We have all been talking a great deal about the many challenges businesses around the world have faced since the advent of COVID-19. What we have seen and how we have had to pivot our business practices, processes, and operations has been unprecedented. Monthly, quarterly, and annual plans have been scrapped, replaced by emergency, stop-gap, and more immediate tactics. These tactical plans have been created very quickly with the intentions of retaining current business and gaining immediate sales.
We are now 4 months into our lives of living with a pandemic. Business must go on! It is vital for our economy, our mental health and the wellbeing of our families.
What can be done to restart and rebuild your sales pipeline if your customers and prospects put a halt to their purchases and operations? And if you had a standstill in sales but were working to keep communications open for the future, you need to get started with some consistent, concentrated prospecting and sales efforts.
Areas you must concentrate on right now include:
- Focus on quick wins and low-hanging fruit – If you had sales that were near completion before the pandemic changed our world, now is the time to revisit those prospects. Follow-up and regular communication are so important at this time. You have likely re-engaged with these prospects already, but if you have not, now may be perfect timing. Chances are, they are re-assessing and readjusting their own current needs. Quick wins will motivate your entire team.
- Review existing customers and assess additional or future needs they may have – Customer retention and customer reactivation are key activities when jumpstarting your prospecting efforts. This segment of your pipeline is more than a warm lead – you already have a relationship with them! Unless your previous relationship was a negative experience, minimal effort is required to regain them or keep them as an active customer. This is a fantastic use of your resources.
- Plan for future pipeline – You want some quick wins. Absolutely. They bring much-needed revenue immediately. But in this process of getting business back to the levels you were accustomed to before COVID-19, you cannot abandon best practices of prospecting for future months or quarters as well. The key is to develop a sales pipeline with the proper decision-makers and then to nurture them, build a relationship and guide them. When they are ready to engage your company, you will be ready to make the sale.
- Follow-up with stalled buyers – We are all thinking much more clearly now, and companies have a clearer view of the future for their business. Now is the time to re-engage and follow-up with prospects who put you on hold as a result of the pandemic. Their needs may have changed, or they now may be ready to complete the transaction. Today is a perfect time to re-open communications with them and turn them into customers.
- Focus on existing pipeline prior to COVID-19 – Much like customer retention and customer reactivation, you have a relationship already with prospects in your existing pipeline. Re-engage with them and re-open communication. Learn if they have new or additional needs. Their needs may have shifted after the onset of the pandemic. Additionally, their needs could be more immediate that before. Revitalize your pipeline by taking this opportunity to reconnect with previous existing prospects.
- Clean your database for successful reach out campaigns – It is a bit cliché, but your sales success is only as good as your prospect list. With re-organized companies and sales teams, time is of the essence now more than ever. You do not want your team wasting time on bad and outdated data. With the large number of furloughs and layoffs during these past few months it is very likely that your current database needs attention. Clean data is good data and the best chance for prospecting success.
- Review existing processes and campaigns and make improvements – With any calling or outreach campaign, it is smart to review your processes – what is working and what is not working? What messages are resonating with prospects? What adjustments need to be made? Your team will be wasting its time if you keep repeating tactics that are not currently working well. Agility and flexibility is the key to success here.
Is Outsourcing an Option You Should Consider?
We’ve said it before. We all have been living in unprecedented times with changes we have never seen or imagined. It’s been challenging at best. If your company has undergone major shifts in employee status or you simply need additional resources to help your sales team accomplish the time-consuming tasks so that your internal team can focus on closing sales, outsourcing should be a serious consideration. And when done properly, a successful outside resource is an extension of your sales team, seamless and invisible to your customers and prospects.
If you need assistance in restarting your sales pipeline, contact Intelemark today. Essential services to consider that will help you restart, build, and grow your pipeline include:
- B2B Appointment Setting
- B2B Sales Lead Qualification
- B2B Sales Lead Generation
- Customer Reactivation Services
- Customer Retention Services
- Lead Nurturing
- Database Cleanup
- Emergency Telemarketing
- Sales Enablement Consulting Services