The ongoing Covid 19 pandemic presents companies with lasting challenges. Namely in three successive phases:
Phase 1: Stabilizing the business after the beginning of the crisis
Phase 2: Accepting changed conditions during the crisis and taking advantage of the resulting opportunities
Phase 3: Being prepared at the end of the crisis to emerge as a winner
While phase 1 and partly also phase 2 are mainly characterized by reacting to the dynamically changing conditions during the worldwide corona wave, you have to create the turn towards action at the latest by the transition to the third phase. Because this is exactly what all those companies that have emerged as winners from previous crises have succeeded in doing. The numerous insights you gain during the second phase will help you do this – right now! Provided that you reflect on them properly.
Gather knowledge about your customers
Not only your business environment is undergoing profound changes during the Covid 19 pandemic, but also that of your customers. In order to be able to provide targeted sales under the changed conditions even during the crisis, it is therefore essential to keep a dynamic eye on their current situation and their changing needs. And this has to be done on a very small scale, because the effects of the pandemic can vary greatly from segment to segment and even from customer to customer. In many cases, you and your sales team will therefore be dealing with your individual customers more intensively than you would in your normal day-to-day business.
Use this opportunity to improve the quality and depth of the data in your CRM. A solid database not only helps you to dynamically assess the situation of your customers during the crisis, but also provides important insights for the time after the crisis. With the help of smart data management and targeted, value-added sales approaches today, you can go ahead with a strengthened customer relationship and a much more detailed
Knowledge about your customers from the pandemic.
Gather knowledge about modern sales strategies
The longer the pandemic lasts, the more likely some of the new habits of cooperation will continue afterwards. So the fact that you are currently forced to find new sales approaches and try out new ways of communicating with your customers is a great opportunity. Use the current time as an experimental laboratory to collect internal best practice examples and to test new, more modern sales approaches and tools in practice.
This applies in particular to digital solutions. While classic B2B marketing and sales tools such as events, trade fairs, congresses and the like are hardly possible in the foreseeable future, many of your customers currently spend considerably more time online. Test digital sales channels and retain those that have proven to pay off for you. In many cases this will require a blurring of the boundaries between sales, marketing and customer service and a transition to more account based sales approaches. Also, be prepared to make structural changes of this kind if they promise success for your business.
Realigning sales and using momentum
Rarely have you been forced to innovate in sales as much as you are now. The decisive step is the switch from merely reacting to the changing framework conditions to a mindset of acting and actively planning the post-corona period. Don’t let the supposedly low level of planning security during the current phase slow you down, but prepare yourself for both the best case scenarios and the worst case. And thus regain control over your company’s roadmap.
Important in this way is above all a clever data management during the current phase 2.
The deeper insights gained into the market environment, structures and needs of your customers will allow you to take more targeted, individual and efficient sales approaches in the future. Knowing which newly tested tools, approaches and channels have proven to be particularly successful internally and externally will enable you to align your sales team in a more modern and successful way. And strengthened customer relationships through intensive contact during the crisis make it easier for you to anticipate how your customers’ needs will develop, where cross- and upselling potential will arise at the end of the crisis and which accounts are likely to emerge as winners from the Covid 19 pandemic.
So lay the foundation for the shift from reacting to acting right now! By building up a solid database of your customers and observing exactly what works on the operational level – and why. With the help of these insights, you can forge a promising master plan for your B2B sales after Corona.