COVID-19 has changed everything from the way we interact with each other to the implementation of various health procedures. The economy has taken a substantial hit and industries that were once deemed “recession” proof like the hospitality industry have seemed to be no match for a global pandemic. As most people are slowly returning to work and companies ready shared workspaces for “the new normal” some industries will never be the same.

So, what does the future hold for direct sales? Things will be vastly different but like all things, we must accept and pivot. Part of the reason why Eva and I advocate for direct sales model is the client relationship piece. This has proven time and time again to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and our client retention reflects that. The direct sales model is obviously nothing new; coupling the human interaction element with the element of surprise. There is a reason this type of sale has been around for so long. However social distancing and proper health precautions will effectively change what the direct sale looks like. I have a few ideas for the future of direct sales.

Remote Sales Pitches

Much like how we have been conducting business, from our home offices; we will continue to hold remote sales presentations from our computers. This is slightly less personable which might make closing slightly harder, however, it has become so normal at this point that I don’t foresee remote presentations going away. I also think that companies are assessing if it is “necessary” for individuals to physically go to the workplace every day.  This will only reinforce remote presentations due to some individuals continuing to work at home.

More Scheduled Meetings

 If you find that you have to see the client in person, this will go by way of a scheduled meeting. Gone are the days of “popping in.” Health protocols are going to have a crackdown on how many people come into the building, temperature checks, and other social distancing measures.

Network Reliance

 Now more than ever, we lean on our network to generate new business. The people in our professional circle are there for a reason, use them! We have made it a point to reconnect with people that we revere in our industry and surrounding industries. Not only can they refer business but sometimes they bring new ideas to the table that you haven’t considered before. By utilizing our network we have been able to establish new partners, add an additional revenue stream, and new operational ideas.

The Importance of Client Relationship Software

 Organization is key. Managing clients remotely can prove to be difficult on a few fronts. How are you recording the interactions with your clients? Are you documenting important communication? How are you keeping track of important people? The shift in remote work creates a need for a client relationship software or some type of platform designed to track interactions and deal flow. This has proven to be an integral part of our everyday and will continue to be crucial when we re-enter the field. We are able to print reports on deal flow, closing ratios, daily workflow, and deal tracking. A platform of similar fashion is more specifically needed to manage remote sales teams for daily activity review/tracking.

Written By: Kristin DeBias