Businesses in every industry have been severely impacted by the crises caused by COVID-19. This unexpected and unforeseen shock to the system has led to changes in business and operational models and has significantly affected how companies are Marketing and Selling their goods and services.
It is no secret that COVID-19 has upended the lives of consumers and how products and services will be purchased for the foreseeable future. This dynamic effects how marketers will make us aware and how sellers will sell products and services. No one is immune to the changes taking place. This represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reset the world of marketing and sales for years to come as recovery and growth is accelerated into a new normal.
Companies are struggling to understand the impact this shock has on the future of their business. Marketers are faced with a new paradigm in messaging and customer behavior. Several questions now need to be answered such as:
Ø What is the message to customers and stakeholders?
Ø Where is the best place to spend marketing dollars?
Ø What medium is most effective i.e. social, eMail?
Ø How should marketing teams collaborate across the business enterprise?
Ø How are we going to stay in business?
Ø How will we support our families and the general community?
So much uncertainty still exists and will continue as we are in the middle of so much change that will affect and influence consumers for years to come. Business owners need to be agile, fast, and strategic to manage the economic downturn and presumed recovery created by this pandemic.
Marketing must go beyond digital campaigns or innovative apps, or original works spread over a variety of channels. Modern marketing must harness the full capabilities of the business and provide the best experience for the customer and thus drive growth. Those successful in changing their marketing methods will see growth at a reduced cost.
Covid-19 has had far reaching effects on the lives of individuals, families, communities, and business. The business community has been affected in different ways and it is struggling on how to respond their current and future customers. The full impact of the pandemic is unknown, and businesses must decide how to deploy their marketing budgets and prepare for recovery.
Preparing for recovery is key, as Covid-19 is a once in a generation challenge that will determine who is standing when the pandemic finally subsides. Companies are repositioning themselves by shifting to modern technologies, digital channel marketing, new products and services and opening new battlegrounds for existing and new customers. Those companies who react quickly and capture revenue will reap significant rewards.
To recover, capture and sustain revenue, companies require discipline and three steps:
First, identify and prioritize what is important and the impact on the bottom line. Plan recovery with a clear understanding of future demand. It is vital to understand what to do and when. Once understood, then rigorously assess the impact on the bottom line and your ability to execute quickly. This requires a clear view of the market, thoughtful estimation of demand across channels, a deep understanding of the customer and economic alternatives. Then now or never moves or actions are necessary.
Second, urgency is required to reallocate resources such as adjusting sales coverage, tailoring product development to specific customers or shifting marketing spend to high performance channels. This leads to incredible growth in shorter periods that could not have been accomplished before.
Third, implement an agile growth plan and operating model built around the customer and supported by processes and governance. Teams within your company, specifically marketing, must be highly focused and have clearly communicated activities coupled with key performance indicators (KPIs) to meet. Rather than waiting for approval and input, teams must have the ability to make their own decisions. With the increased use of videoconferencing the ability to efficiently collaborate, solve problems and make decisions is part of the corporate culture.
Sales departments are also shifting to a new normal. Small to mid-sized companies should draw upon the success of their larger counterparts. The following can trigger greater sales productivity and performance of your sales team:
Centralized hubs have been found to successfully accumulate information on a broad spectrum of topics and become a central source of information to manage the sales process. These hubs provide the ability to scale insights to reps, track and manage performance, provide feedback to reps for what is working in the field and enable day to day efficiencies.
Companies become more agile and aligned when implementing centralized hubs. Sales teams use information to be better aligned to the right opportunities. Aligning the team with the necessary skills to better serve customers and provide insights can help close opportunities. Simple opportunities can be handled by an inside sales team and outside sales reps cover the more complex situations. Studies have shown that using an inside sales team effectively and follow-up from data rich field reps speeds up the close process, increases customer satisfaction and lowers cost.
Redesigned sales processes and more intelligent systems are created by initiating a centralized information hub and aligned of sales teams. Studies have shown that only 60% of sales reps meet their quota, because half their time is spent researching prospects, filtering the good leads from the bad, constant follow-ups and much more. Automation of the sales process starts with lead-generation through chatbots and text or email using artificial intelligence to understand the potential customer and assess conversion possibilities. Adding another level of sophistication would be using artificial intelligence in the proposal process. Early adopters of this automation lead to an increase in customer satisfaction and meaningful sales.
Sales training becomes more critical, as sales departments shift with the additional capability. Currently, sales training has not evolved in response to increased capabilities. To capture the results of these additional capabilities, organizations must update not just what they teach their sales reps, but how by designing tailored learning. Younger sales reps that are trained earlier with fresh methodologies can improve their performance and sharpen skills to make them feel more productive and successful. This also improves long term job performance and retention.
This is the fourth in a sequence of articles that provide you with actionable information that you can implement to create a sustainable business enterprise that has a culture of value acceleration. Stay tuned!
Birkdale Transition Partners LLC is the objective source for those seeking business sustainability, growth, or considering a business transition. Our goal is to ensure business sustainability and to maximize the value of an enterprise before any transition or transaction. Business owners without a transition plan often are unable to sell or transfer their company at its highest value. We help them to balance a company’s transition with the owner’s personal goals. Then we work with them to avoid problems caused by the lack of planning or not to recognize what needs to be added, corrected, or modified before.
Birkdale is unique because it only offers an unbiased assessment and solutions for the company owner. We do not sell any other products or services, so are a fee-only firm. We work in partnership with the company’s current professional advisors and staff. Because we help companies increase their monetary value, owners view our assistance as an investment—with payback and payout occurring during and after an engagement.
By Barry Goodman, CPA CEPA CMAA CVGA
Managing Director, Birkdale Transition Partners, LLC
Copyright: Cannot be Reused without Author’s Permission.
For a no-obligation, confidential discussion of your situation, please contact Barry Goodman at 312-626-1820 or email@example.com
Click to download this article as a PDF: