• November 7, 2021
  • Mark LaCour
  • 0

Oil and Gas sales experts, getting ready for 2022. What the hell this year with vaccine protocols, virtual selling, remote meetings, canceled business trips, no trade shows, and somebody please make up your mind. Are we going to use Teams, Zoom, Google meet, or WebEx? That was our year. Well, 2022 is right around the corner and let’s find out what does an Oil and Gas sales expert need to do to kill it in 2022.

First, let’s talk about what didn’t work this year in 2021. What killed deals. In our research buyers identified several things that were killing deals this year. Number one, salespeople not understanding the problem trying to be solved. That is super critical before you even think about offering a solution, make sure you do your due diligence and understand the problem. It’s hard this year, right? Without us being able to get together in person, without us being able to bring our sales support people into sales meetings, without being able to visit prospects, but still that’s number one deal killer for this year.

Number two, misleading pricing. Come on, people you’re a professional don’t mislead about price and come out the gate with the true price. It makes everybody’s job easier and happier. Then not understanding how the customer buys. That was a little bit different for this year because of the changes that’s went on. In some ways it’s actually easier for the buyers to buy, but the sales person has to understand what that process is internally. And then here’s the final one. This is one I hate, trying to force a sale to close. And that’s the number four deal killer for this year. But a lot of that could be contributed to what we just went through. And most Oil and Gas sales experts are going to have to change the way they sell because of the pandemic and the results of the pandemic. How do you turn this around and use it to your advantage?

Remote Selling is Number 1 for Oil and Gas Sales Experts

Number one, remote selling, sorry, folks. It’s here to stay. It’s too efficient. The number one benefit that we all learned through this year and last year about remote selling is that it’s an actually very efficient use of your time. You’re not jumping on airplanes. You’re not driving through traffic. You’re not booking hotels. It’s also very useful and efficient for your buyers, right? That’s the important thing. Most importantly, it makes things easier for your buyer. The LinkedIn State of Sales Report for 2021 revealed that 50% of buyers believe remote working had made the purchasing process easier. So use that to your advantage. So it’s time to up your remote game. It’s really cool to see all the people in the zoom calls, understanding things about lighting, microphones, audio backgrounds, take it up a notch. Buy some professional lights.

They’re not very expensive. A $30 ring light makes all the difference in the world. Upgrade your camera on your monitor. A hundred dollar investment into a really nice webcam with a ring light makes a huge difference. Microphones. You know, the microphones we use here at OGGN and at modalpoint are $80 microphones, not a lot of money, but gives you perfect audio. Then be real careful with things in your background. In some ways with a lot of the tools, you could have virtual backgrounds, that’s kinda cool, but don’t overuse it. Don’t make it a distraction. And then finally, if you are going to use slides in your remote presentation, be very careful, use it very sparingly. What you want to do is have that personal connection. You want your face to be what people are engaged with, not your slides. If you are going to use slides though, use them very lightly and make sure that they help you tell the story.

So if something is super technical, a slides is an easy way, people will get a visual representation. But what you don’t want is 13 lines of text on the slide that you’re going to read. Don’t do that. Then because you’re not there and you’re not able to read body language. You need to make sure you pause more often than normal and ask for questions, ask for feedback. It’s super important when you’re doing virtually and then finally practice, practice, practice, practice. , Practice, moving your slides, practice your transitions, practice what happens when something unexpected happens, like your dog walks in, or somebody starts cutting the grass next door. That’s going to really up your remote selling game. Then for sales leaders, here’s an interesting tidbit in HubSpot’s 2021 sales enabled report. It seems that remote work paid off for sales leaders a lot. So for the sales leaders that actually supported their sales team in remote work or remote selling about 64% of those people this year hit their revenue targets.

Sales Leaders Remote Selling Drives Quota Attainment

Now the people that did not support remote selling that just did what they had to do, and didn’t actually encourage their team to learn, to do remote selling. That’s less than 40% of them hitting their number. So that’s a big difference. So if your sales leader support your team in remote selling. So next thing social, you’ve see me talk about this for years, how socials is up-and-coming, social’s important, social’s a way to get your message out there. Throw all that out the freaking window. The thing about social right now heading into 2022 is social is a tool for you to use to build trust, not sell anything. So as the world shifts to virtual, the challenge is building trust with your prospects. It’s an easier thing to do in Oil and Gas in person, thats how we’ve always done it, doing it remotely is hard. And now that everybody’s all over social media, because they can’t meet with their Oil and Gas Sales Experts on remote callclients.

There’s a lot of noise out there. Our own research shows that Oil and Gas sales experts can build trust by fully understand their buyer’s needs and the buyer’s role in the purchasing process. Ask them, ask them what role do they make in the purchasing process? Are they just out there gathering information? Do they have some influence into the decision? Are they the ones that actually make the final decision? Are they the ones who have to implement whatever the solution is? And then the bigger part of using social to gain trust is to educate, not sell. Let me say that again. Use social to educate, not sell. If you think about this exact post right now, this is exactly what I’m doing. I am educating you to build trust. What I’m doing is giving away value for free. In this case, what do salespeople need to do in Oil and gas to be prepared for next year.

