Recent events have significantly affected the economic climate over the past month. That’s undeniable.
Social distancing measures and stay home orders have been implemented for everyone’s wellbeing, which means that in-person functions like tradeshows, conferences, and networking events have been canceled. For B2B companies that rely on these face-to-face events to drive revenue, this creates an indisputable barrier.
So, what does that mean? Has a portion of your future business been permanently lost? Are there still deals out there to be made right now? How do you adopt a revenue growth management mindset during these unpredictable times? Are your organizational objectives for the year still attainable?
The world has changed, but the goal has not.
You can still generate leads and gain market share. Timeframes on short-term objectives may need to be reevaluated, but overall goals remain intact. Physical distancing measures may mean that you need to take a different approach to relationship building, but those relationships are still able to be forged.
According to Akamai, internet traffic is up 50%, and peak loads are double last year’s figures. People may not be able to come to you but with “everyone” online, you can certainly meet people where they are to connect authentically. Remote work and social distancing aren’t going to go away, which means that in-person events cannot happen for the foreseeable future. However, you can still get in front of your prospective clients and strengthen relationships with your existing clients.
With a dearth of in-person contact, people are hungry for interaction, which is great news for businesses looking to make or retain a genuine connection. Right now, the need for relationships, being of service, and showing that you care about people is more important than ever before.
If you’re still using a sterilized “corporate voice,” now’s the time to switch to a more personal tone. You can still be professional but approaching communications with a more personable voice is going to resonate better with today’s audiences.
Find a person to be the face of the company to be used in blog articles, social media posts, and video. The owner or CEO is usually a logical choice for this role, but, depending on the circumstance, someone else in a leadership role may be a better fit.
Make a cultural shift from all about “us” to all about “you” with your messaging. Right now, no one wants to hear how great you are. (Actually, they probably never wanted to hear it.) They want to know how you can help them and what kind of benefits you’ll provide. Substitute self-centered messaging with client-centered messaging across all your content.
Tell people what you can do for them and how they’ll benefit. Show that you honestly care and that you want to be of service. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience about what they need either. You may be surprised what you’ll get back!
Engage your audience instead of marketing to them. Treat them like friends or family instead of customers. Have ongoing conversations on the website, through blog articles, via email campaigns, and on social media. Aim to overcome the inherently one-sided nature of online communications by accepting feedback and fostering candid conversations. Listen without interrupting and offer help and advice when asked.
Ensure all your content represents your company mission and prioritizes the needs of your audience.
External content should be unique, exciting, and remarkable. Showcase your thought leadership by telling your audience how you will help them and demonstrate how much you care by reiterating that they matter. Spark a conversation and fan the flame to drive engagement.
Internal content should include online tools and resources that can be integrated into the sales process. Arm your sales team with articles, videos, and offers to equip them to sell smarter to what may be a more discerning audience these days.
Don’t forget to lean on healthy SEO practices. While optimization shouldn’t be the focus of creating content, following best practices can help create additional awareness for well-written content.
When doing a revenue planning reset, time is of the essence. Start immediately! Change your messaging and focus on engagement now to be ready for when the economy rebounds. Rand Fishkin explained it best when he said,
“The big purchases that are being postponed won’t be postponed indefinitely. Many people will pull back on their spending, but a huge amount of pent-up demand will emerge as well… Strategy — not just marketing strategy, who your business serves, how you serve them, where, why, and with what — will be crucial to thriving in this recession. This I can guarantee: if you’re not willing or able to adapt your strategy, times are going to be far rougher than if you do.”
Revenue growth can and will occur without in-person events to generate new leads and sales for the companies poised to connect with audiences virtually. Focus on being where your audience is now and providing what they need today.
This free assessment is an online calculator that helps you quickly review your revenue generation potential. It is simple and straightforward and can become a compass to keep your team focused.