How to keep selling during a crisis

Right now, SMBs are faced with the challenge of how to keep selling during a crisis.

The situation we are currently in makes it even more critical now to use a modern sales approach, listen more intently and digitise as much as possible.

When HubSpot was a small startup, former Chief Revenue Officer of HubSpot’s Sales Division, Mark Roberge said with a modern salesforce, “it’s no longer about interrupting, pitching, and closing. It is about listening, diagnosing, and prescribing”.

That very much is the case now. 


1. Take the modern sales approach

Selling in a crisis isn’t purely about selling at all. It is about helping people find solutions to issues the crisis has presented.

Think of your role as helping customers make the best decisions to solve their existing and new problems, while nurturing their trust along the way. This builds long-term partnerships and repeated business rather than one-off sales.

The consultative selling approach – take on an advisory role and add extra value on solutions outside of what customers are able to research themselves

The value-added selling approach – add on incentives, one time only deals, manager specials

The tool based sales approach – Automation tools (CRM systems, lead generation) that enhance traditional sales methods

Reader poll: How have your sales been impacted by the current pandemic?

We’ve seen a major decrease in sales and momentum has plummeted.

There’s be an increase in our sales.

There has been no change. We’re in the same position as we were in November 2019.

Let us know in the comments below.

2. Listen

On average, top-performing SDRs should be talking a “maximum talk streak of about 67 seconds within the context of a relatively concise conversation”, according to William Tyree from SellingPower.

Make interactions about the customer. 

Clarify their problems, help them understand any challenges they face and prioritise what matters to them most by defining tangible solutions. 

Ingenuine communication that doesn’t consider the current climate, what your business and, [most often similarly], what your customers’ business is experiencing can obviously be picked up.

The last thing your customers need is to be subjected to hard-sell tactics, phoney friendliness and constant pressure to “buy buy buy”. 

To avoid disengagement, use a sales conversation planner, ask questions and listen for much of the discussion. 

3. Go digital 

Think about how to turn everything virtual with an emphasis on video.

Customers feel instant gratification when they are rewarded after doing business with you. This can be achieved in the form of a virtual asset library that customers can access in comfort of their own home.  

Share case studies, e-booklets, how to’s, guides, tips and more. For example, you can browse our LinkedIn page

 You could also invest in online training and webinars yourself to learn more on how to engage your audience with the right digital tools. Check out our free on-demand webinars here.

Bonus tip: Step away from the keyboard

Has your email traffic increased while your phone calls have dropped? Although we are restricted on traditional person-to-person interaction, that doesn’t mean we still 

Pick up the phone and block out the noise in your customers’ inbox to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

You can feel overwhelmed sometimes and that’s okay. Take it one day at a time, set your goals and work at them patiently.

Help your customers solve their problems, listen more, go virtual and utilise different communication styles until one sticks.