5 Ways Sales Teams Can Adapt During COVID-19

Disclaimer: This put up used to be closing up to date on March 27, 2020. As the placement adjustments, we will be able to replace this put up with new data.

Crunchbase as a company, like many firms around the globe, remains to be studying and adapting to the placement on a day by day, or even minute-by-minute, foundation. We are hoping bringing you at the side of us on this adventure of adaptation will be offering steerage, perception and standpoint.


COVID-19 has swept companies into uncharted waters. With new path every day, many firms are being pressured to near their doorways or exchange their technique to paintings, enforcing obligatory do business from home necessities to agree to CDC and govt pointers. Whilst each and every group is uniquely impacted, gross sales groups are going through an pressing want to generate income to stay companies in operation.

To higher perceive COVID-19’s have an effect on on our gross sales and customer-facing groups, we sat down with our gross sales management group to grasp the highest five tactics our gross sales and visitor groups are adapting to stick on course throughout this unparalleled time. 

Our gross sales management group is composed of Jeff Rice – Director of Sales, Tyee Dugan – Director of Shoppers, Shamus Noonan – Sales Supervisor, and Neal Patel – Head of Industry Construction and Sales.   

1. Taking note of our shoppers

Buyer-facing groups are the eyes and ears of our operation — whether or not or now not we’re in the middle of an international pandemic. Given we’re in the middle of an international pandemic, it’s extra essential than ever that our groups are listening closely to current shoppers and possibilities.

At Crunchbase, our gross sales and customer-facing groups have made this a concern, scheduling day by day group stand united states of americato percentage visitor comments and considerations they’re listening to from gross sales possibilities. This permits our groups to higher perceive the wider have an effect on and implications of the placement and talk about any patterns and developments we’re seeing with our shoppers that may be useful in how we lend a hand them. Those essential insights are then funneled as much as group management to lend a hand gauge and higher perceive COVID-19’s have an effect on on our industry. 

Buyer and gross sales managers will have to percentage insights from exterior conversations with the wider corporate, permitting visibility into COVID-19’s have an effect on for present customers, shoppers, and possibilities. “Actual-time, open traces of verbal exchange with the wider corporate facilitates cross-functional alignment and the power to handle visitor demanding situations in a considerate and proactive method throughout all channels, together with advertising, social media, and different client content material,” added head of industrial building and gross sales, Neal Patel.

Key takeaway: Identify open traces of verbal exchange and percentage visitor comments with the corporate.

2. Placing ourselves in our shoppers’ sneakers

Working towards empathy is extra essential than ever. Whilst comments from Crunchbase shoppers is integral for our figuring out of the state of the industry, our groups are conscious that taking the time to offer this comments will not be quantity one at the precedence checklist for our shoppers and possibilities, who could also be busy caring for their households and family members. “Placing ourselves within the sneakers of our shoppers is a very powerful method to in finding the precise time and platform for verbal exchange and comments,” shared director of gross sales, Jeff Rice.

Our group is balancing the present scenario with the want to proceed to do their jobs – which is indisputably a double-edged sword. “The mind-set I’m looking to construct for my group is if an organization’s company objectives have now not modified, then their resolution to shop for an answer that backs into that purpose most probably hasn’t both,” added Jeff. “Alternatively, with some firms updating board goals, OKRs, and chopping or freezing spending, our groups want to re-prioritize goals to again up their pipeline.”

Our group has grew to become to social listening by means of Twitter to really feel out the marketplace and work out the place the cash remains to be flowing. Some VCs nonetheless have funding objectives and price range from contemporary investment rounds that want to be invested. The usage of gear inside Crunchbase, our gross sales group has rebuilt prospecting lists that target accounts supporting industries protecting stable throughout the pandemic.

Key takeaway: Put shoppers first and follow empathy.

3. Prioritizing interior verbal exchange

The best way group leaders keep up a correspondence and engage with groups very much affects morale and suppleness. It’s difficult sufficient not to really feel remoted in quarantine – to stay groups engaged, leaders will have to make it a most sensible precedence to stay verbal exchange and corporate tradition alive all through far flung paintings. 

