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What is the Great Reshuffle? How is it making selling hard? And how can you mitigate the risk associated with it?

7 minutes read

With the second anniversary of the pandemic around the corner, it’s tempting to think,

  • That we’ve gotten comfortable in the “new normal”
  • And that the worst of the disruptions to the ways we live and work are over

But this is far from the truth. Because data shows that we’re in a moment of another unprecedented change that will introduce a new type of complexity especially for the B2B sales industry. This change is termed as “The Great Reshuffle.”

The reason behind this phenomenal shift is workers changing jobs at a breakneck pace because of

  • The recovering economy
  • The growing availability of remote jobs
  • And the new attitude of workers towards work in general

And nobody is an exception here. Sellers and buyers are leaving their current jobs and seeking new roles at an unprecedented rate in this great reshuffle.

Insights from the LinkedIn Economic Graph shows that

  • B2B buyer job transitions increased 31% over the last three months (July to September 2021) compared to the same timeframe a year ago

  • Buyers shifting jobs is a challenge for sellers. 80% of the sales reps reported that buyer role changes have derailed or delayed deals in the past year

  • The number of sellers posting a job change on LinkedIn between July and September rose by 39%, compared to the same period a year ago.

This level of attrition is making selling complicated and challenging. No wonder why a recent survey found 80% of salespeople have delayed or lost a deal because of a job change within an account. It’s difficult to sell into a moving target.

So, let’s recap,

  • Prospects and customers coming-and-going
  • Colleagues coming and going
  • And all of this happening at a time when we are not even sure when the risk and threat from the pandemic would be completely over

If you are feeling like selling is hard right now, the data shows you are far from alone.

How Salespeople and sales leaders can best approach the Great Reshuffle?

The Great Reshuffle affects all aspects of selling.

  • Buyer turnover means,

    • Loss of key relationships in the target account
    • Repeating the process of pitching your product and its benefits to the new person in place all over again
    • Uncertainty in doing business them
  • Sales rep turnover also

    • Affects key relationships
    • Can lead to poor management of accounts
    • And the loss of institutional knowledge

All this put together, the impact can be disastrous – longer sales cycles, higher churn, and lower win rates. I’m sure many of you reading this are feeling these challenges already. So what’s the solution?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. But, there are a few tactics that are becoming increasingly important and popular right now. Below we have listed down those techniques for you:

1. Data Accuracy has to be a Focus

Even before this Great Reshuffle, 41% of sales pros said that inaccurate CRM data was one of their top challenges. Now, with the increased rate of job changes, CRMs have quickly become a mess.

Bad data in CRM does not just affect the CRM platform. Much of the sales technology stack, from sales intelligence to sales engagement to marketing automation tools, draw data from the CRM and operate based on that. So, if the CRM data is off, the performance of those platforms will be off too.

The risk of having poor data and insights goes beyond affecting your sales reps’ productivity and your sales reps not being able to reach the right person at the right time. It also affects the credibility of your sellers and your brand which is arguably the most valuable asset to succeed in sales. For example, inaccurate data can cause your sales reps to send an email to a buyer that incorrectly references the company they work for. And this can potentially derail your credibility.

So the bottom line is out-of-date buyer data can deeply affect your whole sales workflow. Get ahead of it by making data accuracy a focus. Investing in tools that keep your systems updated in real-time.

2. Make wider connections within an account and focus your messaging on standing out

Relationship-building is not a novel concept for sales organizations. But it has become even more important in the period between the pandemic and The Great Reshuffle. More than ever before, trusted relationships must be at the core of selling today. Now is the time for sales professionals to go wide within key accounts and establish multiple points of contact. This is what we call “Multi-threading”. We have discussed multithreading in great detail in a separate blog.

Not only must sellers expand their circle of influence by networking and building relationships across an organization, but they also need to stand out from the rest of the outreach that bombards their buyers every day. Email outreach by sales reps have significantly increased after COVID, yet response rates are down to some of the lowest in history.

Sellers need to stop with the spray and pray generic outreach and spend the extra few minutes to craft and send personalized emails/ messages to their customers. And be quick and prompt in replying to the customer’s questions/ requests.

By doing this, your sellers can ensure that they establish themselves as a trusted partner of an account. And they would have the possibility of doing business with them even if a few key players quit the company.

3. Make your champion your gateway into a new account

The most effective sales professionals are those who align with the key stakeholders in the buying committee, build a good rapport with them, and befriend them. They know how to make the buyers feel good about working with them so that they would remember this when they move into their next role or take a job at another company.

Unfortunately, many sales organizations aren’t structured to incentivize this buyer-centric approach to sales. Instead, they’re designed to drive short-term revenue results by rewarding reps to close deals as quickly as possible and move on to the next.

But when you incentivize your team to invest in buyer’s success, it is going to help you to stay afloat during this great reshuffle. Because even if a person with whom your sales rep was talking leaves the organization, there is a possibility that this person who moved into another company may recommend your product or service there as he already has a good connection with your sales representative.

4. A new leader may mean new possibilities

There is a positive to all of this change. If your sales rep’s champion at one company goes to another – boom! – they might get an immediate way in.

Generally speaking, when a new leader takes over a team, they look to change things a bit. This often includes investing in new tools and services. So if your sales rep had trouble getting into an organization, but they see a new leader come in, then this could be their chance. Encourage them to reach out to that person and congratulate them on their new job. Start to get to know the new leader and understand their challenges in order to determine how your product/ service might add value to them.

The key here is to align your solution to customers’ strategic initiatives and demonstrate value. If your sales rep can do this well, then the new executive sponsor will definitely support acquiring your solution for his new initiatives.

Check out these sales statistics in the below blog which demonstrate that the sales turnover is exploring

15 Statistics that prove that Sales Turnover is Exploding. And Some Useful Tips for you to Reduce this Turnover at your Organization

Learn about the measures you can take as a sales leader to turn “The Great resignation” into “The Great Opportunity”

Read: 7 measures that sales leaders should take to turn “The Great Resignation” into “The Great Opportunity”

Learn how sales reps can use multithreading as a secret weapon to counter “The Great Reshuffle”

Read: What is Sales Multithreading and how does it help you to counter the “Great Reshuffle”?

Published on Mon Jan 10 2022

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