Negosentro | 3 Key Ways COVID-19 Has Changed Sales | As businesses navigate the changing economic landscape in the wake of COVID, there are three important changes that everyone in sales should care about. If you have not reexamined your sales process during these challenging times for companies worldwide, you may be missing opportunities that will help your business grow and thrive through the turmoil.
1. Shifting How Success Is Measured
Many successful businesses during the pandemic have shifted focus to online sales, which means a new set of sales metrics needs to be implemented. Most of these metrics are more customer-focused rather than focused on meeting sales quotas or sheer sales numbers. Building trust with customers who will then remain loyal to your brand and products or services is key in the new economic climate. But how do you measure how much a customer trusts you?
One way to gauge the health of your relationship with a customer is to measure retention rates. Repeat buyers are a major indicator of customer trust. Another important measure to pay attention to is waning customer interest and changes in buying patterns, especially reduced sales, which can indicate areas where improvement and customer communication are needed. Nurturing relationships with customers so that they remain loyal to the company requires a dedicated and successful sales force, so other important metrics to track are employee satisfaction and retention. Happy and satisfied employees lead to happy and satisfied customers. A strong and loyal customer base is essential to moving through challenging times successfully.
2. Pivoting to Online Sales
Online sales have experienced steady growth since the onset of the pandemic. Companies that have been able to create new online interfaces or improve upon existing ones are better-positioned to meet the demands of the new online economy. Business-to-business sales have also seen a shift to remote or self-service online sales experiences, with buyers even reporting a preference for this new model of B2B sales.
Even as the pandemic slows down, online buying trends may not. Many consumers are finding that options like ordering online with curbside pick-up fit much better with their normal routines and lifestyles. The ease of online ordering is appealing to many people who have begun using it more than ever amid pandemic concerns. Returning to offline shopping after experiencing the ease and convenience of online shopping may be a slow or non-existent process for many consumers. The opportunity to grow or improve businesses with online sales is not over yet and may only continue to grow in years to come.
3. Changing Products To Meet New Demands
Not every company was in a position to change its products or services to meet new or growing demands brought on by COVID-19, but some were able to make adjustments to products or services that resulted in new streams of revenue. The demand for face masks, for instance, certainly wasn’t what it was pre-pandemic. Companies like Hanes and Fruit of the Loom were able to add cloth face mask production to their repertoires relatively easily. Not every product shift is that straightforward though, and most require additional levels of adaptability, flexibility, and creativity. Food services that are able to offer delivery, online ordering with curbside pick-up, and in some cases even subscription services are meeting the changing demands as well.
With pandemic lockdowns and fluctuating product demand, supply chain issues also present a challenge for many businesses. Some companies are able to source from different suppliers, shift to manufacturing their own parts, or even modify products without compromising quality or function. Consistent availability of products has been a sales challenge in nearly every industry during COVID-19. Being able to flexibly find ways to continue offering modified or alternative products and services through the pandemic has been crucial to the success of many businesses.
While the COVID climate may have generated some fundamental shifts in sales, plenty of opportunities are present for companies to creatively address the changes and thrive.