- How have sales conversations and pitches changed in a time of remote working?
Life has been extra interesting since remote work started. Not that we have not worked remotely before, the difference now is that it’s full time and involuntary. The lack of travel and an almost universal acceptance that this will continue for the foreseeable future, have made clients open to having virtual conversations. This includes even deep dive tech sessions or negotiations, something unimaginable if not improbable earlier.
Sales is all about building trust with prospects by making best use of different touch points – to make sure that they find your offering unique and valuable. These touchpoints used to be in-person and we therefore had more quality time with prospects. Now that everything is remote, the focus is on how to get the best out of these limited modes of interactions.
The days of having a casual coffee with prospective clients are over. It’s difficult to schedule informal catch ups with them because their calendars are most often, full! On conference calls, the possibilities of reading their body language or interpreting the subtle signals are slim. The entire sales process has been transformed. We are now very sensitive to smallest of reactions over phone and video calls, all the while delivering very crisp and clear messages.
While this has raised the productivity levels of everyone involved, it has also stressed them out, as they are now expected to be on standby at all times! Back-to-back schedules result in very little down time for the team.
- What are the biggest changes or trends you have noticed in the markets you oversee? (Asia / India / ANZ /SSA)
In the initial few weeks, it felt as if the world stopped dead in its tracks. There were no conversations, no news from anyone. Clients seemed to have disappeared. Our pipeline evaporated almost overnight. It was time to go back to the drawing board!
Every change brings new opportunities. Chaos works in your favour if you can decipher a pattern out of it. We noticed that priorities changed from revenue addition to cost cutting. Clients started looking for opportunities to reduce cost in the immediate term or wanted ways to achieve more, while keeping the team count the same. They were keen on using big data analytics and AI/ML to help them make better decisions. Something that we at Crayon, were in a great position to deliver.
More recently, with economic activities picking up, we are seeing the conversations open wider and clients are again starting to talk revenue.
- What makes a Crayon, a Crayon?
Change brings about new possibilities and opportunities. And Crayon has been able to do just what the occasion has called for. When the time came, Crayons from different teams came together under most strenuous of circumstances to meet the changing demands. And we passed this test of adversity with flying colours! I am super proud of every single Crayon and to call myself one.
We pivoted and delivered on the promise to do better for the clients and for the company. On many occasions that meant that we had to step up and work on things that weren’t in our job descriptions. The teamwork and the fighting spirit enabled us to achieve two of our best quarters so far.
Our mantra here: one for all, all for one. Being a team player makes a Crayon.