Elevating Sales Cycles in This Fluid Selling Environment

In April 2020, I had written on an idea about Revenue Reboundin a post-Covid future. Now in mid 2021, the disruptions continue — and selling organizations remain in this flux of fluid selling environments.

Navigating these environments internally and externally can be a major point of stress and challenge for executives. But we are here to help with some research insights we have been keeping tabs on, some anecdotes our clients have shared, and first-hand experiences we at Mereo LLC too are experiencing.

Let’s see if we can make some sense of these chaotic times and keep headed in the right direction of sustainable revenue performance.

The ‘New Normal’ Hybrid Model of Selling

The current fluid selling environment can make an executive feel like a character trying to stay afloat a spinning log in a sea of uncertainty. Circumstances and guidance continues to change: Social distancing protocols. Vaccines. Office space leases. Empty desks. Employee preferences and needs. Buyer conditions.

Internally, the decisions have been tough. Your business’ needs may dictate your next choices. Or, there might be some flexibility in your decisions ahead — looking back at how your team performed remotely and what the future could hold. Is your team working remote still? For the indefinite future? Are you back in the office? A hybrid model?

Externally, sellers are navigating buyer protocols, novel needs and personal comfortability. No longer can sellers drop in on buyers without first considering which manner is most appropriate and beneficial for the conversation and to serve their needs.

The fluid selling environment puts extra pressures on executives and their teams. Yet, it also presents some unprecedented opportunities with potential positive outcomes.

Fluid Selling Approaches in the Time of a Fluid Environment

While many wish things would go back to “the way they were,” virtual selling has proven beneficial in a number of ways. I have written about this recently, but a quick recap:

Due to the nature of virtual selling, there is greater access to sales cycles by members previously not involved — for both sellers and buyers. Buying committees have a greater mix of stakeholders than in the past. For buyers specifically, Chorus.ai has found that C-suite executives are 2.2 times more likely to join sales calls now than in pre-2020. Members of the buying committee have the ability to jump in and out of sales calls with a click of a button. There are fewer barriers of access with virtual settings.

In parallel, sellers have an opportunity to bring their own new members to sales calls. With the low cost of sale of virtual selling, experts on your team can now join a call for 15 to 20 minutes to add greater value. More members can help speak to the different needs of the greater mix of buyer personas.

While this might have traditional salespeople who are craving the power of in-person meetings and interactions frustrated yet, there is hope on the other side of the tunnel.

In a recent Sandler Research report, the majority of B2B respondents said they almost equally preferred to communicate with selling organizations by (1) email, (2) face-to-face, (3) video calls and (4) telephone.

Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™ — Now More Than Ever Before

The bottom line? Your sellers need to be prepared to cater to buyer preferences and needs. All indications are that the selling model of the future is neither just virtual nor is it just in-person. Going forward, there will remain a sophisticated hybrid mix.

With this fluid selling environment, your organization can act with flexibility and awareness to Seek to Serve™ buyer needs, while accommodating employees to do their best and show up with ease. Business leaders must acknowledge and accept that there are conditions within their control, some that are out of control, and others yet that offer advantages and silver linings.

Be aware of where your greatest challenges fall, and focus your efforts on that which you can control and take advantage of. And to inspire your teams to serve buyers with real value in these challenging times, download our Seek to Serve, Not to Sell eBook.