One of the prime factors that sales function realized during the pandemic was the need for re-alignment. The economy has stiffened no doubt undoubtedly and the customer's priorities have undergone paradigm change.

Three Key take ways of 2020 for building Sales stagey are-

Adapting the sales strategy to the changing market demands. The pandemic offered the greatest learning of all time,i.e negative market feedback can serve as the greatest insight to fill in the gaps in the existing product. Based on the feedback, the existing product can be adapted to customer priorities to deliver more value in current times. 

Adapting interactions with the potential customers with the communication channels available during the pandemic and working towards making the interactions compelling. The pandemic has forced sales to drive innovation and creativity when it comes to making a sales pitch without a personal meeting.

Leveraging creative ways of crafting customer experience using traditional methods. Offering product samples is one of the traditional ways of letting the customer experience the product. A lot of brands during the pandemic shipped product samples to the potential customer after making the sales pitch. This created room for trust and further discussions.

This approach can be summarized in the quote by Mark Hunter, the Sales Evangelist and the author of A Mind for Sales- “It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” When it comes to ‘handling it right’, a sales leader has to identify the right methodology and framework that would work in a given situation.

Sales Frameworks/Methodologies That Thrived Through the Pandemic

There are 14 recognized sales frameworks or methodologies that have been functional, and these are:

• Conceptual Selling

• Consultative Selling

• The Sandler Selling Method

• Inbound Selling

• MEDDIC

• NEAT Selling

• SPIN Selling

• Solution Selling

• Target Account Selling

• Customer-centric Selling

• The Challenger Sale

• Value Selling

• Command of the Sale

• SNAP Selling

Out of the above-mentioned 14 methodologies, here are the top two methodologies or frameworks that have stood the test of time and proved their efficacy. These two frameworks are:

Customer-centric Selling- The year 2021 and the forthcoming years, are dedicated to customers. In this sales model, the people, the processes, and the platform are all aligned with the demands of the target audience. The sales processes are devised basis the customer insights derived through analytics. The sales executives are then trained to understand the demands and the priorities of the customer. Finally, the platform for communication and interaction is chosen based on the preference of the target audience.

Inbound Selling- With the world on now on internet-powered devices 24/7, the Inbound selling methodology became one of the most popular ways of connecting with the target audience. Powered by analytics, the sales personnel team up with marketing to create compelling and personalized messages to influence the target audience into investing. Here the entire focus is on customers who are keenly browsing the company's website to enquire about a product or a service.

Apart from the above-mentioned frameworks, there is another framework that has grabbed eyeballs in the last decade. This is Provocative Selling. This sales approach revolves around making the customers aware of an impending crisis and compelling them to buy a particular product or service. The year 2020 witnessed this approach taking the market by storm where brands came up with innovative products and solutions, claiming to support healthy living.

These insights are critical when it comes to operating in the dynamic landscape of sales and marketing. Enrolling in the Executive Programme in Sales & Marketing offered by IIM Calcutta in collaboration with Hughes offers much-needed exposure to sales and marketing fundamentals.