I usually don’t listen to webinars ‘live’ but this one was different. As someone who helps to manage and implement webinar strategies for our clients, I rarely attend them live. I typically wait for the replay or recording. Today I watched a timely and thought-provoking webinar hosted by Gartner and TOPO: COVID-19 – Strategic Sales and Marketing Imperatives.
This issue is obviously top of mind for all of us sales and marketing leaders out there – and a topic I spend every day discussing with my project teams, clients, vendors, and partners. According to TOPO’s research, organizations’ confidence in future pipeline is progressively eroding….with 30% of organizations anticipating a pipeline shortfall of over 40%! Not great news…but also not surprising.
So what do we do? They outline 5 strategic actions that can help organizations deal with the current pandemic:
- Re-analyze your target market
- Re-allocate resources to high-value segments
- Offer extreme value with every customer interaction
- Change marketing and sales tactics and processes now
- Re-design your organization for the new environment
Simple stuff, right?
The key is that you need to think now in terms of 6 months. Your customers and prospects are looking at the next 6 months….not the next 12 or 18 months. They are scared. They are in survival mode. Budgets are going to be geared toward surviving or making a massive change to the way things are done. Change is good for sales and marketing professionals – we need to be a part of it and even lead it!
I also love the concept of offering extreme value with every customer interaction. I would expand this to include prospects as well – in this crazy business environment we are in today, you need to add value at every step of the way for your customers/prospects to even talk to you! According to TOPO – sales professionals are getting less ‘meetings’ with prospects – which is an indicator of lengthening sales cycles and decreasing pipelines. We’re currently developing targeted content for clients that see this as an opportunity to offer extreme value for prospects and customers seeking answers or to build brand leadership.
So what does this all mean?
Now is the time to re-evaluate your target market. Make educated decisions, then make a bet on your highest value segment, and focus your efforts on maximizing efforts within that segment. It’s always been about value and targeted messaging and ABM – but now we have no choice! This is the only way to market. And do it quickly – this is not a 6-month exercise to pivot – this is a 1-2 week exercise…time is of the essence!
Reach out if you want to discuss this or brainstorm ideas.