Straight Talk: Strategies for Sales Teams [Video]
NORTHBROOK, Ill.—May 5, 2020—In this edition of Straight Talk with Jeff Cross, Dirk Beveridge, an expert supply chain consultant, discusses how sales teams and distribution professionals can strengthen their position with their customers as we face the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and the economy. “This is a perfect opportunity for every sales organization, every salesperson to reset themselves as that consultative and that sustaining resource salesperson,” said Beveridge. “The days of delivering donuts are over.”
Beveridge says the future belongs to those salespeople who are obsessed with understanding the customer, including their business, their challenges, their needs, and their goals. He believes that to accomplish this will require a shift on most sales teams to focus on becoming better embedded in all aspects of the customer’s business.
Right now, salespeople can’t get out and visit their customers, so Beveridge advises that now is the perfect time to “be doing more research, more strategic thinking about the customer’s business than ever before.” He says to research and work with all contacts within each business to understand how the business is being impacted and disrupted, how the customer is responding to the disruption, and what plans the customer has moving forward. The goal, explains Beveridge, is for salespeople to position themselves as the person most prepared to help the customer execute their new plans as we come out of the pandemic.
“How does the customer see you?” Beveridge asks sales teams. “If the customer sees you going forward as ‘product,’ you’re dead, you’re done, you’re out of business” because the pandemic has taught us that there are other ways to get product. The top salespeople coming out of COVID-19 will be those positioning themselves as a resource with empathy, expertise, and problem-solving skills to help their customers meet the unprecedented challenges that face businesses in the time of COVID-19.
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