Provocative Selling Post-COVID

How does provocative selling play out in the post-COVID-19 era?

I expect for many industries and go-to-market strategies, there will be no change, possibly because they are in a massively online and transactional environment.

But what if your business depends on growth through developing new opportunities?

How do you design a sustainable growth plan when the resources and habits are not aligned?

Breaking away from the sales status quo

In B2B sales, there is any number of processes and practices that were followed pre-COVID.  The problem now is that the same account touches are not available. 

The good news is that the buyers and seller need to reinvent their status quo at the same time.  But to create a level of sync between buyer and seller, there needs to be a level of trust.  That trust, if built solely remotely creates significant challenges.

Social selling

How well do you “socially sell”?

No, I have never asked or been asked this either.  But be prepared – it is liable to be the next great sales effectiveness scoring system.  Not to be confused with LinkedIn’s gamification aka “Social Selling Index” (SSI) which scores the use of its platform not the effectiveness of outcome for sellers.

What if we break social selling into parts:

  1. Investigation
  2. Interaction
  3. Lead generation

When HBR.org published “In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers“, the article included two sections pertinent to this topic:

  • Reaching the right ears
  • Can your sales organisation adapt?

Being heard and developing pipeline in a remote selling structure requires clarity of message and the understanding of management.  It is too easy to confuse this with idle Twiter, LinkedIn and Facebook dispatches.  It can be useful but only programmatically and sustainably.  Build experiments and test the creation of your social selling voice.  Test different “calls to action” and check a variety of messaging styles.

Create 60-second videos.  Create a podcast.  Interview your customers and post online.

Ultimately the success will live and breath from the intent and execution of the adaptive sales organisation.  This is an organisation that ahs the runway to develop new skills and customer pathways. 

The sales organisation that leverages existing contacts and contracts will survive, and then there will be a fork in the road.  The time exists to redraw the road network.  Take away the fork and implement a dual carriageway.

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