It’s essential to stay a typical cadence of updates to inspire group camaraderie and deal with corporate tradition. “Our CS group has maintained a day by day standup each and every morning simply to catch up ahead of the day begins, it assists in keeping us all aligned and feeling like a group,” added our director of shoppers, Tyee Dugan.

Likewise, our gross sales groups have discovered lighthearted tactics to stick attached and engaged, prioritizing group hangouts and demanding situations. Our gross sales group created a Slack channel through which group contributors compete in “Chopped” prepare dinner offs and put up footage in their connoisseur (or not-so-gourmet) breakfast every day. The group additionally lately celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with an all fingers Zoom assembly the place each and every member dressed up ahead of hopping on video chat.

In step with the gross sales group, groups throughout Crunchbase had been using Slack and Zoom for day by day verbal exchange. As in-person facetime is restricted at the moment, our groups have set the usual that each and every group assembly is a Zoom assembly — static photographs don’t reduce it. Our groups have additionally applied cellular conferences and strolling 1:1 conferences so group contributors can get some contemporary air or run an errand whilst nonetheless checking in on group contributors. “I used to be within the grocery retailer doing a put up mortem of a visitor name with an AE,” mentioned director of gross sales, Jeff Rice. “It’s essential to be mindful the demanding situations your group could also be having with final offers and pulling again on driven offers. Occasionally you’ll want to multitask however we will be able to’t disregard to inspire our groups to handle themselves and their households thru this hard time.”

“We’ve additionally applied the facility of recorded video to chop down on conferences,” added gross sales supervisor, Shamus Noonan. “Our group has been pre-recording replace movies, reviewing spreadsheets and studies and sharing the ones with our colleagues to view on their very own time. We’re aware that extra time is being booked as conferences to get key issues throughout internally, and we wish to make sure that our groups nonetheless have time to do their jobs.”

Key takeaway: Environment friendly, efficient and amusing verbal exchange assists in keeping corporate tradition alive.


4. Retaining our gross sales groups motivated 

For many gross sales groups, corporate and group tradition most probably has one thing to do with pageant, or some other type of motivation. Winner’s Circle and President’s Membership would possibly not glance the similar this quarter, however adapting those rewards to a donation to a charity of selection can also be simply as, if now not extra, motivating. 

If price range permit, leaderboards, spiffs (speedy bonuses for a sale) and different incentives can nonetheless be part of your gross sales group’s tradition, and will simply be tailored for far flung paintings. “We had some mild spiffs operating this month. Maximum have been team-specific to stay everybody running towards a group purpose past themselves,” added Jeff Rice. “It is helping us have fun temporary, small wins and within the long-term, hitting or lacking those group goals is helping us gauge if we want to loosen up our objectives to deal with the present scenario.”

In case your group makes use of Salesforce, the platform lets in group contributors to peer real-time gross sales prospecting updates and deal leaderboards. In case your corporate does now not use Salesforce, management can imagine sharing day by day or weekly leaderboard and purpose growth updates by means of Slack, e mail, or different group verbal exchange platforms.

Whilst you will need to keep sure and have fun wins with shoutouts, our groups additionally want to be swift to acknowledge low efficiency. In line with head of industrial building and gross sales Neal, our gross sales management group meets two times per week to check job efficiency to verify the group is lively and dealing. “We have fun the highest performers and temporarily decide what we will be able to do to lend a hand the decrease performers. No longer each and every omit is because of loss of paintings ethic. Some persons are out serving to circle of relatives or pals, and we want to take that into consideration.”

Key takeaway: Set person and collective objectives, and way efficiency problems with compassion.

5. Encouraging our gross sales groups and CSMs to concentrate on price

Buyer groups around the board also are going through the want to keep up a correspondence price beneath converting cases. At Crunchbase, and most probably at different firms, our gross sales and customer-facing groups have two speedy priorities:

  1. Proceeding to exhibit price for present shoppers
  2. Proving to possible shoppers that our product supplies important sufficient ROI to justify acquire when cash is tight

Speaking those price propositions successfully could make or wreck any corporate, and it’s indisputably a difficult time to take action. For gross sales prospecting, new alternatives could also be scarce, however prioritizing those key messages and making sure they’re pulled thru in all communications will lend a hand gross sales and visitor groups keep on course in unsure occasions. 

Key takeaway: Keep up a correspondence and exhibit price to stick on course.