Most companies have done the maths, they have a “fact base”. They have re-evaluated the pipeline, they have worked out which staff to lay off, which staff to keep full-time and which staff to furlough. They also have an understanding on discretionary spend. For example, there may have been a need to buy laptops to enable people to work from home, roll out Teams / Zoom etc. Spending in some areas, cost control and management in other areas and Finance should now have a cash flow position, understand the weekly burn.
Sales should now know what the pipeline will look like for the next 6 months. This too will have a cash flow impact.
The objective for the management team is to minimise the loss of business and minimise the disruption.
What Do I need to Re-imagine our Go-To-Market
Sales and Marketing need to revise their segmentation, obviously it depends if your Financial Year (FY) is calendar or part year. If it’s calendar, then you are a quarter in, or you maybe planning for next year.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
There is no Shame in a Pivot
This is not about sitting still and saying that Covid19 has beat you, you need to look at your business and if that means a pivot, then there is no shame in that.
You do need to look at which market segments you are selling into, certain verticals such as Travel will need you to maybe re-look at what you do. Education has shifted on-line and some Universities are already looking delivering the FY21 year 100% on-line. What you need to do is understand the business issues and work out how to deliver a business benefit, maybe slightly differently to what you did before. It might be that you need to break up your current value proposition into discrete parts that you can sell separately.
The World has Gone Digital - So Should You
A friend of mine was going to a Board post in February and the Board told her that they had to have a face-to-face meeting. She pushed back and said, could they not do this over a webinar? No they said, it had to be face-to-face. As this slipped into March, guess what? Because of Covid19 this went from being a face-to-face meeting to being a webinar.
The whole world has gone on-line; art galleries, universities, rock concerts and even your business. You have to invest in this digital shift as the longer these shut downs go on, the more likely that people will get used to it and it will become business as normal. A Gartner report, from 30th March, that surveyed 317 CFOs said that 74% of CFOs said that they saw moving staff too remote was a permeant move. At the time of writing, I wonder if this is now 100%.
Social selling is more efficient anyway so giving your teams this skill will make them more productive.
Social selling will be the “new normal” when we get out of this and you need to start moving your teams over to this now.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now”.
What Are Your Business Levers?
In any business there are levers that you can pull, one of those is to hire more people. Probably something you are not wanting to do right now. The other is to make your people more productive.
For example, using social selling in your business is an example of this. In the current climate where you need to lead with empathy, cold calling isn’t the tool for the job.
Social selling has a low barrier to entry and being seen as investing in your people and offering them a life skill, is critical for employee retention when the new normal arrives.
You can also train furloughed staff (based on the UK Government rules) so that these people are ready for the upturn, when it arrives.
What About Your Channel?
It is at times like this when you need to stratify your channel. Let’s be honest here there are some channel partners that will step up and some that will fall by the way side. If you are investing in your sales team with social selling, you should also invest in your channel with social as well.
If you think about your sales channels as roads. Different sales people are different roads and what you want is the most effect and effective sales teams across the whole of the road network.
One area you will need to look at is the measures you are using. Behavioural indicators of number of calls, is not empathetic, it proves as a brand that you are tone deaf. You will need to relook at your measurements based on your new pivoted business, re-segmentation and the fact you are now social selling.
Covid19 will pass, we are probably now experiencing the current normal, but things will change. As we more to exit from the current working practices, some things will changes, other will stay the same. What will stay the same is your prospects and customers wanting to stay on-line. Why would we travel to offices anymore, when we can work from home?
You owe it to your employees to resell them, now, while we have the time so they have the relevant digital skills they need now and in the future.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is creating challenges that businesses have never dealt with before, many leaders had already felt imminent market changes prior to the outbreak. Executives are now reimagining their go-to-market strategies and looking for minimal disruption, given the circumstances.