Although it might be tempting to focus on only staying afloat at the moment, and putting out the fires as and when they flare,it’s important to plan a firm business strategy and be prepared for the next spark to ignite.
The question is, where to start?
Here is a nine-step guide that will help you to get started.
1. Adapt Your Services to the Current Situation
Work from home has become mandatory for employees in many parts of the world. While the decision is taken for the safety of the people, businesses (especially SME) are feeling the insecurity of sustaining in the market.
This type of situation needs you to put on your thinking cap to identify ways to deal with it.
It is important to be creative and discuss with your team for different ideas to keep up the sales going.
For instance, if you have an IT product or service which can be useful for the businesses to run their operations smoothly in the crisis, cut down the cost of the product or offer a free subscription for a month.
This way, your prospects can get a feel of your product or service, and if they find it useful for their business operations, they will be happy to initiate a long-term business relationship.
In continuation with the above example, marketing your product or service without thinking of the current situation might backfire.
Brainstorm on your product or service could be of additional use or relevance amid the coronavirus crisis, and modify your marketing strategy to be successful.
Flexible marketing is the need of the hour. If you can think of introducing an altered service for the duration of the outbreak, it should keep the things going and build trust amongst the prospects.
Make sure your target audience knows you’re open and still operating.
However, promoting your IT product or service without modifying your existing strategy will give the impression that your primary interest is your business, and helping concern is secondary.
3. Ensure Your Services or Process Will Still Be Relevant at Later Phases
It is crucial not only to consider how to survive during the outbreak as a company but also to have a plan in place for what will happen afterward. Don’t assume that things will be back on track immediately as they were before once the crisis has passed.
If you have a digital setup or automated process for the convenience of your customers and prospects while working from home, they will get used to it. Switching to remote solutions will change buying behavior. You should not consider that once this phase is over, they will go back to the solutions they’d used before the outbreak.
Let’s say if you have set a process like virtual demos to offer convenience to your prospects and clients, they will likely choose convenience and automated solutions in the future. Now, at a time of prolonged home-confinement for many, customers will go over to automated, remote services.
Once the outbreak has been contained, fintech companies offering automated solutions might find themselves more successful. This is why it’s important to be adapt your services or process so that they are not only useful during the outbreak, but remain the best choice once everything has calmed down.
4. Identify the Challenges for Your Business
A good starting point for strategizing effectively and executing all of the above points is a list of challenges that your company may face. Strategizing for various situations is important, and taking into account any possibility.
Consider everything from sales prospecting to communication challenges, attracting the audience and competing with other companies in your business.
5. Plan Solutions With Several Scenarios in Mind
When you have a list of challenges, it’s time to come up with some ideas for each.
Regardless of how this outbreak can affect your business, be prepared for any possible scenario, even the worst you can imagine.
It is difficult to predict correctly what exactly will happen, but it is easier to put the effort into the planning and strategizing now than being caught confused and unprepared later.
6. Find Leads and Customers Ahead of Time
While many businesses will concentrate on the present situation, trying to sustain normal operational activities, this may be the chance for you to create a new network of prospective customers.
Investing time and efforts into generating new leads at present will ensure that you have a strong sales pipeline to rely on once things have calmed down.
With a #WinningTogether approach, SalesIntel is supporting the businesses with B2B lead generation with its B2B data during this hard time. We are happy that what we thought is helping other businesses when they need the most.
This approach will send a message to your prospects that when your competition is going through a crisis, you are on top of things.
7. Use Alternative Solutions to Maintain Daily Operation
COVID-19 has already affected many businesses in terms of disrupting travel arrangements, communication, staffing, and event cancellation.
Instead of canceling business plans, events and trips, brainstorm innovative ideas and alternatives.
For instance, you can attend your business meetings using a video conference. You can use tools like G-Suite (docs, sheets, meet, etc.), Slack, or Skype for communication.
SalesIntel has taken an initiative for the businesses that had to cancel the events due to this pandemic emergency. (Read more)
8. Implement Tech Upgrades to Keep Communication Flowing
With the potential challenge of employees working from home, it is necessary to prepare ahead on how to ensure communication remains as effective as possible. Phone calls, emails, and chats won’t be fast enough, particularly with all the distractions at home.
Look for the tools that will keep the team connected and will ensure a quick response to the discussions. This is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page even if they are working remotely.
9. Don’t Stop Prospecting
Now that prospects operate remotely, calling into switchboards often leaves the rep with the option to leave a voicemail and hope for a callback.
Bear in mind that this situation has grown incredibly rapidly in the last few weeks and there was little time for many organizations to set up some form of call forwarding.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop prospecting.
There are other ways to continue prospecting.
For instance, not only are our sales reps able to connect with the prospects on their mobile numbers at home, but our clients are also happy to connect with their prospects during this outbreak by reaching out to them.
There’s no way to predict how the scenario will unfold. Things could return to normal within a couple of weeks or we could face a global recession a year down the road.
It is essential for businesses not to give up, to have a firm meeting and sales strategy in place and to remain adaptable and versatile to continue to be competitive.