Last week I shared the rough stages we’re seeing in companies’ responses to COVID-19:
- Step one was focusing on connectivity (WFH)
- Step two was focusing on morale and connections (Zoom happy hour anyone?)
- Step three was focusing on messaging (leading with empathy)
—–somewhere around the present day ———-
- Step four is about re-aligning sales metrics, KPIs, milestones and goals
- Step five is about closing new sales with finance
- Step six is about back to work / back to normal
In May, we heard from our Friends of Factor 8 Open Bar community that the most difficult conversation they’re having right now isn’t in prospecting/early stages, but now it’s getting deals across the line. Most of us experienced a complete death of the existing pipeline we had in March.
What’s filling the pipeline now are different deals. New industries, those with more urgent needs, maybe those growing today. New buyers found us (whew! This sales and marketing thing is working!)
And even though they came to us and they WERE aware of this whole pandemic thing… the deals are getting stuck before they pull the trigger.
55% of Friends of Factor 8 Leaders reported “Getting deals across the line” as the most difficult sales conversation right now.
This is supported in recent data published by Chorus who saw an approximate 100% increase in executive decision makers attending sales calls – with the biggest spike by the Chief Financial Officer.
This means our new focus is on closing with a new buyer. Finance is joining calls because:
- Everyone’s spending is down.
- You’re competing against spend in other departments with the CFO determining most critical spend.
That’s right, never thought HR systems compared with your marketing data budget? It does now. Sales tools vs. legal research? Game on.
We need to answer: Why is it business-critical to spend this money right now?
We used to answer why we are better than our competitors. Why you should spend this money with us.
But now, it’s why this money will either:
- Protect them from risk
- Help them increase revenue
- Help them save money
- Help them pivot and come out on top of the pandemic
So even if good ol’ Corona didn’t come up once during the sales process, get ready at the end to sell to finance to get the deal over the line.
More sales tips from our Friends of Factor 8 in my next blog. Then stay tuned to learn from the folks planning re-entry.