Do you remember the good times before Covid19?
In the past, I worked for organisations where sales plans and marketing plans didn’t change. We just deleted 2019 off the market plans powerpoint slides and added 2020.
We upped the figures by 20%, expecting to get 10% signed off from our bosses. An annual song and dance. From a Sales perspective, apart from the usual coming and going of salespeople, there was an annual move around of sales people and accounts. But nothing really changed.
But there again, it didn’t need to.
Life was good. There was always somebody in sales that did a big deal that save the number. There was always a big event that marketing could muster around. The number was done, the bonuses were paid. Mortgages were paid, car payments made and food placed on table.
The thing is, Covid19 means we have limited cash, the business and deals we once closed, we cannot guarantee will happen.
As a business leader, you have to look at the cost of sales. What I mean by that is that we have to look at the cost of sales and marketing. The plans that we ran in a pre-covid_19 world will not be fit for purpose and you may not realise this until you have run out of cash.
In times like this, people will always stick with what they know, whether this is right or wrong. It is in times like these where people won’t take risks as they are scared of losing their jobs. As leaders you have to create an environment, where risk taking is seen as OK. Why? Because the pre-covid19 plan won’t work and you need to change and that will mean you need to take risks.
As a leader you need to check every line in the marketing budget and see if, really, really, really, it will work. People have to justify, every line of spend.
There are somethings that in times like this you need to bin. Branding for example, pointless you having a brand, if you run out of cash. You have to switch too simple. Your salesforce needs leads and meetings, as it’s only sales that are going to generate you cash in the short and medium term. Long term does not exist.
Come on really? Interruption marketing (advertising, cold calling and email) didn't work before Covid19, so why do you think it will work now?
You need to cancel your Martech stack, anyway your Martech vendor might not be around in 12 months.
There will be no conferences and events for at least there is a vaccine. No brand is going to run an event and risk being a super spreader.
Yes there will be on-line events, but you cannot guarantee this will be a way for you to create leads for the sales team.
Lehman's went down in 2008, this was the last time there was a world crisis. 9/11 was in 2001. For your people to be able to grapple with the issues of today, they will have needed to be "around" and in business in 2001 and 2008.
How You can Support Sales
In sales, you will made savings as you won’t be having expensive meals and traveling. All sales are now taking place through Teams. Zoom etc and taking place on social media and Linkedin.
Does your sales teams, know how to programmatically make and build relationships on social media?
Now a number of you will be saying to me right now you already do this. Come on, be honest with me. Go and look at your Linkedin profile and look at your marketing people’s LinkedIn profiles and look at your sales people’s Linkedin profiles.
Does it create, curiosity in your prospects? Does it create inbound? Are you connecting with people? Are you connecting with people and they actually want to connect with you? Are you using Linkedin to prospect? Are you joining conversations with your prospects and doing this at scale? Are you using content to move deals through the pipeline and close deals? ...... or are you just posting stuff and hoping? Come on, we know hope was never a strategy.
Social Selling Business Case
We expect each of the people we train in social selling to be able to make (if they do what we say) at least one additional meeting per week. Let’s assume that 4 of those meetings turn into proposals and you close 1 of those proposals. That means you are closing one additional deal per quarter. If your average deal size is $100,000, then each sales person is closing an additional $400,000 per year. As sales team of 10 will create $4 million additional revenue per annum. This isn’t a one off, this is every year. Forever!
The Low Risk Approach
Here at DLA Ignite, we are not pivoting, we have been transforming companies to do this for four years. Exactly how I have explained above. We have the track record, we also know what when we run our social selling programs the results are repeatable and predictable. In fact, we have done this so many times that we are a low risk option.
If you want to get out of this mess, maybe it’s time to talk to us.
Predicting the future is a fool's game at best; it's like figuring out the next person to be offed on Ozark. In this case, it's even more difficult, considering the unique cause of our situation. That said, there are enough breadcrumbs left by previous crises and recessions to make some educated guesses on our post-COVID B2B marketing world.