While the fear, uncertainty and doubt of the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic are underway here in the United States, business professionals who are responsible for the sales and marketing of their companies are wondering how to maintain their sales pipeline.
Life and death decisions are always more important in times like these. In-person meetings, event marketing, and the economy take a different priority.
There are things that professionals can do to maintain their business sales pipeline during this uncertain time.
- Working remotely from home
- Communicate with customers
- Communicate with employees
- Maintain perspective
- Build relationships and alliances where you have capabilities and others have needs
- Make use of technology when it makes sense: Zoom, Skype
Depending on your products and services, it may not be an opportune time to communicate and your time would be better spent preparing for two, three months from now.
Training: Not sure how to use the technology? Lynda.com offers some very helpful videos. Many libraries have purchased a subscription to Lynda that you can access with your library card.
Regroup on business development: Time to work on refreshing your marketing materials, website, and more during these changing times. Now that your business travel has been curtailed, use the time to revise your planning and materials as needed.
You all know which big game I’m referring to – the one that you need to pay a license to even mention the name.
I’ve skipped the ads some of the years, but back in February many years ago, my first blog post was about the ads and it was the FedEx caveman in 2006.
So far all of the ads that I’ve watched are directed to a different human being than me. The woman screaming on the treadmill. The potato chip zombie cartoon. All those junk food commercials, actually. And the unreal special effects car commercials.
Later today (or probably tomorrow morning) I will let you know, with an update to this post, about my favorite big game commercial from 2020.
Meanwhile, here are favorites of years gone by:
2019 – missed it
2017 – missed it
2010 Missed it.
Most likely your business has a new budget starting fresh in January of 2020.
Many companies create the marketing budget as a percentage of revenue, or a percentage of desired revenue. The marketing team works closely with the sales team and uses the forecast to anticipate how to reach potential new customers, convert quotes into orders and build the pipeline.
Dividing the budget up into company awareness building and product/service advertising can help build the steps needed to build inquiries.
Deciding where to put the effort and expenses in media depends what influences your customers and how you can best attract potential customers.
If most of your customers come from referrals, perhaps your marketing plan rewards those who bring in new business with a discount on their products or services… or with a value-added product. Making it easy for your existing customer to share your contact information is a great way to help customers to refer new business to you.
How do you reward your referral network? Do you even know who your best referral customers are?
Do you know what they say when they refer your business and how they referred it? Is it via social media, a business card, sharing a contact from their phone?
Do you always ask “How did you hear about our business?” and “What have you heard about us?”
Both of these questions seem elementary, but the answers can provide a helpful key to where to spend your money.
“I saw your phone number painted on one of your trucks… on a yard sign… it popped up on my social media feed… I googled and your ad came up…. My buddy texted it to me.”
Does your marketing plan for 2020 include keeping track of how the leads reached you?
When is the last time you published anything on your company’s LinkedIn feed?
I wrote a post about this on my LinkedIn Company Page today, more as a reminder to myself than a message to other marketing professionals!
It’s so easy to get caught up working on client projects, plan and analytics, that I need to remind myself to do a little of it for Marketing Resources & Results as well.
Do you have problems remembering your own online visibility too?
Getting exposure for a brand by building awareness with the target market is often one of the top goals of a marketing communication plan.
But what about when things go wrong and your brand gets exposure you haven’t expected?
Take a look at these top tips for handling a PR crisis so you can be prepared when the unexpected happens.
Your first instinct may not be the right one. Proper planning can help reduce damage. Special thanks to NewsExposure for the use of their infographic.