Businesses in every industry have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of business owners all over the world have been left to wonder what’s next: How do they take care of their employees? How do they continue operating their business? The need to adapt and be flexible has never been more apparent.
One big impact that COVID-19 has left on businesses is adapting the sales process to the “new normal”. With lockdowns preventing physical meetings and social distancing measures in place, businesses who are used to connecting with prospects in person are having to adapt and shift gears as they find new tactics to help generate leads and close sales.
Here are just a few ways that the chaos of 2020 has changed lead gen moving forward.
Changing Customer Priorities
The biggest impact on sales has been the change in customer needs. Concerns have shifted, and while most prospects are also wondering if they’re buying the right products, they want to ensure that safety and cleanliness is a top priority for you also.
Budgets have also changed. With the global economy in a fairly steady state of turmoil (thank you new COVID-19 variants!), it’s important to be cognizant that the customer who used to meet a certain quota each month may not be able to place that same order or spend the same amount of money with your business.
With both of these notes in mind, be sure to address any concerns from your prospects quickly and accordingly. If your biggest sale suddenly becomes your smallest sale, be ready to adapt and continue thanking the customer for their business – regardless of the size of the check.
Tending Toward Compassion
Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and align your lead generation and sales tactics toward a more compassionate campaign. Chances are, your business has been impacted in some way or another. Let your prospects know that they’re not alone, and that you understand the rollercoaster of business that everyone is on right now. This will help you maintain a good business relationship with buyers and prospects, and allows you to connect with your customers in a more genuine and meaningful way.
Gated Content Still Works
Gated content, or content that’s hidden behind some kind of form, still works wonderfully for stirring up hot leads. Videos, webinars, white papers, templates or articles are all great forms of content that you can keep behind a lead capture form on your website. Whatever format you choose, just ensure that the content is relevant and interesting to your target audience. The pandemic is a huge topic right now, with plenty of business owners looking for information on how to adapt and move forward.
Lastly, your download/lead capture form should also require a name and email address for you to add to your outreach campaign later.
Hosting Virtual Events
Unfortunately, meeting in person just isn’t an option for most salespeople anymore. But with programs like Zoom and Google Hangouts, it’s become normal to host meetings and schedule demos virtually, sharing your screen with prospects to give them information on how your product works or what your company is all about.
Taking this one step further – Consider setting up a professional webinar about a topic in your industry or relevant to your services. For example, if you’re a realtor, plan a webinar about the different types of home loans and grants available to prospective buyers. You can use a tool like Zopto to reach out to your target audience on LinkedIn and invite them to your webinar, promising novel information and a Q&A session with you.
In return, your business may see not only sales increase, but your overall brand awareness and expertise will receive a boost.
Social Media Excellence
With everyone spending more time on social media, it’s become a go-to marketing and sales channel. Social media use increased by more than 12 percent just in the last 12 months thanks to the pandemic, with the average user being active 15 percent more than pre-pandemic.
Take advantage of all of the new buzz by using social media as a sales tool. Social selling isn’t new, but it’s still a fairly untapped channel to feed the funnel. LinkedIn especially has been phenomenal in connecting to prospects, helping to eliminate the need for cold calling and cold emailing. Zopto can help automate the process, taking this pandemic-friendly lead generation tactic one step further and making it more efficient and more impactful.
To say that COVID-19 has totally changed sales would be a bit of an overreach. However, it’s important to remember that while everyone has experienced the pandemic differently, we’re all stuck in this version of the “new normal” together. Adapting your techniques and strategies is just good business.