After the arrival of COVID-19, companies will have to reset their sales network to change and adapt to the new paradigm of purchase and consumption. Using the multichannel, understanding the consumer experience, finding the purchase motivations or following the sales protocols will no longer be a nice to have, it will be a must.
The period of confinement that we have lived in recent months, the de-escalation presented by the government and the coming years have turned - and will - turn the consumption and purchase and in consequence, to the commercial organizational model of organizations: face-to-face will be less frequent, digital relationships will intensify, processes will speed up, etc.
Likewise, our sales network will act and be very different from the old normality. A priori, it could seem that saving time on the move and saving costs would multiply the efficiency of the commercial network and, therefore, the result of the business; however, this will not be the case. And it will not be so because the human being, in himself, is mostly resistant to change.
What can we do as managers to transform our sales network?
The reality is that there will be different scenarios where organizations can intervene and help the commercial force to change course, so that professionals from sales networks tend not to return to "normal", but to the "new normal". The normality that we knew before will no longer exist; the paradigm has changed. Therefore, if we do not quickly orient the commercial forces towards the new context, they will seek to sow in a desert terrain, where before there was life, but no longer. Where before with little effort something flourished, but not anymore.
Where we come from and where we are going
The starting situation is different in each organization and, therefore, each company must contemplate deep reflection and a different action plan. Some starting points that we can clearly identify can be:
- We sell a worthy product: "I have infallible hair growth". A sales network based on the transaction of the product. In that case, our teams were used to differentiating the product face-to-face by counting benevolence and benefits. This is the clear model of all life.
- We sell recurring services: "Little Madonna, Little Madonna, may I stay as I am". At the moment there are services that we continue to bill as if there were no tomorrow - house alarms, telephone service packages, electricity, insurance ... - and few dare to be consistent and anticipate. Few offer reduction of quotas, adjustment of services to current consumption, price reductions due to non-accidents ... Either due to fear, terrible fear of lowering -even more- billing or other organizational issues, what we are achieving is making it very difficult the recuperation. And this the client does not pass or will not overlook.
- We sell without excess differentiation: "Where I come from, where I am going". Many companies have been born with a wonderful purpose, however, some organizations have forgotten why and why they were born. It is time to go back to the roots, to make our purpose known to customers and employees, to make known why we are different. We will all remember Inditex, Mercadona and the whole of Health because their purpose - whether they have closed their doors or not - has been more alive than ever.
- We sell with little margin: "good pretty and cheap". When the production chain depends on economies of scale, Chinese imports and consumption for consumption, and now we will find selective consumption.
Actions to adapt to the new normal
Wherever we start from, we must run to transform sales networks, business visits, processes, brand promise, products and services, and our business relationship model towards this new paradigm, towards the “new reality”. And, for this, we propose 7 basic recommendations:
- Notify A bombo and a platillo your purpose. But act from solidarity and generosity Because on this journey we are all having a hard time, but we will all always remember the journey and, therefore, who were heroes, friends and true companions.
- Evaluate the reliability and real link of your sales network with the market. Stay with those who will sell more thanks to the perseverance, resilience and bond with their customers, and not with those who used discount, picaresque or opportunism.
- Ask your client How is their experience with you and change the processes based on the experience desired by your customers, instead of acting based on your internal processes or your intuitions.
- Make a diagnosis of your digital situation to know how leads enter, how your marketing department is positioned, what your client really likes, what content they read and what they want from you. Listen to the networks and act accordingly.
- Act humanely if you have to restructure the company. Do it from the responsibility, helping those who leave and motivating those who stay. People understand the situation and the environment, but it must be done generating a future for everyone.
- Shape to transform. The commercial network will tend to act as it knows, but we must teach it to use digital channels well, to understand its buyer, to manage time differently, to diversify its modus operandi.
- Define your future business strategy very well -linked to a relationship model and a unique and coherent brand promise - and acts accordingly to go "on the block" with consistency and rigor.
Solo if we do different things we will reach the new reality. Let's take risks and innovate, ask the customer, the team and the suppliers. Without fear we will advance faster. Let's transform the future now. Let's start today.