As we move into the third month of social distancing measures across the country, companies are starting to redefine “business as usual.” With a shift to remote and digital platforms, sales teams have had to pivot drastically in both their messaging and sales techniques. Ads and sales emails that would have been appropriate just a few months ago now seem out of touch, and people are less inclined to spend amidst economic uncertainty.
So what are some best practices for sales teams and their email campaigns?
- Getting inspired by B2C companies’ new approach to sales
- Engaging customers with authentic, personal email communication
- Thinking long-term when revising a sales strategy
Getting Inspired & Getting Creative
- Just like B2B companies, B2C sales have had to rapidly adjust to new circumstances
- B2B sales teams can take cues on how to virtually keep up genuine, productive conversations
Take a local B2C business that has been hit hard by shelter-in-place measures—a restaurant for example. They used to conduct their sales by welcoming patrons into their cozy, intimate space, as well as offering delivery and pick-up services. Perhaps they catered some events, or participated in local food festivals or farmer’s markets.
Now that these options are no longer available, restaurants and food businesses have found solutions to remain as open as possible, and they’ve had to get creative.
- Restaurants and bars are offering pick-up and delivery options for their meals and beverages, including build-your-own cocktails.
- Coffee shops have organized online tip jars so people can continue to support their favorite baristas, even if they can’t stop in for their morning coffee.
- Local farms who cannot operate farm stands or attend farmer’s markets have opened online ordering options for fresh, seasonal vegetables.
These businesses continue to support their customers, maintaining the relationships they’ve built over time and putting a human face to their business during the crisis. B2B businesses can follow these same techniques by providing various options to suit their customer’s needs to continue generating income.
Maintaining Relationships With Emails
- Craft effective, concise emails that get people reading and keep them engaged
- Offer genuine communication and provide helpful, relevant resources
- Follow the Dinner Party Strategy to meet the needs of the client without sacrificing sales
Across industries, businesses have had to adjust and rethink their sales strategies, all while focusing on meeting the needs of their customers and strengthening relationships within their communities. B2B companies can apply the same guiding principles to rethink their new email sales strategies during and after the crisis.
1. Get People Reading
During this crisis, an email strategy needs to be front and center for the stability and growth of a business’s communication and sales targets. That said, the most effective emails are concise and to the point, while also providing authentic, personal communication. Building and strengthening remote relationships eventually translates into sales once people are ready. However, it is even more crucial to showcase the company’s dedication to its customers and their needs even when the circumstances are unusual and challenging.
2. Be Genuine
Everyone is in this together, from each individual customer to large international companies. Inbound sales, especially now, rely on maintaining strong relationships with customers. By providing honest and transparent communication about how companies are adjusting to new circumstances and how they plan to move forward, marketing and sales teams can work together to provide as much service and support to customers as possible without sacrificing opportunities for sales.
3. Follow the Dinner Party Strategy
These days, every company is communicating via email, and people’s inboxes are flooded with updates, offers, and ads. A consciously crafted email strategy can go a long way in providing value and resources to saturated inboxes. Following the Val Geisler Dinner Party Strategy for email sales is a good place to start.
Over the course of multiple emails, customers get to know the company, its mission and values, and eventually its products and services. The guiding principle here, as always, is to consider the needs of the client in the moment and how best to fill those needs. Promoting high-traffic blog posts and offering helpful resources can go a long way in building trust and loyalty, and eventually closing a sale.
In the short-term, an email sales campaign provides B2B companies with a direct line of communication with their customers. This enables them to stabilize their sales during the crisis and maintain strong relationships by providing value and support to customers.
However, the bigger picture of a successful email sales strategy during a time of economic downturn is that people remember and appreciate companies that had their back during challenging times. Nurturing positive and helpful relationships contributes to companies’ sales strategies in the long run, and continue to grow the company once the crisis has passed.