What is the effect of the current situation on software development projects? Do you need to worry?
BlackBelt’s key clients are in telecom, banking, health and automotive, so all can contribute in a great deal to making basic services, enabling everyday life and work in the current situation, available.
Global companies who build upon R&D activities and also who regard these activities as long-term investments can at the moment still continue their business as usual. However, some of our smaller clients who do not have reserves have already indicated their difficulties. If someone is in survival mode but still thinking of working with us in the long run, we can work out a solution together.
Is the sales area focusing on new offerings specifically because of the pandemic?
We have of course looked at our services and solutions from the perspective of how we could contribute to easing the problems caused by the pandemic. We have experience in the telemedicine field, both in software development and the control and integration of health monitoring devices – so we can now offer our expertise.
How was BlackBelt’s sales team affected by the transition to home office? How can you sell from your home?
Of course, personal meetings with clients are the ‘most visible’ and most important sales activity, however it can easily be transferred to online channels and there are also many other tasks for us. We have established the new communication channels with each client and looked through their annual plans. We must be able to react and provide a competitive offer should clients have to change their business plans. I see stability being valued more: clients regarding their tried and tested suppliers as partners has become stronger and they require more focus from us as well. Of course, communication has now intensified not only between account reps and clients but delivery units and clients as well. Also, because of the changes in our everyday lives, we are paying more attention to one another as human beings, too.
Our international sales campaigns, aiming for acquiring new clients have been fine-tuned. We have successfully applied inbound marketing for a while now, we are familiar with building the MQL (marketing qualified lead) stage, laying the foundation for sales and this can be done entirely via digital channels. The only major difficulty is the substitution of our events abroad with online versions, since gaining someone’s trust is incomparably easier when we can meet in person. That is one reason why we are really looking forward to the present constraints ending.
As head of the sales team, how can you motivate sales colleagues now?
We must not let the current circumstances pull us down! What I see in my team is that instead of either freezing or overreacting we are spending more time on planning; preparations and we pursue our goals with even more determination. A good salesperson must tolerate ups and downs and overcome hurdles.