Post COVID-19: Are you ready for the shift in marketing & sales?
Over the past few weeks, I have thought deeply about the direction of our company as the managing partner and, more specifically, my role as our only sales professional. Over the last seven years, it’s been a lot of fun, a grind, frustrating, and rewarding. But, I believe we are headed into uncharted waters over the next 12 – 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses will inevitability start cutting prices in a sprint to make up revenue instead of selling value and sticking to a long-term strategy. Business owners have to adopt a new way of thinking about sales and marketing to support the latter and focus on educating to earn business.
Simon Sinek said, “the goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” If we choose to target the masses, our companies will experience a high churn rate within our customer base. Employees will be faced with mounting customer service issues. Employees will become disgruntled and managers will only focus on profits instead of the employee and customer experience.
The past twelve years the United States has experienced tremendous growth and businesses have flourished. Now, businesses are reevaluating a vendor’s importance to the company, reserving cash, cutting employees, or even worse - closing their doors. Every company has to sell to someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a business or direct to a consumer, both have to believe they are receiving something of value from you.
By elevating your product or service from an interchangeable, turnkey fix, to a solution to critical business pain means you’ll have to add value in a way that goes beyond price. And focusing on value over price is better for you, too. Buyers who understand the value, and the higher price tag that accompanies it, will be better long-term customers than those with a transactional mindset. (HubSpot)
Now is the time to evaluate your business, define your value proposition, and prepare for a new way of selling and marketing to your customers.
Sales, at one time, was primarily outside sales with very few - if any - inside sales professionals, requiring a lot of travel, tons of prospecting, mailers, print ads, and who cared about educating your customers because it was all about the numbers. If you put more in the top of the funnel, then more will shake out at the bottom.
Marketing has already been changing over the past twenty years; from mass emailing off of purchased lists to highly targeted, personalized email marketing campaigns tailored to a consumer’s specific needs. Then ads follow you around on your favorite websites encouraging you to make the purchase. That was then. Now we will have to take a different approach to sales and marketing: educate to earn trust, ask permission to start a conversation and provide value throughout the entire process.
This is not a new idea, it’s called inbound marketing. What is new, you, me, and every other business owner in between will have to adopt inbound marketing. People do not want to be sold to, especially now. Businesses that make it through the COVID-19 pandemic will be faced with enormous challenges because of the decisions they had to make to keep the doors open or to reopen. The only concern they have is how to save the business. If you don’t believe me, visit Google Trends and type in the search bar “save my business” and you can see for yourself it’s a trending search on Google. Take it a step further and export the data, you will be shocked to find out that it wasn’t even being searched prior to March 29th, 2020. Now it’s a breakout search term.
Now is the time to start working on your new strategy to educate through the creation of regular blog posts, helpful emails, e-books, webinars, white-papers, and/or videos showcasing the value your business brings to the table.
About the Author: Brannon Williams, MBA, Managing Partner of Art's Cube
In 2013, Brannon started Art's Cube which specializes in website development, digital advertising, and 3D immersive technology to assist small to medium-sized businesses in increasing brand awareness and strategically engaging website visitors. At Art's Cube Brannon surrounds himself with a cadre of creative cohorts who thrive in an environment whose mission is clear: optimizing current and emerging digital marketing strategies to help his clients succeed.
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