We all know that Covid-19 has affected businesses across the world – some industries more than others, to be sure, but almost all businesses will have seen some level of disruption.

And while we can’t see into the future, we all need to be putting plans into place to weather not only the time between now and a vaccine, but also plans to bounce back bigger and better.

1. Are your sales and marketing teams able to cope?

Do they have the skills and tools they need in order to adapt to the current situation, and flex again when the next phase of the pandemic comes – whether that’s another wave and lockdown, or a vaccine and gradual reopening.

Are your teams aligned? Sales and marketing teams should always be working together, but we all know that doesn’t always happen. With colleagues spread out and working from home, it’s more important than ever to build those strategic relationships.

An aligned team will create benefits for both sides. Sales can help marketing because they’re the ones speaking to prospects – they know what people want to know and can advise marketing, who then create that content. Marketing can support sales by creating content to support the sales process, and by generating leads for the team to follow up.

But both sides may need more help during the times we’re dealing with right now. A strict adherence to a previously-agreed strategy might do more harm than good. Let your teams adapt and build a process and strategy that’s aligned to the global situation we’re in.

2. Are you adding value?

A great sales process is about adding value to the people you’re selling to. And with many businesses a little (or a lot) more hesitant about spending money right now, you really need to focus on this aspect of your proposition.

If you haven’t already, look at your sales pitch and count how many times you say “we” or “I” versus how often you say “you”. If your pitch is focused on your business rather than theirs, you need to flip the script. Focus on what they get out of it. And if you can’t think of much, it’s time to think about your proposition entirely – how can you add value to your clients?

Adding value isn’t just about selling a service, either. Marketing should be part of your sales process, and adding value is a huge part of effective marketing, especially now. So, what value could you add to your processes? Webinars, videos, guides, downloads, and so on should give something useful to your audience, while also showcasing your expertise and credibility. The more value you add, the more people will think of your business when they’re looking for the things you offer, and the more trust you’ll build.

3. Do you know what your prospects need right now?

When you think about your target audience, what specific or unique issues are they facing as they deal with the pandemic and the uncertainty it has wrought.

How can you help with those issues? How can you address those specific concerns? Take a look at what you offer and see if there’s anything you can add or focus on that will help.

For example, we can help businesses reach prospects that they’d have previously gone to visit – now that you can’t just drop in on someone, you need a new way to get in front of them. Now that people are working from home rather than the office, it might be harder to get through to the right person – that’s something else we help with.

4. Are you agile?

We’re in a continually evolving situation and the next guidance, lockdowns, and re-openings are unpredictable. Your sales process needs to be as flexible as possible, so that your team can adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities.

You need clear parameters and someone with enough authority to do things like adjusting trial periods, discounts, offers, or contract lengths. Depending on your business, you might have more or less flexibility to make these sorts of adjustments, so take the time to work out what makes commercial sense to you, and empower your sales teams to make those tweaks.

It’s also a good idea to have a strategy for scaling your sales resources as required. It’s a commercial reality that we all have to face as industries go into lockdown or build back up. Build your strategy, utilise things like the furlough scheme, and make sure you’re in a good position to respond to changes as they happen.

5. Are you taking advantage of all resources at your disposal?

This is the ideal time to think about the tools and resources you can draw upon. If you don’t have much of a sales team, or you’ve needed to streamline things during a difficult patch, look at what options you have. Things like an outsourced provider that can help with generating leads can help you navigate getting your pipeline back up to speed without the risk and cost of taking on someone in-house.

Are you utilising your existing staff or resources effectively? Are there outsourced or temporary staff you can draw upon.

Bringing in outsourced help doesn’t just save you the risk of hiring into your business, it also gives you access to expertise at a level you might not have the budget for in a permanent member of staff. And the flexibility to scale up or down depending on how things go.

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