The New Prospect Experience
Not long ago, the changes to the workplace brought on by COVID-19 were viewed as a temporary adjustment. Now, as firms settle into the reality of the new normal, they need to shift their sales strategy to embrace technology and an agile approach to prospecting. Here are three keys to selling more effectively throughout the duration of the pandemic — and beyond.
Look to your sales leaders as the feedback loop to gather insights about your prospective clients’ changing needs. They are, after all, on the front lines and are uniquely positioned to help you understand what prospects need and are not getting, or perhaps most importantly, what they are getting from your competition. Applying those insights can be a game changer, not only for driving revenue, but for informing strategic growth decisions on new services.
Leverage sales and referral sources to discover and meet new client needs. Even though the economy has tightened during the pandemic, there are still new opportunities to be found. What are the new needs your firm can address for clients? This is an opportunity to learn about the issues that are driving or reducing the use of your services, determine what additional problems you could help prospects solve, and build a strategy to capitalize on and adapt your offerings.
At the onset of the pandemic, many firms adapted by moving client interactions to videoconference or phone. The long-term play is to utilize these platforms to improve the sales experience as a whole. Your firm can create value and differentiate your services by helping prospects uncover opportunities they had not considered before. With technology, it is easier than ever to introduce new ideas through subject matter experts, client support staff, and other functions to deepen relationships and offer greater insight.
Your sales and marketing efforts must be aligned more than ever before. Using traditional methods such as events, trade shows, and conferences are not a consistent option right now. The importance of digital channels to replace those traditional methods has grown significantly in the past few years and has become essential since the pandemic began.
Qualification of prospects, targeting small groups, and executing a hyper focus on top prospects can bring the RIGHT new business through the door. Reach out to prospects as much, if not more, than before. They need your firm’s proactive ideas to address their most pressing pain points and frustrations. Firms need a clear view of what their prospects want and what steps to take to address those needs. Pick up the phone, schedule a videoconference, or send that email to let your prospects know you are a resource for them.
Serve first, then sell. Yes, it is important to continue closing new sales. There should also be a focus on helping prospects who are facing new uncertainties. Giving great advice that truly helps them get through challenges the pandemic has posed offers the opportunity to transform your prospecting efforts. Relationships and trust, the cornerstones of a successful client relationship, will be built through thoughtful guidance and strengthen your firm’s competitive position when the crisis subsides.
Having a solid sales strategy to depend on while the world settles down can give you a head start. The key piece of advice to keep in mind is to focus on your prospects’ priorities as much as your own. They have the potential to help you grow your firm—no matter your strategy.
About Nikki Burgeson
As the Director of Sales and Business Development at Rehmann, I utilize 20+ years of experience in sales and leadership to help drive the overall growth of one the largest professional service firms in the country. In this role, I am responsible for strategy development, leadership of Rehmann’s business development team and spearheading the Firm’s sales culture integration efforts by aligning skills, talent and technical expertise of business advisors with new clients to ensure that they are receiving the best service possible. I have an inherent ability to connect people and a passion for driving growth that make me a key player in setting the standard for business development in the professional services industry.
Welcome to CPA Growth Trends — your source for information, insights, tools and best practices to drive growth within an accounting firm.
Strategic Planning for the Future, Observations, and Advice
with Dan Hood, Accounting Today
The Intersection of Marketing and HR for Accounting Firms Strategic Planning for the Future, Observations, and Advice -w- Dan Hood, Accounting Today