Navigating Sales Growth Amid COVID-19

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We appreciate that there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding businesses right now, particularly in customer acquisition and retention.

COVID-19 aka the coronavirus, has caused a ripple effect which is impacting plans for sustaining a healthy pipeline, never mind achieving sales growth. For commercial leaders, revenue targets do not simply disappear, especially if they’re in the maturity stage of their existing appointment. 

We've put together a four-stage checklist surrounding sales and marketing for the weeks ahead.

It’s incredibly important to be aware of the possible implications and ripple effects caused by the current situation. It’s good practice to consider the people you might be scheduled to meet and their level of vulnerability. 

Assess your situation – how many employees do you have? Can they work from home already? If not, what infrastructure could be put in place to allow this? Do your customers, suppliers and partners have all the right contacts if they need to reach you, and vice versa? 

Consider your options, should things escalate. Think about tools you can use to collaborate such as virtual workspaces and online collaboration tools. 

Assess what you know about your customers. Do you know where they're based geographically and understand their product/service offering?

Take a look and understand how robust and accurate your customer data is. You need to know what contact information is available to engage as well whether or not your customers have already consented to marketing communications.  

Do you have visibility and an understanding of their core business challenges today, and how this might change their goals for the future? If not, you might want to create a campaign to capture these insights so that you can utilise this intelligence later in order to strengthen your relationships and position to serve them better.

Use your brand voice to be genuinely empathetic and ensure you can demonstrate that your company is following procedures with your employees and customers at the heart of your decisions.

Now consider which channels you're best using to reach out. Your contact data might influence this, which will be determined in the 'Outline' stage, but if it is rich in intelligence you should consider which channels they are most active on and how their behaviour might have changed recently so that you can target the right customers, through the right channel, with the right message, at the right time.

Can you use data and other strategic marketing channels such as email, SMS and programmatic to let your customers know you care and that you’re here to help?

Create possibilities by offering ‘web-link’ conference calls instead of face to face meetings to mitigate appointment cancellations. If you can’t, can you move to conference calls to keep things moving and ensure you’re available to support your customer’s requirements?

Implement clear and concise communications that outline your business intentions to your customers, keeping them informed is key. 

Speak with your customers to understand the impact the current climate is having on them, and how you can help support any changes. 

Try to understand changes in customer buying behaviour – are any areas up? Or down? How can you respond to meet changing demand? 

Align sales and marketing teams to plan the most efficient and effective approach to retention of your existing customer base and acquisition of prospects.

Ensure that your sales data and interactions are tracked to understand the impact of any changes to your strategy. 

Key Considerations

It’s important to reflect on your customer journey and prospect acquisition approach. Naturally, looking after your customers is a priority. However, you should remember that there will also be prospective customers in waiting who reflect the same characteristics of your existing customer base.  

During this time, we understand that your business will be reacting to external changes and this might have an adverse effect on sales growth. It’s imperative that the sales team stays focussed on conversion, the sales pipeline remains active and you’re equipped to handle inbound traffic.  

There needs to be a clear strategy in place for how you retain and service your existing customers to the best of your ability without distracting your sales team but also how you continue to deliver and identify new business.  

If you’d like to discuss how Golley Slater PRM can help create a customer focussed sales solution or define a prospect acquisition campaign across multiple direct channels including; telephony, direct mail and email, get in touch.

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This article is published by Golley Slater PRM.
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