The last 15 months have been especially difficult for B2B business. Even those with flexible business models felt the effects of COVID-19.
The old (pre-COVID-19) rule book of doing business is a thing of the past. It is time to re-evaluate, revise, and reimagine business strategies, and models.
Every B2B marketer must be ready to confront the challenges that are yet to come and be quick to take advantage of even the slightest opportunity.
Here are some strategies B2B companies should adopt to enhance their probability of thriving in a post COVID-19 economy.
1.Rediscover your Customer
The historical consumer insight has become irrelevant. B2B consumer priorities have completely changed.
Post-COVID-19 has forced tectonic shifts in market priorities on a global scale. In some cases, the pandemic caused a spike in need, while in others it caused a dwindling demand in the market.
As a response, B2B companies need to develop innovative ways of tapping into current consumer needs. This way, you can formulate solutions that resonate with current consumer demands.
You can do this by proactively reaching out to your clients through messages, cold calls, emails, or phone calls to identify their needs and implement value-driven solutions.
Approach your clients appropriately by checking up on them first before soliciting information from them.
After getting the information you require, modify your organization's sales strategies blending in consumer communication and connection so you can stay relevant.
2.Refocus your Sales Approach
Almost all industries felt the effects of COVID because of government-mandated guidelines which forced organizations to move their sales online.
This shift left many B2B company leaders wondering how sales can survive and even thrive during such times.
The best way to boost the effectiveness of sales operations and strategies is through adopting current trends.
Research is uncovering new sales approaches that deliver more convenient and visible interactions with intended market audiences.
Take GE Healthcare, for instance; it redesigned a new COVID-19 patient monitoring software distributed across hospitals that was used to check on the progress of their patients remotely.
The best way to stay afloat in the market is to develop bold ways of using virtual tools that will not be disrupted despite changes in the market.
Make solving customer problems the core purpose of your sales operations and hone consumer loyalty by genuinely committing to help them during these uncertain times.
A case study in 2019 showed that firms that dynamically align their sales strategies with consumer needs have 17.9% higher winning rates.
3.Re-enable your Sales Team
With emerging data showing the importance of technology in driving sales, an effective B2B sales team should amplify the initiative to make innovative selling approaches.
Since we anticipate other massive changes in customer need and consumption, teams should learn consumer buyer patterns and adjust accordingly.
For example, customers who were comfortable going to restaurants before (COVID-19) will re-consider going to crowded places now.
Your B2B sales team should position their interactions with the clients (messages, email, phone calls) to fit the market's new needs.
Gone are the days where B2B sales reps and managers rely on instincts in executing sale strategies. You need to train or acquire a tech-savvy sales team that can potentially drive up sales.
Research shows that 80% of CSOs are not confident about adopting various digital marketing strategies. However, there is an industry-wide requirement to move digital.
Sales teams are getting virtually connected to suppliers, manufacturers, managers, and, most importantly, clients.
Bottom line: B2B sales teams should reinvent how they used to operate, interact, and approach customers if they want to retain or attract new customers.
4.Accelerating the Adoption of Digital Solutions
Since the pandemic hit, there has been an undeniable transformation in the way people interact, work, spend their leisure time, travel, and even get medical care.
These changes accelerated the need to adopt digital technologies in businesses.
To address the challenges brought about by COVID-19, B2B companies need to set ambitious digital agendas.
Refocus digital efforts on consumer expectations. Since customer priorities have changed, B2B companies need to develop digital solutions for their problems.
Quick and effective Digital solutions could be the difference between you and your competitors.
Use AI and internet operations such as social media, email, and software programs to create real-time techniques to push sales.
Develop digital solutions such as cold calling, data mining experiments, virtual assistant technology, and social media marketing to seize opportunities and drive sales.
5.Find Ways of Attracting New Clients, Cold Calling
The pandemic has left many B2B leaders asking, 'How can we sustain this performance?'
It would be best if the sales team is more resilient in getting new clients as it is in sustaining recurring ones.
B2B marketing space has changed, and the only way to stay on top of the game is to create innovative and efficient ways of getting new clients.
Cold calling is a sales technique where sales teams reach out to companies that fit their customer profile and inform them of their services.
Cold calling is an effective digital marketing skill because you can classify your prospects according to their specialization, research how they were affected by the pandemic, and create ways you can give them a winning edge over their competitors.
Your cold calls should feature two aspects:
- Empathy: Show your prospect that you care about what they are going through. This is the best way to build trust and make them feel like you will find credible solutions for their needs.
- Profitability: Let the call gravitate to how your services or products will help them stay profitable. Give them solutions and well-executed plans of achieving them. If need be, use relevant examples and case studies.