With the downward pressure of COVID-19 and pending recession being felt, shifting your thinking to realign and restart your business is a priority.
One of the great lessons I learned with businesses going through the 1990 recession, the 2008 recession, and the other major rise and falls, is that business does not get back to normal or the way it was. It sets companies on different paths; some slowly erode, and others flourish; the option of the same is not there.
For companies that set their goals with a view of just survival and the same in mind sadly miss many great opportunities and can find themselves out of date—a little like Hem in Who Moved My Cheese. To realign and restart your business takes foresight and good planning.
The business landscape is changing right now, and the key is to prepare yourselves for the new world that will arrive post this unprecedented lockdown. It will be your mindset and preparedness now that sets your course for the future and how long you experience a slowdown.
The best example is what I experienced in 2008 in North America at the peak of the recession storm. A large refinery company set out an email to all suppliers saying they had to review their prices down by at least 10%, or they may have to change suppliers. Those suppliers included former and current companies. Three different responses happened simultaneously.
- Some companies went back to the financials to review pricing and attempted to meet the demand.
- Incumbent salespeople telephoned or called to nurture the relationship and reinforce the importance of keeping the agreement with their company.
- Competitor salespeople jumped in their cars and headed to the newly opened doors of discussion off the back of the letter distributed.
The outcome, quite a few changes were made in the supplier list, and pricing only shifted down by a reported 2%.
Who do you want to be? Number 1, 2, or 3.
The Luxury of Time is Here
Companies have the luxury of time now to stop, think, review, innovate, and prepare for the future. A rare opportunity to realign and restart a mature business for the new markets ahead.
Sales Management – As a sales growth consultant, I am continually told of sales teams and their managers not having time to review strategies, complete account plans, building target lists, sales plans, CRM quality, and usability issues, and, of course, sales training. You have now been gifted with the opportunity to do all these things, remotely of course. With most people working from home or in the office, the CRM is a tool at their fingertips. CRM implementation can be difficult, and sales teams can be reluctant adopters of the system. This is a great time to increase those adoption rates.
CEOs/MDs – If your sales division is carrying legacy thinking and have been challenged to perform in the past, is that the team you want to take you into the future? Now is an outstanding time to review and restructure. Recalibrate the team performance requirements and establish new goals for FY21. The new world will look different, and you need to consider the skills with the sales team. An independent audit or review will clarify the actions and priorities for you.
Marketing – Do you need to provide renewed materials and messaging to take to the market to support the changes in strategy and priorities? Now is an excellent time for copyrighters, graphic designers, and digital managers to make the necessary improvements unhindered from day to day demands.
Human Resources – Your company may need new talent added to the sales or marketing teams to pick up and gain momentum in the new world ahead. Decisions need to be made if you require to engage a sales executive recruiter to assist you. Until you find the right people, growth will be slow, and the hiring needs to be done strategically to ensure the right people join the business and are sufficiently talented at delivering the new/revised strategy.
Business Development – will be the priority of all companies, and those preparing now will be the winners for new customers, new contracts, and taking market share. We outlined the challenges of new business development and why existing teams fail to deliver.
The doors are going to open wide to new conversations; new suppliers will be needed as the market takes a new shape. We have seen the major shifts in supply chain demand for essential services and how quickly that has been achieved. The ripple effect will see other industries shifting, and you need to be prepared for action when the restrictions are removed so you can realign and restart your business.
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© 2020 Adele Crane All Rights Reserved.