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How to Drive Sales Through Anything
From Salespeople, For Salespeople

How to Drive Sales Through Anything
From Salespeople,
For Salespeople

COVID-19 has been a challenging time for salespeople.
WalkMe invited The Brutal Truth About Sales and Selling’s Brian G. Burns
to discuss the unique hurdles that salespeople have been facing
over the past few months and what techniques
and values have enabled them to succeed.

COVID-19 has been a challenging time for salespeople. WalkMe invited The Brutal Truth About Sales and Selling’s Brian G. Burns to discuss the unique hurdles that salespeople have been facing over the past few months and what techniques and values have enabled them to succeed.

Videos featuring WalkMe & Brian G. Burns

With over 350,000 views, 7,500 likes, and 1,400 comments, the data was analyzed for enlightening and practical sales insights. Sales professionals across all industries and company sizes shared their opinions and personal experiences.

Here are the main insights for sales professionals in the Next Normal.

  • 350,000
  • 7,500
  • 1,400

12.5% have been furloughed or laid-off

35% say laying off salespeople is short-sighted

Have salespeople been laid off?
Is it a good move?

Have salespeople been laid off? Is it a good move?

A small but significant 12.5% of responses discussed being furloughed or laid-off due to the pandemic, and 35% voiced that laying off salespeople was not a productive business response to the crisis.

Laying off salespeople might seem like a quick and effective way to cut costs when a crisis hits, but it will not serve the business well in the long run. The cost of hiring and training a sales rep is approximately 75% of their annual salary, and therefore layoffs in the sales org is an extremely short-sighted solution. The mere cost of hiring new reps when the crisis subsides would be staggering. Commenters were clear that by laying off salespeople, companies are cutting off their revenue stream, and will ultimately suffer consequences.

Technical Sales Executive

Technical Sales Executive Machine Cutting Services

“This is everything I’ve been thinking in one clip. Finally somebody heard me. Why don’t all people think like this. I’m a resell tech rep and was layed off 3 weeks into all of this to cut back costs…. Why do you start with the people that connect you to your actual revenue. It make no sense…… 100% AGREE!!!!!!! If you go about this all wrong during this time – you will not survive……. Simple as that.”

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What should this time
be used for?

69% of respondents agree that this time is a great opportunity to improve. 29% of respondents said that now is the time to get more personal, and 36% agree that building and maintaining relationships with prospects and customers should be the focus right now.

The pandemic has made selling harder, but it’s also given sales professionals an opportunity to really work on their skills as a communicator, listener, and service provider. When the economy was up, customers were easier to find and easier to sell to. In a crisis, the art of being a talented salesperson needs to be honed. But commenters did not express discouragement at this thought. Instead, it was discussed as an opportunity to improve skills, to become more relationship-oriented, and to stop relying on a good economy to succeed at sales.

Sales Development Leader

Sales Leadership / Marketing / Business Development

“Totally agree. This is a time to engage and invest in relationships both internal and external!”

With less than 5% of respondents disagreeing with the need to emphasize relationship-building for success, we conclude that now is most certainly the time for sales leaders to emphasize interpersonal skills in order to drive sales through times of crisis.

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64% say CRM reporting has detracted from making sales

40% say the focus on CRM data is counterproductive for closing deals

How do salespeople feel about the CRM?

64% of commenters say that the focus on CRM data reporting has taken away from the value of the sales profession and 40% agree that focusing on CRM data is a counterproductive sales tactic for reps.

A large percentage of sales professionals express dissatisfaction with the role the CRM plays in their work. As the CRM is the main digital tool in the sales professional’s arsenal, this is a very important insight with potentially colossal ramifications. Salespeople overwhelmingly agree that if CRM-related responsibilities and tasks use up their time and energy, they will be deterred from performing their crucial job at hand: closing deals and driving revenue.

This stands out, especially to WalkMe. Sales professionals need a solution so that the data entry processes, the pressure to raise pipeline numbers, and the overall dislike of the CRM doesn’t ruin the employee experience and undermine one’s dedication to their company.

Software Sales Leader

helping software companies to go and
grow internationally

helping software companies to go and grow internationally

“Good talk, Brian. CRM was and is a database of historical records. Sales does not happen in the system. Sales happens between people. No CRM can increase your sales, only people can do it. Junior sales reps will not sell anything to executives. It takes senior sales guys to sell to senior executives. #GROWmatica”

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71% say the art of selling has become undervalued

36% say solving problems

What’s the most important aspect of being a great salesperson?

36% of respondents assert that the most important aspect of selling is being able to solve a problem for prospects and customers and 71% of respondents state that the art of selling has become undervalued in the sales profession.

The notion that prospect details kept in a CRM can simply replace experienced and seasoned professionals is a misuse of the tool. As companies become more digitally enabled, they need to rely more and more on technology for certain processes.

This insight, however, is a reminder that technology should support and empower employees to perform better. In the world of sales, that means being able to build stronger relationships, solve more problems, and offer better solutions. The humanity of sales is essential. If reliance on the CRM hinders talent and the quality of relationships, then companies will not see the ROI on their technology.

Sales Manager

Territory Manager at BioDelivery Sciences International

Great conversation guys! I agree building rapport is important to let a relationship grow organically. More than ever in light of Covid its an important time to “check on” clients, see how their business/lives are being effected. I do feel theres also a fine line to walk to make sure you’re still accomplishing a specific goal on that particular call to move the sales cycle along. Sometimes I know I’ve felt like the conversation is more personal (which is important) and it’s taken away from “asking for the business”. Thanks for posting.

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What tactic is most effective for
sales success?

What tactic is most effective for sales success?

17% of respondents agree that pitching doesn’t work and 50% of respondents agree that now is the time to get personal. 43% specifically say empathy is important and an overwhelming 68% say that above all, rapport and relationship building is the most important part of driving success as a salesperson.

WalkMe will continue to monitor and analyze the valuable feedback that we gather from our content, in order to share actionable insights with you.

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