When COVID-19 brought world travel to a halt, selling software suddenly became much harder. Face-to-face has always been crucial because understanding complex technology takes education and hand-holding, whether it’s done in a conference room, at a trade show or across a restaurant table.
That’s no longer possible in this age of no-touch software sales. The fact is, remote will be much more common as decision-makers are now realizing the cost savings and liking what they see. We are moving into a future in which sales will be conducted differently and technology is how it will get done.
That’s why on June 10 we held a special webinar, “How Current Circumstances Change Sales for Good— and for the Better,” which included 7 virtual tips to use now and continue later. Panelists included Constellation Research’s R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst and founder, author of the popular blog “A Software Insider’s Point of View,” and Nicole France, VP and principal analyst, a leading expert on sales effectiveness and customer experience (CX). Joining in was our co-founder and CEO, Dr. Zvi Guterman.
The panel covered a lot of important ground. They discussed utilizing technology to do sales demos and sales POCs, allocating resources to facilitate the new processes, focusing on analytics to determine engagement and other techniques to close sales. Judging by participation – and immediate requests to repost a recording of the webinar – it was clearly a subject that resonated.
Below are just a few highlights of what took place.
A playbook and practical tips
Over the past ten weeks, Constellation Research has held hundreds of calls with chief execs about what to consider in their business response to the coronavirus. To kick off the webinar, Ray discussed the findings, while detailing the need for organizations to develop a post pandemic playbook.
His presentation covered such critical areas as people and processes and how they interact, economics of business models, how technology and legislation can impact business and more.
Next, a poll question asked attendees how important they felt face-to-face relationships are in software sales? 71 percent felt it was very important, the rest feeling it was at least somewhat important. This was an ideal lead-in to Nicole’s presentation, which analyzed the selling process and how to get CX right. A highlight were 7 practical virtual tips sales teams should use now and continue later, including:
- Do your research: Understand what matters to prospect and their urgencies. Priorities have come into focus during the pandemic and likely have changed.
- Redirect resources: Sales leaders need to reevaluate budgets and redirect funds that are no longer needed into tools that build closeness.
- Find ways to connect: Look at techniques and tactics to build connections, including leveraging such social media platforms.
- Build trust-through different means: Understand the psychology behind trust, the swift trust concept, and how to establish it quickly in virtual sales.
- Show them and tell them: Good software speaks for itself and tailoring presentations to prospect needs is not only the most powerful approach of all, it can accelerate the sales process.
- Help customers discover for themselves: Best practices like live POCs that can be adapted on-the-fly will enable customers to envision the possibilities and help close deals.
- Start as you mean to go on: Even before they’ve become customers, it’s important to show prospects what it’s like to work with you – and set expectations accordingly.
Nicole further provided a look at old sales toolkits versus new ones; detailing how that latter is required to achieve selling effectiveness today. This lead to an exchange between all presenters on the significance, attributes and need for organizations to explore Business Acceleration Cloud (BAC), a purpose built platform that facilitates complex sales virtually, while producing faster results.
The numbers add up
Throughout the webinar, presenters bantered and exchanged insight. CloudShare’s CEO, Zvi, offered supporting, including that 25-30% of our new incoming leads are now from professionals trying to reallocate budget, their priority being investing in tools to personal gaps.
Zvi further discussed company research illustrating the importance of demos and POCs to sales. He noted in a company sponsored survey, 76% of participants said cloud-based virtual product demos are the most important demo capability, 70% feeling customization was the foremost factor for POC success.
This led to drill down look on how to best use virtual labs and BAC. From replicating exact software in real-world environments to ways to increase stickiness – features like advanced user metrics and leveraging the resulting data – it was a comprehensive look at how to succeed now and into the future.
Sound like a lot?
It was, and all of it was invaluable, so make sure you don’t miss a second! Click here for full, free access to “How Current Circumstances Change Sales for Good— and for the Better.”