What do you need to know for 2023?
Labour shortage means upskilling your inhouse team
Hiring new talent instead of upskilling your current workforce requires a hefty investment of finances, time, energy, hope, and ultimately leaves you waiting longer to see a return on your investment. Your current staff are trusted, technically strong with product knowledge and enjoy existing relationships – and they’re a good cultural fit.
Many smart companies in 2022 saw this coming, and have upskilled their frontline team, or their ‘technicians’ with the techniques and skills to convert new business themselves, rather than hire for salespeople or BDM’s.
These are companies in service-based, ‘non-traditional sales companies’, who are in professional services, training, engineering, accounting, and finance, for example.
Selling over Teams/Zoom (instead of face to face) will become the norm
If your team can’t sell (and close opportunities) over video conferencing meetings, then they had better learn fast.
Rising travel costs will force companies to return online in 2023. To land larger, more profitable clients, it will be a higher cost to send your team all over the place for these kinds of ‘prospecting’ and ‘networking’ meetings, so they must learn how to network, prospect, and convert new clients virtually, which many companies are already doing successfully.
You don’t need to meet someone in person to do business with them but you do need to connect and engage with them and build trust.
Margin is more important than ever – shift to find the right client, rather than just any client
Working with the wrong kinds of clients (who value discounts) can eat up your margin. They can be high maintenance and demanding which can bring out the worst in your staff which then negatively impacts your market reputation.
Prospecting for and converting the right type of client has limitless benefits; your staff are engaged in rewarding work, your company is being paid for the value your provide, scope-creep becomes less of an issue, your company is more frequently engaged in deep-work rather than spinning wheels, and deep relationships are built with clients, which results in long-term contracts.
An increased emphasis on using creativity and innovation
Now, more than ever, clients are demanding better products, better service and better care.
When they are looking to change providers, research shows that they put the highest value on frontline employees/technicians who make them think, who bring new ideas, and who find creative and innovative ways to help them. Investing in the customer experience during the prospecting phase will allow you to stand out against your competitors.
A fresh focus on building trust in relationships
If your existing process is designed to talk about why your company is the best solution for your prospect, then this is a losing strategy. Your prospects don’t care. They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. They want to know that they’ve been heard, they’re being listened to, and that you have understood the brief, which is much more than simply the service being offered.
Companies that are smart about how they build relationships and connect to their customers will still manage to grow their margins, convert sales and close deals, irrespective of any tough market conditions.