using a system like EOS), 15% isn’t an insurmountable gap. Figure out how to make it up! Yes, you may have to put more effort in to make the same amount of money. This isn’t the time for leadership to start counting their hours or optimizing for their best lives. It’s the time for creativity, ingenuity, diversification, and a whole lot of hard work. I know you can do it.
Revamping Your Sales Approach
To get the conversation going, we recommend an IDS™ (Identify/Discuss/Solve) session. The key is to ask yourself the right questions. Here’s a few to get you started:
--What methods of selling aren’t working anymore?
--What have we used in the past that might work now if we augment or change them?
--What new methods might we need to add?
--Are there other portions of the market we can reach?
--Is there anything else we can sell to our existing clients?
If you’d like support modifying your sales strategy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll set you up with a free IDS (Identify/Discuss/Solve) session with one of our EOS Implementers.