3 Questions We Had to Ask: How Sales May Have Changed Forever in 2020
SalesRoads, a leading Outsourced SDR Firm surveyed 755 Sales Professionals on the state of their work. Their findings have sparked debate on topics ranging from the future of remote work to the role of live video in the sales process. SalesRoads founder David Kreiger will host a Vendor Neutral Webinar on October 6, 2020, to discuss the ramifications of the research. David will be joined by The Bridge Group CEO Trish Bertuzzi, VanillaSoft CRO Darryl Praill, ExecVision Co-founder Steve Richard, Avenue Talent Partners Founder & CEO Amy Volas,and Connect&Sell CEO Chris Beall. Secure your entry to the webinar and copy of Selling SAAS in the COVID Economy here!
Our “new normal,” a telling mantra that encapsulates zoom video, homeschooling, and the other oddities of our pandemic experience. Indeed, as tired as the mantra may be, it is revealing in its suggestion of irreversibility; things will never be the same, and the future looks more like 2020 than it does 2019. To be sure, as we dream of a return to mask-free dining and live music, other aspects of our pandemic reality seem here to stay. One such aspect is Work From Home (WFH) which has materialized as a highly-debated outcome of the COVID outbreak. Similarly, as the debate over WFH rages on, so do questions surrounding the ancillary technologies that enable it. In order to understand these phenomena and their impact on the future of the business community, we asked 755 Sales Professionals about the state of their work. Although we focused specifically on the software as a service (SaaS) industry, the sector’s astounding success and diverse role in facilitating business interactions suggest the results of this survey could be applied in a broader context to represent the hottest parts of tomorrow’s economy.
As with any good data, however, answering one question only seems to spur another. With that in mind, here are three questions inspired by our research.
Question One: What is the future of remote work?
Our research provided conflicting data points on this question. At one end of the spectrum, 93% of respondents indicated they are more likely to consider remote work in the future.
Yet, only 12.9% of respondents said the majority (76% or more) of their sales team would work remotely on a permanent basis. Although this may lead one to assume that remote work is more hype than reality, the results are muddy, with 64.6% of respondents indicated that some (26-75%) of their sales team would work remotely on a permanent basis. Obviously, this represents a wide range of outcomes as offices at 26% of capacity are much different than 75%.
So, will people settle into their home offices or will they flock back to the conference room?
Question Two: What will be the enduring role of live video in sales?
Although the pandemic has made “Zoom” a generic catch-all-term for video conferencing, not all sellers seem to be embracing video in their sales process. Our research indicated that a small majority of sellers (51.4%) are using video once a day or more, but also found that a sizable chunk (23.3%) are using video \more sparingly (once a week or less).
Is live video a temporary replacement for in-person meetings or a vital tool for the future of sales?
Question Three: Have buyers changed the way they prefer to be contacted?
Contrary to popular narrative, our research found that sellers are reporting increased buyer engagement across all channels including phone, email, and social media. There could be several reasons for this seemingly improbable outcome ranging from sample bias to a buyer predisposition for social interaction during periods of distant lockdown.
In any event, we can make more sense of the data by comparing the number of sellers who reported increased engagement on a channel to the sellers who reported decreased engagement. In total, respondents indicated increased buyer engagement on social media and email by a 6:1 margin, while we measured increased engagement on the phone by only 3.5:1.
Should we expect that social media will become less effective in 2021 as the economy reopens, or is this indicative of a longer trend?
Find the answers to these questions, and more, by joining me on October 6, 2020, for Vendor Neutral’s Webinar, Ways In Which Sales Has (or has not) Changed Forever in 2020!
Dave Kreiger, SalesRoads
David Kreiger is the President and Founder of SalesRoads, one of North America’s leading B2B Appointment Setting and Demand Generation companies. He has been named as one of The Most Influential Leaders in Sales & Lead Management by the SLMA the last four years in a row.