Recruitment specialist in HR & Human Capital Management

How has home working affected sales processes and cycles?

 

It has it been fascinating to learn how sales processes and cycles had been affected by the pandemic.

We asked a range of 50 commercial leaders in the Human Capital Management space what they thought.

For 16 of the group, remote working had exposed some gaps in team capability which was concerning them. For some, team members were now suddenly not able to reach prospects by the phone (as those prospects in turn were now working from home).

It was exposing a lack of diversity in their approach when it came to making new connections and some were struggling. Some were having to work hard with their teams to adapt to new ways of selling. Others were ahead of the game in this regard. For example, they were habitually selling via social media effectively already and really reaping the benefits now.

Some leaders however reported that their sales cycle had been shortened by remote working. They felt that prospects’ diaries were easier to access, and they were seeing that opportunities to pitch and present were more easily accessible. 9 of the 50 that we interviewed felt that remote working had improved access to their prospects. Their belief was that prospects were online more, not in meetings at the office or on a train – scheduling meetings was easier for their teams right now. This crept into worry – 6 worried that when the general population return to the office, prospects may be harder to pin down!

Others had seen a step in their sales process fade away. Some reported that higher performing sales team members were closing new deals much quicker than usual. Upon inspection, it was because the zoom or teams’ meetings were in effect taking the salesperson straight to a face to face meeting, skipping the phone stage. Here some were closing deals right away.

So, it seems that there had been a huge period of adjustment for commercial professionals. Potentially, there has been a challenge around establishing first contact and connecting with people, but overall teams are adapting, and the best performing are finding really interesting efficiencies.

 

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