- Posted by: Jon Smart
- Categories: business development, sales
Having a sales and marketing strategy is essential for any business, but it’s even more critical during the coronavirus crisis.
We live in challenging, unprecedented times which are having an impact on businesses of all sizes.
Regardless of whether you’ve had to close your doors, furlough your staff or take other difficult decisions, how you prepare now will go along way to determining your success once the economy starts to pick up again.
It’s important to remember that the current situation is only temporary. It will pass at some point. While protecting people’s health and wellbeing must be the absolute priority, business will start to get back to normal.
Which makes what you do with your time now crucial, because the businesses which will emerge from the current situation stronger are the ones which take steps now to keep their customers engaged, change the way they work and try to create a pipeline of work for when lockdown restrictions are lifted and businesses are allowed to start trading normally again.
There may well be casualties.
Your customers and suppliers may not be the same as they were before the Covid-19 pandemic started. Your own business may even have to change.
So, it’s important that you adapt your sales and marketing strategy, and keep reviewing it as things progress, to give your business the best chance of weathering the storm.
A good place to start is by getting back to basics.
Define a new vision
No-one can say with any certainty what the post-coronavirus world will look like, so going back to the drawing board to redefine your company’s vision will help you to clarify the sort of business you want to be and what you need to do to achieve this.
This includes having a clear vision that you and your team can agree on, setting the objectives and milestones that you need to achieve, and then planning the activities that you believe will help you realise your goals.
Your marketplace and your customers might not be the same as they were before the current situation began. Your business model or ways of working may have changed, and you might have found better ways of doing things to achieve the same, or better, results.
The key here is to really think about what you want to achieve as a business, then set yourself and your team targets that are both achievable and realistic to help you get there.
Reconsider your audience
Once the coronavirus pandemic is over, the businesses and customers you work with may have different issues or challenges to the ones it did before it started, so you need to take a close look at your target markets and decide whether or not your business is still relevant to them.
This may include reaching out to your existing customers to find out if anything has changed and if there are other things you may be able to help them with.
It’s also about looking at the marketplace to understand how the current situation has affected it, and what new opportunities may arise from these changes.
So, take the time to listen to what people are telling you and look for any emerging trends. It might mean changing the way you do business, redefining your product or service offering or finding better ways of working. The businesses which are agile enough to respond to the changing landscape are the ones which will succeed.
Reforecast your numbers
You may have had ambitious sales or growth targets going into the current crisis, but the chances are that these will have to change significantly as a result of what has happened.
So, take time to revisit your numbers and consider what the new ‘normal’ looks like for your sales and marketing strategy.
Are your sales targets too ambitious? How has the situation impacted your turnover?
Is there anything you can do differently to achieve efficiencies, reduce costs or become more productive?
Having a comprehensive oversight of your numbers will enable you to focus your efforts on what you can achieve, quickly, to meet your targets, as well as what you need to do longer term to ensure you still have a sustainable business model.
Create a timeline for your sales and marketing strategy
Once you’ve defined your vision and objectives, identified your sales targets and planned the activities you’ll need to undertake to bring them about, you’ll need to get them down on paper, in the form of three-month, six-month and 12-month plans.
If you break your sales and marketing strategy down this way, you’ll know what your immediate, medium- and longer-term priorities are and what you need to focus on first.
The key here is to create a timeline that is achievable, realistic and logical. You know what your long-term goals are, this is your roadmap to achieving them. So, does it make sense, are your activities in the right order, and, crucially, does your team understand them?
In situations like this, it’s easy to press the panic button and lose your head. But every business is in the same boat. So, it’s important to focus on what you can control and what you can do to prepare your business for when we come out of the current situation.
It might be a case of getting around to doing all those jobs that you never got around to when your business was at peak capacity. Rewriting your sales brochures or redeveloping your website, for example.
It might even be practical steps like redecorating your office or tidying your store cupboard (provided it’s safe to do so and you follow social distancing guidelines!).
Focusing on what you can do now, and letting go of what you can’t control, will help you to build a strong platform for the new reality, whatever that might look like.
How can Koa Consulting help you develop a sales and marketing strategy?
We’ve been reaching out to all our clients and businesses which might need help in putting together a plan to help them get through the current coronavirus crisis.
Sometimes, a friendly chat and an objective pair of eyes are all you need to help you look at your business from a different perspective and identify the opportunities that lie ahead.
So, if you’d like a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to help your business get through these uncertain and challenging times, get in touch today.