With much of the country slowly shutting down and everyone being told to practice social distancing due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, companies are having to restructure their plans. Along with sporting events and music festivals going dark across the world, so are trade shows and industry events. The loss of these events means that sales departments will lose the score of leads they depend on for closed revenue for the year. Finding an alternative solution for lead generation will make or break a company’s chance for success in 2020, but instead of stressing over the unknown, restructure your thought process to focus on how you can alleviate as much of the negative impact as possible. Think about how you can utilize the tools and resources you do have available to make up for lost opportunity.
As we mentioned in our previous blog, now is a time to connect with your clients and prospects from a genuine place. We must approach this season of uncertainty with the understanding that we are all going through big shifts and to connect with each other from a place of compassion. This is a delicate time for everyone so you must be mindful of the type of content you are sending out. Focus on how you can build good will, trust and report with the people you are connecting with. Although there is no real substitute for face-to-face contact, here are five ways to help keep a personal connection during a time when in-person contact is not an option.
1.Double down on marketing
While many organizations use a variety of strategies to drive leads, sales teams who rely heavily on trade shows and other sales events for networking and lead generation will be affected by the cancellations of these events the most. Now is the time to really double down on marketing and use a combination of strategies to make connections. Get active on social media, sharing thought leadership content and really start engaging with your followers. Begin taking that human touch to the next level by sending out more direct (1-1) emails. Pick up the phone and show your customers you care about them by extending a hand. This is not a time to go dark on people. Keep the conversation going. Doing nothing, is not the answer.
2.Refresh your message
While these conversations and connections must carry on, the message will have to change. Take this extra time you would be spending prepping for trade shows to educate yourself and refresh your talking points. Show your clients and prospects you care about them on a personal level by addressing the current situation with Covid-19 in an appropriate and thoughtful way. Show your customers you care about them by checking in and extending a helping hand. Also continue to produce educational pieces to keep your content fresh. With more people staying at home, they will now have additional time to learn, so offer up new, thoughtful material to inform them about your product or service.
3.Align your outreach efforts and message
As you work to rejuvenate your message and restructure your marketing strategy, make sure you are keeping your sales and marketing teams aligned. The two sides need to quickly and effectively work together in order to be successful. Many of the issues at hand are time sensitive and are constantly evolving so to take full advantage of your current email marketing campaigns and calling outreach efforts, you must have all teams on the same page.
4.Utilize all your resources
Now is a great time to take advantage of all the resources and tools we have available to us. In this extremely digital world we live in, it is now easier than ever to virtually connect with people. This includes virtual sales meetings, client check-ins and presentations. Utilizing webinars will help you to continue assisting your clients in any way you can. Shifting the thought process and reworking plans to best guide them during these continuously changing times. Other useful resources are CRMs, marketing automation, and email marketing platforms. Adding these additional layers to your outreach will help with your effectiveness and increase efficiency.
5.Bring in the help of outsourced resources
Lastly, to help provide continued support of your services when you may be experiencing a negative impact from show cancelations, you can bring in the help from outsourced resources. Though outsourcing lead activities might not be an approach your company has considered in the past, your overall revenue come December, is dependent upon the actions and strategies you and your team take and implement now.
Most importantly, you must remember that this is a sensitive time. This is not the time to be overly pushy or sales oriented. Instead, redirect your focus on building a level of trust and confidence with your clients and prospects. Show them we are all in this together and willing to shift accordingly.