Business development in times of COVID-19

Jupiter takes 11.8618 Earth years or 4,332.59 Earth days to complete a single orbit of the Sun. That is about how 2020 on Earth feels like. Hours and days looping into one big blur, tugging at the line balancing work and life. In this new reality, what motivates you to get up every morning, shower on time, put on your handsomest pyjamas and get ready to slay the day?

For me, it is the joy of working for the company I work for. I also take pride in the fact that as business development professionals, my team is directly responsible for the revenue growth of our company and doing our bit to keep the wheels turning. When you work for a great firm, no matter how big or small, it gives a sense of personal achievement.

Life in 2020 has not been slow (phew!). It has in fact been a year full of paradoxes, as Sales morphs into a new hybrid, in other words, ‘Sales Re-evolution’

  • Stage 1: In Teams we Trust

A typical day in Sales would start with reaching office, only to run for a client meeting by driving down the same road you came from. Was it in the best interest of time, or necessary being extra visible or vocal in office to validate a workday? CRM tools exist for a reason! Now left without a choice, the world has quashed the lazy conventional interpretation of WFH. Working remotely can be seamless and, in some cases, more productive if you trust your team to work with a sense of responsibility and ownership.

  • Stage 2: No ‘Honk ok’ please

Realisation 101 – We will not be able to meet clients! What? Can sales even work that way? But it did. Sales professionals for the first time (since man started selling), are not navigating traffic jams and treasure hunting parking spaces. Instead we now make ourselves a hot cup of coffee and enter our meeting with this strange sense of comfort. We can feel the same comfort at the client’s end. Conversations are now more relaxed and the best we have ever had.

  • Stage 3: Lets Zoom!

I remember the days when convincing someone for a virtual meeting felt much like those work-out resistance bands shaping many a glute at home these days. With Zoom! Or an MS Teams becoming a norm, the virtual meeting taboo is long gone making the process much leaner. Especially, in the case of outstation clients. No salesperson is missing creating an itinerary or saving those receipts. A link that is just a click away to help us meet is pure joy.

  • Stage 4: Knock knock. “Thoughts, come in!

Ah, the calmness of our living room. Nobody towering over us to share niggling moments. Adios! fake enthusiasm and idle chit chat. Aren’t some of us secretly loving it? This has allowed us more time and peace to work towards securing opportunities.

  • Stage 5: Clients are human too

Yes, I said it. As the world took a turn, people embraced empathy, let their guard down, and a new order set in. A realisation that it is okay to seek help, support someone and that everyone is just trying to do their job. With the mask we all must wear while stepping out, our clients no longer feel the need to mask their kindness or who they really are. They are expressing more. Our chats have got more real, business at the forefront but also asking each other about things being ok. We may be meeting less but sure are communicating more!

While we all are missing our usual life and the old normal, the world in many ways has become closer and better connected. As owners of the revenue growth function, Sales and Business development professionals are adept at pivoting to new realities, and this year will be no exception.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Kanika Dayal
Kanika Dayal is the Director of Business Development at Impact Research and Measurement Pvt. Ltd [IRMPL], where she leads new business acquisitions.

Since her early days in college, Kanika has been passionate about Communications and has worked as an English presenter with All India Radio (AIR). She has done her Bachelor’s in Commerce
from Delhi University and holds an MBA in International Business.

5 Comments on "Business development in times of COVID-19"

  1. A wonderful view of the way work in sales has changed…in some ways for the better. Definitely a positive addition to any sales team. Nice article ms. kanika.

  2. Thank you Preety 🙂

  3. Very impressed with your overview on this topic! Thanks for your advice!

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic, I completely agree.

  5. Love this post! Thanks so much for sharing it 🙂

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