And I’m giving you that value for free, for a reason. I’m trying to help you. I’m genuinely trying to help you and showcase how you’re trying to help your buyer solve problems, not closed deals. If you can educate using social to your buyers and help them with problems that they have, that goes a long way toward building trust. And anything else, quite honestly, it’s just noise. Are you listening to me financial planners who reach out to me literally every day on LinkedIn? You’re trying to connect with me, and if I connect with you 90% of the time, I know what’s gonna happen after I connect. You could try to pitch me something. You’re not educating. You’re just trying to connect me to sell something. So if you’re a financial planner, anybody else here, that’s out there using social, stop it. It doesn’t work, reaching out and trying to pitch me or anybody else something right after we connect does not work.

Oil and Gas Sales Experts Know That Value Builds Trust

If you would offer some value, you’d build that trust. And maybe just, maybe I’d be open to having a conversation with you. Which by the way, financial planners don’t use this video to try get in front of me. So the big thing is if it doesn’t work for financial planners, if it doesn’t work for other people out there, it won’t work for Oil and Gas sales experts. So bottom line is use social to build trust. Then you have to understand what’s going on in your customer’s world. And you have to understand your customer. We’ve all been through hell for these last two years, things have changed dramatically. What has changed in your customer’s world? Is it supply chain? Is it staff? Is it resources? Is it market pressure? You know, look, what’s going on with Exxonmobil right now, ExxonMobil is having to deal with an enormous attrition problem.

They’ve never had to deal for that. That’s new for them. So if you’re trying to sell Exxonmobil, how can you help them solve the problems that attrition creates? Doesn’t mean you have to solve attrition. That’s a different question. You know, if they’re losing people, is there a technology solution to help replace those people? Is there outsourcing, is there third parties that you can bring in the door to help fill those gaps? There’s a really quick and easy way to help solve a problem you know that ExxonMobil is having right now. So this is where real Oil and Gas sales experts shine, understanding your customers and what’s going on in their world. Then in person it’s coming back. It’s awesome. But use it where it makes sense. So if you have a very complex sales solution, that has lots of players and lots of moving parts, that’s a reason for in-person meeting.

Same thing with things like executive round tables. If you want to get a whole bunch of people that are senior in the oil and gas industry that have the problem that you solve in one place, so you can help educate them. That is much better done in person than done virtually and quite frankly, trying to do virtual learning events in oil and gas right now is really hard. People are zoom fatigued. So the in-person thing has a little bit of a novelty to it. And people appreciate you going to the efforts to bring those senior people safely in person so you can help educate them. Conferences are coming back, use them sparingly. Don’t just show up and walk around the conference floor. Think ahead of time, have a game plan, invite your high value prospects to the conference and invite them to a specific session where you go meet them.

Conferences are Back, but Use Sparingly

And it’s a session that helps educate them with something they’re interested in. At the same time, take your existing customers, bring them to the conference, pick up the tab, make sure they have a good time learning what’s going on in the conference. Bring them to the happy hour after. The funny thing is for the first time, in my 25 years in the entire history of oil and gas, I have had a senior person at Chevron tell me just recently that he misses vendors calling on him. That’s how bad this in-person thing has gotten, where people at Chevron and other oil and gas companies miss that interaction with their vendors. So use it for 2022, it’s gonna be something that is still novel, getting back together in person. It’s something both sides look forward to. So don’t overuse it just when you’ve used the in-person part, please, please, please be very respectful of mask mandates and policies around vaccination, your client that you’re called on can’t control what their senior people want to implement as far as vaccines and masks.

Just go along with them. That makes sense, regardless of what you think, make it easy on your buyer, on your customer. Don’t worry about you.

Sales Tech is the 💣

Then finally spend some money on sales technology. Sales technology has come so far since basic CRM, right? So Salesforce. So think about from a sales point of view, there’s actually tools out there for sales and market intelligence Discovery.org, Fullcontact, ZoomInfo, which is the one we use allows us to get insight and contact information easy for people we want to call on. And then what about sales engagement, companies like Milkshake, Outreach, Salesloft, they’ll help you engage with prospects in a way that you can do it at scale without putting a lot of effort into it. And you can see the results and the buyers on the other side appreciate it. So you can engage them using tools, which means, instead of being able to engage with three or four prospects in a week by yourself, you can now engage with 3 or 400 using technology, using tools. And then for prospecting, think of things like Apollo, Leadfeeder, HubSpot.

Why should you do all the work on prospects? When you can buy some technology that will do it for you. And then for all your people out in west Texas that want to bring donuts and beef jerky to your, your clients, your buyers, you know you can do that with technology? Check out a company called Sendoso. We’ll have the links to all of this, by the way in the blog post, but they literally allow you to go online and ship gifts, presents, food to your buyers, to your customers, to your prospects, but they lay in a layer of technology. So you know exactly when they get the beef jerky. You know, if they like the beef jerky you know, if they want to reach back out to you to have a conversation around the beef jerky, you could actually look at entire company and see if the east part of the country likes a different type of beef jerky than the rest. And I’ve saying beef jerky because it’s kind of oil and gas thing, but they have a huge arrangement of physical products things that you can eat and other things that you can ship out to your clients or prospects using technology. So if you’re an Oil and Gas sales experts, I hope this helped. We will see you next time.