Accelerate Sales Revenue in the Face of COVID-19—It’s Entirely Possible! Top 5 Marketing and Sales Tactics to Attract New Customers
In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the last few weeks have seen extreme chaos, fear, confusion, and massive disruption of life and business all over the world. Although every pair of eyes is tracking how soon we will ‘flatten the curve’, the last few days have brought a glimmer of hope. Politicians, economists, and even healthcare experts have started noticing a light at the end of the tunnel. Discussions have started at the federal, state, as well as county levels about how to strategically reopen the economy in a staggered and safe manner.
Some of you may have been “open for business” throughout this time. You may even be running beyond full capacity to support your end users in critical industries, such as medical, pharmaceutical, defense and food production. However, for the vast majority of you, the situation may be somewhat like this:
- Your front office teams are working remotely to comply with CDC and government guidelines but lack direction or motivation in an entirely virtual setup.
- Your business does not have a structured eCommerce platform, or a sleek website with adequate information and content.
- Current sales are cut by at least half, some customers are having difficulty making payments and your supply chain is unsteady at best. In addition, your sales forecasts for 2020 just became obsolete as new sales prospecting opportunities seem scarce. Yet, there is an urgent need to generate revenue and keep the business afloat.
The complete absence of in-person meetings, business travel, and trade shows or other avenues may have compelled you to question future revenues and the financial health of your business. But the good news is that it is entirely possible to re-calibrate your strategies and accelerate revenues, even in the current situation. Here are some sales and marketing tactics to jump start your sales process, until we return to business as usual, and beyond.
- SEO, social media and PPC. As the most important component for lead generation, don’t underestimate the power of targeting. Be on top of where your prospects are, what they do, what they are saying, watching or surfing, and what problems they are experiencing. In the absence of trade shows or face-to-face selling, consider using SEO, Social Media and PPC in tandem, to create an effective digital strategy that supports your sales teams. In fact, you can implement a new PPC campaign in as little as 24 hours to give a quick jump to your sales leads program.
- CRM and marketing automation: As you press the pedal on your marketing efforts, you will need a robust automated platform that integrates with your CRM, and boosts the performance of your sales team. With better “sales-ready” leads and a clear, real-time view of the sales funnel, your sales personnel (working remotely) could further reduce the lead conversion time and effort.
- Strong corporate website: While focusing on the digital marketing strategy, don’t forget to beef up your company website with adequate, relevant, and up-to-date content and functionalities.
- Whether it is about enhancing the user experience, creating brand awareness, improving customer service, or attracting and converting prospects, add or refresh content to build an informative and effective website.
- If you are a product distributor or manufacturer, don’t miss out on the huge potential of eCommerce. A sleek website and an online store with user-friendly features will dramatically expand your revenue generating capacity.
- Multi-format, multi-channel content marketing: Improve and track conversions by maximizing different content formats (written, graphical and video) through a host of different channels.
- Direct mail and email marketing: Go all out on your BOGO offers, loyalty and reward points, or discounted deals by pairing your online display advertising with a series of direct mails. Depending on the nature of your business, try email marketing through relevant publications. For example, for OEM companies, Machine Design or Design World are relevant options. With blogs, case studies, success stories, or other articles, you can reach out to their vast network of subscribers, track website traffic and related RFQs, and even calculate ROI.
- Content syndication: Use content syndication to publish gated content, such as whitepapers on a network of over 15,000 web properties. With options to define your ideal prospects and pay only for leads that match your target market, this is an efficient and economical solution to further your lead generation efforts.
- Sourcing through Subscriptions: Get access to a sales prospecting databases such as a Dun & Bradstreet Hoovers . Acquire insightful data and information about target businesses and create more meaningful engagement on the direct marketing and direct sales front. Do you also want to target growth industries or companies – say manufacturers of medical or exercise equipment? D&B has contact names, titles and email addresses for over 34,000 companies in these two growing vertical markets.
- Targeted Prospecting: Use channels such as LinkedIn for prospecting at very specific levels of industries, geographies, and other demographic factors. Besides targeted ad campaigns, LinkedIn offers powerful features, including visitor tracking and personalized invitation and messages that have a better open rate than ordinary emails.
- Video marketing: The current lock-downs, shelter-in-place orders, and shuttering of businesses has led to an exponential use of video for daily meetings and huddles, as well as customer service and prospecting. This is the time to cleverly incorporate video marketing into your overall sales strategy. Conduct product demos, service offerings, or digital events and webinars to address queries or promote your products, all by harnessing the power of video. Tools, such as Go To Meeting, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc. offer different functionalities in this context. The latest YouTube’s Video Builder is an excellent, free DIY tool, for creating simple videos that convey key messages to your clients and prospects.
- The ‘winning mindset’: The corona virus crisis may have temporarily affected your growth and revenues. However, with the right tools and approach, it could bring out the best in your organization’s talent and strategic capabilities:
- At a leadership level, take detailed stock of your entire pipeline. Sort your products on the basis of ‘likely demand surge’, ‘stable orders’, and ‘uncertain’. This will help you build revised revenue potential scenarios and focus your sales and marketing efforts on the right portfolios.
- Create a versatile and agile command center for providing clear guidelines, gathering real-time intelligence, rapidly redeploying resources or marketing efforts, and promoting speedy decision making. In the long run, when business-as-usual resumes, this win room could test new offers, increase renewals or cross-sale, and lead other such initiatives for enhancing the speed and agility of revenue generation.
- There is no such thing as over-communication during the current crisis. Boost the morale of your sales and marketing teams by prioritizing internal communication and increasing the daily virtual touch points. Balance them carefully so that your teams still have sufficient time to multitask or focus on their core jobs. Train them for effective sales and customer service in a virtual environment and equip them with adequate collateral’s. Wherever finances allow, continue your leader-boards, incentives, spiffs (immediate cash bonus for a sale), or other motivational tactics for promoting lead generation and conversions.
COVID-19 may have swept your business into uncharted territories. However, many companies are thinking that we will have a so-called V-shaped recovery – a sharp slowdown and then a quick economic recovery. Once you are in the ‘win sales’ mindset, it will be easy to think of a speedy recovery. Invest in new remote selling tools, sharpen or re-purpose your existing resources, go all out on internal collaboration efforts, and use innovative marketing techniques to refocus on lead generation. If you need help in staying the course or executing some of these tactics, contact Marketing Metrics Corp.