Sarita Digumarti is the Chief Learning Officer at UNext Learning. She is responsible for academics, content, and delivery for online degrees, certifications, and enterprise (B2B) programs at UNext. Prior to assuming her current role in UNext Learning, she was the COO and Co-founder of Jigsaw Academy. She also worked as a Group Manager for 5 years and as an AVP for 1 year in Genpact LLC and with GE Capital International Services as an Assistant Manager for 8 months in Bangalore. She holds an M.B.A. in Finance from T.A. Pai Management Institute and a Master in Arts, Quantitative Economics from Tufts University.
Nobody can add value to a product or service with as much conviction as a seasoned salesperson. Pandemic or not, the Sales Team continues to be the driving force behind the success of all organizations across industries. However, the whole culture of remote working and no physical meetings did open a whole new can of worms for this particular segment of professionals, making the already difficult situation more challenging.
Taking on the problem head-on, these dynamic professionals have gotten creative with their approach to customers. They have successfully managed to change the landscape of how sales work. With the year 2021 getting over in the blink of an eye, it is now the right time to acquire these 7 Strategic Sales Management skills:
- Generating Demand and Identifying the Right Lead
It is crucial to pursue prospects and convert cold calls into meetings proactively. This can only be achieved through specific strategies and approaches designed based on customer needs and creating a sense of demand to pipe up their interest. By projecting the right qualities, one must help generate demand amongst potential customers before identifying and converting the right leads.
- Identifying Competition
Observation and critical thinking are vital to identifying and dealing with competition in any game. A successful sales strategist must recognize the unique selling points of their product or service compared to existing or potential competitors. They must study and understand the sales strategies used by other competitors and curate unique sales plans to safeguard the business from rivals.
- Digital Sales Strategies
The pandemic has increased the importance and necessity for digital sales strategies. To convert customers, one must know how to incorporate various digital tools like personalized emails, messages, WhatsApp text, etc. However, these cannot be sent out randomly, instead, adopting strategies like sending out emails immediately after an event or a telephonic conversation can go a long way.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
According to the 2021 Sales Trends Report, 92 percent of sales teams currently use or plan to purchase a sales CRM. CRM aims to simply improve business relationships. Adopting CRM helps manage your company’s associations and interactions with customers and potential customers.
- Leveraging Data and Predictive Analytics
With data making tremendous contributions to all aspects of business, data analysis can significantly benefit sales teams. It becomes easier to predict and prepare strategies that might work and give effective results by collecting and analyzing data regarding customers, sales patterns, etc.
- Excellent Communication Skills
Communication is the key to building long-lasting relationships. According to a study by Forrester Research, only 15 percent of clients said yes when asked if they valued conversations with sales representatives. This indicates the urgent need to change the salesperson’s approach towards the customer. The conversation needs to be more engaging, interactive, and customer-centric, emphasizing upon the customer’s benefits from the particular product or service.
- Team Management
Unlike our good old Jack, leading a team does not involve just standing in front of the ship and shouting out the order in the name of being the captain. Team management is a crucial skill that helps ensure the productivity of every member of the team. There is a constant need to manage expectations, be result-oriented, hire coachable representatives, set high but realistic goals, and chart out good business with the entire team’s support.
Sales is no longer just interaction between two individuals. Today, the focus is on building an elaborate, effective and efficient strategy that would help in higher conversion rates and keep the customer’s faith without much face-to-face interaction.