There’s no point in denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on businesses worldwide and the global economy at large. In the U.S. alone, the unemployment rate rose to 8.9% compared to 3.7% in 2019.
Many businesses have also suffered. Traditional companies found themselves struggling with the transition to e-commerce, which has been the business world’s saving grace since the pandemic began.
A study found that 52% of global consumers started shopping online more frequently. Consumers also increasingly interact with brands via online channels.
This change in purchase behavior has a massive impact on sales - especially on field sales. So what can you do to help your business stay afloat?
Your sales success depends on adapting to modern sales techniques that focus on value and customer needs. Here are a few successful sales techniques for these challenging times:
1. Adapt to the Changes in Your Customer’s Needs
Because of the pandemic, customer priorities have shifted towards buying more products that cater to their most essential needs.
For instance, a survey by JP Morgan shows that the most popular products consumers are buying during COVID-19 include household cleaners, soap, disinfectors, vitamins and supplements, hair dyes, and coffee:
The same survey states that consumers almost completely stopped purchasing beauty and suncare products.
If you look at the bigger picture behind this survey’s findings, you’ll notice the shift in customer purchase behaviors. Customers today buy mostly practical products that they use on a daily basis.
With that, here’s the first change you need to make to your sales strategy: Study your customers’ current needs and tailor your offer accordingly.
Start by analyzing your customers’ recent purchase patterns and behaviors. Which products did they buy? Which ones were totally ignored? This data can help you optimize your offers with more relevant products.
To gather first-hand information, you can conduct a survey. Send out an email poll asking your customers about their product needs. Their replies will give you useful insights into their current preferences.
2. Invest in Customer Retention
While other businesses may focus on customer acquisition, you should play this game differently and focus on retaining existing customers instead.
Customer retention is often a better source of sales revenue compared to a brand new customer. According to the statistics by G2:
Boosting customer retention by just 5% can give you a 25%-95% increase in revenue
65% of company’s business comes from existing customers
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while it’s only 20% for a new customer
Retaining existing customers, rather than going out of your way to find new ones, is worth the effort.
But, how can you improve your customer retention game?
First, stay in touch with your customers. One way to do this is via email where you can ask for customer experience feedback, follow-up on your last conversation, or offer to help with their current goals.
You can also broadcast special offers, discounts, and product updates on a regular basis to keep your brand in the minds of existing customers.
Another customer retention strategy you can employ is a loyalty rewards program. If your existing customers know that they get something extra by buying from you, they will keep purchasing your products.
Apart from a rewards program, you should also optimize your customer support. Make sure your customers can access your brand and that their needs are met in a timely manner.
3. Leverage Online Content to Engage with your Customers
COVID-19 has also changed the way consumers keep up with the brands. Content consumption has doubled since the beginning of the pandemic – people now spend an average of 3hours a day consuming content.
This is a sign that you should work with your marketing team to upgrade your digital marketing strategy and focus on producing content.
The key to producing great content that drives sales is to address the needs of your target audience. Content marketing is how you can notify your customers and prospects about new updates, offers, and more.
For instance, Tidio, a chatbot developer, announced that it would make some premium features free on its blog:
It can be tough to keep your sales high right now. The pandemic has brought significant changes to consumer behaviors, and these changes might stick around for longer than you expect.
So if you want your business to stay thriving, you may need to slightly tweak your sales strategy:
Focus your offers on your customers’ current needs
Invest in customer retention – it’s a highly effective revenue source
Communicate with your customers and notify them of offers and updates via content marketing
These quick changes can help you get out of the vicious pandemic sales cycle and revive your sales.
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Author's Bio: Ryan is a passionate blogger and writer who likes sharing his thoughts and. Now he works as a content editor and internet researcher, you can check his site. He likes to travel and explore new countries.