The world has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly every life and industry affected. Governments are working to keep their citizens safe while economies are struggling to stay stable. Small businesses around the world have been challenged financially, being forced to adapt to new forms of selling.
As we navigate through the pandemic and prepare for its end, there’s several ways that businesses can strategize to make the most out of their situation.
Far from a local phenomenon, the shift to digital and remote engagement has been embraced by decision makers in all countries surveyed worldwide
Sales leaders have moved from being “forced” to adopt digital in reaction to the widespread shutdowns in the early stages of COVID-19 to a growing conviction that digital is the way to go.
The most notable sign that digital sales have come of age is the comfort buyers display in making large new purchases and reorders online. The prevailing wisdom used to be that e-commerce was mainly for smaller-ticket items and fast-moving parts. Not so anymore. Notably, 70 percent of decision makers say they are open to making new, fully self-serve or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27 percent would spend more than $500,000.
Decision makers globally say that online and remote selling is as effective as in-person engagement, or even more so—and they're not just talking about selling to warm leads. Sellers also believe digital prospecting is as effective as in-person meetings to connect with existing customers.
The future is digital, according to survey respondents, these pandemic induced patterns are likely to become permanent. Close to nine in ten decision makers say that new commercial and go-to-market sales practices will be a fixture throughout 2021 and possibly beyond.
The dramatic increase in digital adoption presents a seminal opportunity for organizations. The shift to virtual sales can help sales organizations lower their cost per visit, extend their reach, and significantly improve sales effectiveness while delighting customers who are demanding these new ways of interacting stick long term and who are likely to reward suppliers that do it well.
While the opportunity is significant, so is the pressure to capitalize on it. Leaders that commit to further digitizing their go-to-market models should derive competitive advantage in the form of more and more loyal customers than their slower moving peers.
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