What a year 2020 was! Most of the world seems glad to see the end of that year. So now as we look to the next year and what 2021 can bring us, what lessons did we learn from 2020 that can prepare us for the coming year?
One of the lessons learnt by many business owners was the importance of planning and having an effective sales pipeline in place. The more adjustments you make to your pipeline now, the better prepared you will be for whatever 2021 may bring.
First off, what is a sales pipeline? A sales pipeline is a snapshot of where your prospects are in the sales process. They show expected deals and sales in future weeks or months and how a salesperson is tracking against their sales goals. Having a healthy sales pipeline will inevitably result in higher sales.
Here are my tips on creating a healthy sales pipeline for 2021.
It’s all about the Customer
2020 forced so many businesses to seek out new opportunities and the most successful businesses communicated this to their customers early and often.
It has been shown that, potential customers who were contacted within an hour of the initial enquiry are almost seven times more likely to purchase. Your potential customers are so conditioned to see an immediate response – they expect rapid replies, next day delivery and real-time updates. Make sure you are following up all potential leads as soon as possible.
In the middle of a crisis, like 2020, it can be difficult to figure out what steps should be taken next. Take a step back now and do some SWOT analysis. Learn where the weaknesses are in your business and make a plan.
While we can not predict what is coming in 2021. Having some strategy in place will be of great benefit if it is needed.
Enter the Digital Age
Many companies are planning on making flexible work arrangements a permanent option for their employees. If this is something you are considering, make sure you have long term strategies in place.
Ensure you are set up correctly and are prepared to sell to remote buyers. Identify new selling points to meet the needs of the changing market. Embrace digital and Social platforms as well as automations to reach a wider, more digital audience.
Try before they Buy
Is there are way your customers can effectively try your product while still being remote? Think about virtual experiences, such as demos, reviews and talking to other customers. Todays technology allows for many opportunities to ‘show off’ your product. Find them and use them.
Most Sales People are all about the contact. They don’t want to be tied in the office, they want to be out and about meeting new people and building relationships. Make sure that your sales people are willing and ready to take on the challenge of a more remote and digital way of building relationships.
We don’t know what to expect of 2021, but with a strategic and healthy pipeline in place, your business will thrive no matter what.
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