This past year has been full of changes due to the pandemic. More and more people prefer to shop and find their information online.
By now, you realize it's going to take more than just clever marketing and hard work to compete in this ever-changing landscape.
If you want to prepare for 2022, you must look at the pandemic’s impact and how the business landscape has changed. Otherwise, you’ll quickly fall behind. With so many shops competing for consumer attention, and 22% of businesses closing since the pandemic, the pressure is on.
To keep customers coming back for more, we recommend that your sales team focuses on the following pain points in 2022.
The 6 Main Pain Points Your Sales Team Will Face
Above all else, businesses need to be flexible and adapt to changing trends in their industry to stay afloat.
However, it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on what your consumers value.
1. Shift in Priorities
The pandemic has shifted people's focus into purchasing essentials and home-specific products due to remote work. At the same time, there are universal products that will now always hold consumer interest, likely due to how the pandemic impacted younger generations.
Crisis often switches focus from the frivolous to the practical. During the great depression, millions of Americans would reuse clothing, extend the use of hygiene products and pickled foods in jars to ensure they didn’t go without.
Millennials and Gen Z are having a similar reaction and are switching to environmentally friendly brands that last longer and don’t pollute.
Younger generations are also terrified of something being out of stock or being “out-of-reach” due to slow response time. Businesses need to ease their fears by being prompt.
Americans are spending more on health and safety products, groceries, personal care products, and child products and less on restaurants, apparel, skincare, footwear, accessories, and jewelry. If you don’t sell anything essential, figure out how to make your products necessary.
2. New Technology
Post-pandemic, people are more comfortable with tech. Several people still work from home and use technology to complete menial tasks, such as closing a real estate transaction or tracking their expenses. Most consumers use their mobile phones to buy products.
Companies need to embrace new technology that benefits the user and protects their info. Americans are concerned about going back to regular activities outside the home and are less likely to go to gyms, hair salons, restaurants, and other crowded spaces when they can.
Since digital shopping is here to stay and will increase in the next few years, it makes sense for businesses to either make a shopping app or an eCommerce website. Millennials and Gen Z, your most profitable earners, are leading the charge in this shift.
While Millennials are using phones to purchase items in all categories, Gen Z is focusing on non-essentials and takeout.
3. Marketing Saturation
The high concentration of social media traffic has led to market saturation. After all, everyone is aware that we’re all spending more time online. Who wouldn’t capitalize on this situation?
Still, you need to come up with a way to attract new customers to your business without spending an arm and a leg on marketing. To set yourself apart, share your unique value proposition in a way that matters to your customers. Here’s how you do it:
- Identify your target market by checking your analytics to see who's buying your products. When you know your target, you can make better content.
- Define what makes you different by researching your competition and doing what they do, but in a unique way. Or ask yourself what sets you apart from the crowd.
- Recognize the pain points your products solve by asking your customers for reviews or by taking a good, hard look at what you offer. Does your product save time? Money?
- Consider what your company stands for by establishing your brand’s voice. Are you an environmentalist? Do you support a certain social group or cause?
Nailing down the right unique value proposition will take some trial and error, but with the right strategy, you can create a brand that draws new customers to your products or services.
4. Employee Turnover
An often forgotten money sink is the employees themselves. It’s frustrating to see your employees leave after you’ve spent so much time and money training them, but if you offer incentives, like benefits and perks, you may be able to entice them to stay.
Since the pandemic, there’s been a massive labor shortage, and employees are being blamed for it. However, when employees are asked why they refuse to go back to work, they paint a picture of how awful the job market has become.
Many minimum-wage workers are abused, made to work 3 part-time jobs to stay afloat, and can’t get another job without a degree.
It’s up to the employers to pull employees back into their doors by offering better pay, health benefits, vacation time, and a dynamic work culture.
Happy employees benefit employers greatly, as they cost less to supervise and take fewer sick days. Employees are more likely to stay at a company that treats them well, leading to a reduction in employee turnover.
5. Low-Cost Competitors
It can seem impossible to compete with competitors who have cut their prices way below the market value. When you can’t measure up in the costs department, leverage your other strengths, like your quality products, customer service, and remote work flexibility.
The economy is a global one, but the pandemic has made this reality more evident for foreign investors.
Due to the poor work conditions and laws surrounding employment in other countries (and sometimes our own), some businesses will sacrifice quality to offer their products at a low price. Instead of looking at this situation as a negative, view it as an opportunity.
In the “Shift in Priorities” section, we discussed how customers prioritize a quick response. Train your team to provide that benefit, but don’t forget to offer your own in return.
Since employees are more relaxed when working from home, and businesses save money when they staff remote employees, you create a win-win situation for your staff and customers.
6. Fostering Trust
Consumers are skeptical about businesses, and this trend isn’t going to improve. Share your policies, remain honest and stay transparent to ensure your consumers trust you.
In order for your consumers to trust you, you need to prove yourself to them. One of the simplest ways to do this is by being transparent. Don’t try to hide negatives. Share your policies upfront, and when a problem occurs, explain how you’ll fix them.
The more human you seem to your customers, the more likely they are to consider you an honest company.
It can be disheartening to see your best sales reps consistently fail to meet their sales numbers, but there’s a possibility that they’re just playing with the wrong rule book.
The pandemic has completely shifted the way businesses conduct sales, so you’ll need to pay attention to our sales pain points to help your team foresee potential market disruptions in the future.