Selling Power sweeping Services in 2021

If there’s one point that 2020 has driven home for many power sweeping business owners, it’s that the world of B2B and B2C interaction has changed. Some of those changes are common across the business sector and are being predicted to stick long-term. Others will almost certainly remain at least throughout most or all of 2021. The pandemic and economic shutdown made 2020 a year of anxiety and adaptation. But, here we are. We’re in a new year with new opportunities, but we’re still adjusting to the new challenges in selling pavement sweeping services brought on last year:

Remote sales presentations will become increasingly preferred.

For people in your power sweeping business who are charged with the responsibility for making new sales, 2020 imposed unprecedented obstacles due to COVID-19. The most impactful has been extreme building occupancy limits in retail and service businesses; enforced social distancing, and mask requirements that have further hindered open engagement when trying to interact for business purposes.
For salespeople, whose entire professional role is in interpersonal interaction, the impacts of these awkward new limitations have been transformative to their professional role. Face-to-face sales interactions have been eliminated by many companies, and others have cut out direct access to decision-makers for all or most vendors’ representatives.
As it turns out, there has proven to be a strong preference for business decision-makers not to meet sales reps for in-person meetings. Research shows that over 75% of both buyers and sellers prefer indirect human engagement over face-to-face interactions. Just 20% of B2B purchasing decision-makers indicate that they want to see a return to face-to-face sales presentations. So, amid all the temporary COVID-related functional difficulties for salespeople, one change that appears to be here to stay is the move toward more remote sales presentations.

Marketing and sales teams will become more blended.

The most effective marketing and sales teams have typically always worked in tandem. Moving into the next decade, the customer journey can be expected to continue the migration to an online pathway. In response, marketing and sales leaders need to bring their goals and processes into even tighter alignment with each other. They’ll further need to acclimate their teams to routines of more robust information and knowledge sharing and collaboration.
With marketers and sales reps who are more closely connected, buyers are less likely to encounter disconnects, messaging inconsistencies, challenges from siloed information, and knowledge bases. Blending the functions will position businesses to manage these and other problems with greater agility in the marketing and sales process that have become more complicated by the broader economic difficulties and day-to-day adaptations during 2020 and going into 2021.
All the steps performed in the sales funnel before the prospect reaches out to communicate with a salesperson and all that happens after the sale is closed is just as critical to both the sales and the marketing knowledge bases as is the pitch and close meeting. So, overall, the greater engagement between marketers and sellers before, during, and after the formal sales, the presentation should be the model for the 2021 blended marketing/sales team.

Updated technologies will enable competitiveness in the new sales environment.

The impacts of 2020 on the sales industry have been deep and far-reaching. The virus and quarantine have expedited the shift of the selling process to the web. So, top technology for online selling is an increasingly more critical asset for power sweeping companies, as it has become for all service and product sellers.
As part of this next evolution of commercial sales technology, outmoded presentation tools like PowerPoint are being replaced with more interactive and highly-visible content formatting tools, to help facilitate rich sales conversations and well-informed decision-making processes for buyers. How? By simplifying sellers’ information delivery and making it more engaging, easier to digest, and more persuasive.
In 2020, salespeople found themselves drawing on their most agile of creative resources, to abruptly adapt their selling efforts to online processes. While they were doing that, they had to figure out how each prospect’s company was being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, financially and operationally.
With all this uncertainty, market change, and process redesign on the fly, the ground seemed to be shifting underfoot last year, disorienting sales teams. But, the past year did condition sales leadership to the new reality that having technology that is up to the task of facilitating the cultivation of customer relationships must be moved to the top of the priority list for capital investment in 2021. That’s a plus for sales reps.
A company-wide integrated CRM system should be first on the list of new marketing and sales tech tools. Integrated telecom and customer data access systems should also be high priorities. Improving website speed and expanding site functionality, adding video, upgraded text content, links, high-end SEO, and robust site security are also essential improvements. Effective social media management and strategic web ad use are all now among the basics for sustained success in modern sales.
For enterprise power sweeping businesses with the in-house marketing resources to make the most of such tools, AI- and ML-driven marketing and sales analytics software are recommended.
For those with the most capable tech teams, upgrading the IT infrastructure to one that can not only support the system, but that can actually generate revenues through IT is an exciting new concept that we cannot detail here. Many growing companies in various industries already have these sophisticated upgrades under development, to advance their now more pressing business goal to achieve digital maturity.

