Editor’s note: Hey, hey! Our team at Blackwood has launched a podcast called The Big Brand Theory! To round out 2020, our host, Ryan Zerfas, spoke with Blackwood’s CEO, Kyle Johnson, about what lies ahead for sales in 2021. A lot has changed over the last 365 days, and it’s going to have a big impact on all of our strategies going forward. If you’d prefer to listen to the episode, you can do so at this link. Enjoy!!

There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that 2020 changed the lives of a lot of people in a lot of different industries. Marketing and sales are no exclusion! Because of the dramatic shift in our collective way of life, the digital landscape has changed and evolved extremely quickly over the last 12 months. Going into 2021, it’s important to keep in mind what changes we saw most prevalently over the past year, as well as the methods we’ve found beneficial to keep us going and maintain business. However, it’s also important to keep in mind the most important lesson we learned in 2020: anything can change at any moment! 

As we go into the new year, we are focused more than ever on adding value to digital spaces through our work. We encourage all businesses to do the same, especially as we all finalize our sales strategy for 2021. 

The centerfold of your sales strategy is – and should be – the demand you seek to fill. 

At its core, every business was created to solve a problem in its community. For example, Kyle Johnson, CEO of Blackwood Creative and Zipp Printing, started his career in marketing almost completely by accident. When he saw the need for one of his family members to have a website, he stepped in. Before he knew it, he was creating websites for his friends, and this would kickstart his career from then forward!

2021 Sales Strategy - The Big Brand Theory

When you’re building out your sales strategy, keep the demand (or problem you solve) at the center of your plans. It’s incredibly important to keep the focus on what really matters – your business’s “why.” Why is it you do what you do? What makes your business the right one for the job? How can you add value to your industry? These questions are just the beginning; keeping your goal at the center of your sales strategy helps ensure that you stay on track to achieve it.

2020 has forced us to stop being afraid of change, so lean into that!

What worked before may work now…but it may not. 2020 has been a year chock-full of surprises and plot twists, and if you haven’t already learned to go with the flow a little, it’s probably time to do so. As Kyle Johnson says, “it’s not to discount the idea of tradition, it’s to discount the idea that what you’ve done to get you to this point isn’t necessarily going to get you to where you want to go.” 

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (thanks, Einstein), then most marketers are insane! In all seriousness, though, it’s extremely easy to get stuck in one way of doing things. When you have a sales strategy that you’ve been using for years, it’s natural to get attached to the routine and keep going through the motions. However, routine is one of the most dangerous things to fall into in the marketing and sales world! 

Because technology is constantly changing and evolving, the marketing and sales industries are having to change along with them. Getting comfortable in one strategy can prevent you from being able to move as fluidly with the industry as others; as a result, you could fall behind. It’s important to constantly be in touch with the industry as a whole whether or not you’re following every trend. In fact, no account truly needs to follow every social media trend; it’s best not to bite off more than you can chew at one time! Instead, only hop onto the trends that make the most sense with your brand. No need to try and squeeze yourself into a box that wasn’t made for you – change with the times, and create content that stands out!

“This is the way we’ve always done it” is the most toxic statement in business.

– Kyle Johnson, “The Shifting Sales Environment,” 2020

2021 Sales Strategy - The Big Brand Theory

Becoming a trusted voice in your industry is a great way to enhance your sales strategy and gain more credibility with potential clients. 

We’ve mentioned the concept of being a “thought leader” on a few different occasions, and it keeps coming up because it’s just that important. Thought leaders bring value to their industries in ways that other people cannot. Through their lived experiences and impeccable track records, thought leaders serve to inspire and lead their respective industries by providing valuable, high-quality information that can help others in the same industry regardless of where they are in their journey.

By becoming a thought leader in your industry, you not only add credibility to your brand, but you enhance your sales strategy by being more prone to selling passively. What does that even mean, though? Essentially, if your post were to come up on a person’s LinkedIn feed and they buy a product or service from your company based on the quality of information you provided them, you’ve just gained another customer simply from providing information people want to hear. It really is that simple, but it can take some time to reach that point. 

Make sure you’re always putting your best foot forward – in your sales strategy and beyond. 

Regardless of how long it takes, it is definitely a worthy aspiration to want to become a thought leader in your industry. As a business or an individual, credibility is an integral aspect of your sales strategy. Going into 2020, people are going to be examining how you treated people throughout this challenging year.

If your current marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it anymore, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative would be more than happy to work with you and help you meet and exceed your business goals. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – yours could be next. Reach out to us today!

Interested in listening to this episode and more of The Big Brand Theory Podcast? Visit this web page for streaming options!

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