The sales process world over is going through a massive disruption where routine sales meet, travel, and other aspects of closing a deal have vanished, experiencing a drop in demand in sectors like travel, hospitality, and aviation. The brands and consumers across the globe are wondering how to adapt to this new reality. The sales leaders across the world are trying to adapt and adjust their organizations to sell in the face of new reality while there is a considerable change in consumer behavior and their consumption pattern has occurred.
The changes in consumer behavior are an acceleration of digital trends that were in motion before this tough time. As stores remain closed in many parts of the world, e-commerce is a crucial channel for keeping sales up and keep in touch with the customers. The lockdown across the world, especially in India, leads to a new trend of buying products online rather than going physically to crowded locations.
In India, the pandemic has provoked many companies to re-examine their existing distribution strategies. The new concerns about hygiene, physical contact, social distancing, sanitization have shifted the business focus to making sanitizers, medical overalls to surgical masks. A recent survey of B2B business across 11 countries stated, “almost 90% of sales have moved to a video conference/ phone/ web sales, while some skepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than the sales models used before Covid-19. Even though there is a great deal of uncertainty, we are in the phase of reimagining the next normal, by holding omnichannel selling, inside sales, tech-enabled selling and e- commerce.
The pandemic might force some of the players in the industry out of business like those brands that have not yet fully transitioned to a vertically integrated distribution model and those who not entered in e-commerce. In the long term, this may lead to a permanent change and may become the new norm. This slowdown is the right time for brands to equip themselves and digitalize the processes and upgrade their systems and technologies.
Those brands who are able to identify the new consumer preferences, mindset, value system and initiates to bridge the gaps, turning their weaknesses into strengths and strengths into distinctive competencies only can withstand the crisis. The brands that would work accordingly will surely turn out to be the new champions.