B2B buyers will be needed even stronger financial rationales for purchasing decisions.

Entering the next decade, buyers have a heightened sensitivity to financial contingencies and less sense of assurance of even short-term stability of the larger economy. Prepare to prioritize emphasizing and reemphasizing the financial justification for buying, in terms of the monetary value of outcomes to your prospect’s business from utilizing the kind and caliber of service you provide. Also, emphasize and reemphasize the alternative of not having that kind of service at that level. Be as vividly descriptive as possible in painting both pictures.
Naturally, when businesses find their budgets unexpectedly slashed and severe spending restrictions imposed, ideal financial justification must be provided for any funding decisions. That certainly applies to entering new sweeping service contracts. The most proactive sales presenters in 2021 will include the business case for each proposal, including a well-considered projection of ROI.
A compelling rationale for employing the solution you’ll deliver will show how it will help the customer increase revenues, and/or cut costs, reduce losses, maximize the use of existing resources, reduce risks, realize growth, boost the brand, or financially benefit in some other essential area of income and expense. It will leave your new customer with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the expenditure is not just practical, but necessary, and financially beneficial.

Sellers will need to facilitate buyers’ decision-making processes through simplification.

In periods of high stress, people naturally become more risk-averse, and a cognitive bias toward maintaining the status quo becomes reinforced by evidence from the adverse external conditions. This reactive mode of functioning tends to increase the risk of making wrong decisions. It also can increase the perception of the disproportionate cost of any decision made. In such times, a sales approach that presents even a relatively small amount of complexity in a choice the prospect is asked to make is more likely to be perceived negatively.
For example, generally, in pre-pandemic sales pitches, salespeople could feel free to present an expansive array of different service and pricing options to buyers, without risk of exceeding limits of buyers’ neurological capacities to appreciate receiving large numbers of detailed options. That is not the situation during times when increased levels of risk and uncertainty have led to high stress, as in 2020.
Going forward, sales presenters should work to simplify options for buyers, making their pitch as well as all steps of the selling process as simple as possible for their prospects, without sacrificing key information needed for their decision-making. Talk in terms of low risk, or no risk, no upfront cost, low monthly cost, exceptional value, and avoid unnecessarily complicating the decision process with dizzying numbers of options.

What Selling Services will Look Like in 2021

It’s reasonable to predict that most salespeople in most business subsectors can expect to confront all the above-discussed challenges in 2021. They will also face the continuation of shutdowns and partial shutdowns of many businesses due to the COVID-19 virus, throughout much or all of this year. Adapting your sales methodology to maximize your potential in these now more demanding competitive areas will better prepare you for meeting the new needs and expressed preferences of your prospective buyers in the post-2020 B2B selling environment.
Since B2B buyers prefer remote sales presentations, consider substituting as many face-to-face meetings as possible with virtual ones. Recognize the waning popularity of traditional presentation technology aids, and update your process with more engaging alternatives. Create a more synergistic system revenue generation, by combining your marketing and sales talents into a more unified marketing/salesforce. Modify sales pitches to feature simplified pricing and other details, to deliver a more compelling presentation, overcoming potential financial concerns, and helping identify realistic options for maximizing your customers’ ROI from their sweeping services.
These lessons learned from 2020 introduce some important new tools and methods for sales professionals in the power sweeping industry to adopt in 2021. More fairly, the new practices constitute the necessary pervasive range of improvements to help maximize results in the new sales environment. Yes, what’s arguably most helpful and exciting about the new knowledge gained from 2020 is that it is leading to improvement throughout all the subprocesses of the sales cycle, constituting a veritable next evolution of the conventional approach.

BY BOBBI JACKSON

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