We cannot say it enough – especially during today’s business conditions.
- Do not stop prospecting.
- Do not stop marketing.
- Do not stop regular communications with current customers, past customers, and prospects.
- In other words, let us say it again…DO NOT STOP PROSPECTING!
The job of a salesperson is to help customers solve critical business issues. Your company has solutions to your prospects’ pain points. The global crisis we are currently experiencing does not remove their business needs. In fact, it may make a solution more important than ever. Contrary to what some may believe – B2B purchasing and acquisitions do not stop because challenging times are upon us. Of course, when you communicate with customers and prospects, it is important that you take into consideration the times and challenges we are all facing at this moment. Your message must show empathy and certainly should not be a hard sell.
Some quick stats that make it clear that your efforts toward brand awareness and maintaining/filling your sales pipeline should remain consistent –
- A McGraw-Hill Research study analyzed 600 companies and their marketing spend during an earlier downturn concluded that companies who maintained or increased their budget during the recession saw an average sales growth of 275% over the next 5 years.
- The companies that cut their marketing budget saw a much lower sales growth of just 19% over the next 5 years.
- Companies that “go dark” with brand-building efforts take 5 years on average to recover market share.
Consistent in these stats is the number – 5 years. This is a lengthy period of time for any company to try and recover market share, try to catch up to a competitor, and try to gain a solid customer base.
Stay the course. Set goals for your sales pipeline, especially now! Develop a solid plan and take this time, where many are revamping their original budgets, and communicate with your target audience.
Challenging times can be opportunities:
- If live conferences were a big part of your original plan – You have already budgeted for these events, which have mostly been canceled for the foreseeable future. Take that budget now and redirect it to an outreach campaign. You were counting on leads from these live events. You still need leads! Do not wait – communicate with prospects now.
- With a majority of the global workforce working from home – Your prospects now have more available time to take your call. They no longer have a commute. Idle office chitchat has been eliminated and higher levels of productivity are more attainable. Your target audience still has problems to solve and pain points to eliminate. They need to move their business forward during this challenging time. They may need your solution now more than ever. You have a captive audience today.
- If it is time to renew the contracts of current customers or getting close to a renewal – Reach out to them today. Get confirmation now that they will continue engaging with your company’s services or purchase additional product from you. Unless your current customers have had a bad experience with your company, this customer segment is additional revenue which should take minimal effort and cost. It is an opportunity that is available to you now and a distinct advantage you have over your competitors. Do not miss this opportunity!
- If you have a fair amount of customer attrition annually – Now is the time, especially during a tough economy, to take advantage of this opportunity – a chance to reach out to warm leads. This customer segment already knows your brand. They have already purchased products or services from your company. This is an opportunity to learn why they left your company, let a contract lapse, or moved on to your competitor. In addition to the sales intelligence, this is a chance to secure additional revenue with less effort than it takes to acquire new customers. This is a warm lead you should not let slip away!
- If this pandemic has caused a shift in strategy for your team – You should take the time now to clean and update your database. We are seeing company layoffs, furloughs, and many unexpected changes worldwide. Very quickly, your current contact list may be highly outdated. If you plan to implement an outreach campaign to replace live events and in-person meetings, it is essential that you put the effort in now to clean your list, prior to starting the campaign. The success of your campaign is only as good as the list you use. Make this task a top priority!
- If your business has reached a critical stage regardless of the reason – Take action now by implementing an emergency telemarking campaign. These campaigns can get up and running quickly and this is important when time is of the essence. Companies worldwide are experiencing unprecedented disruptions in business. Prospecting, marketing, and moving forward is more important than ever before. In many cases, it is the difference between survival and failure. This is not the time to hesitate or be slow to make smart, aggressive business decisions. Act now!
Take a challenging business environment and turn it into an opportunity. It may feel natural to pull back your efforts. However, lead generation at this time is especially important. Your competitors may reduce their efforts, making this the perfect time to strike. During the nationwide Shelter-in-Place mandates, sales may have come to an immediate halt, making it even more important to look 3, 6, 9 months down the road and beyond.
Contact Intelemark today to discuss your options. An outreach campaign can be up and running as quickly as 5-7 days.