Your business might not have been struck directly – like Captain Sullenberger’s plane had been hit by a flock of geese – but the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis has hit us all directly or indirectly creating with it the challenges and opportunities to keep your business going and your teams engaged, productive and sales fit while working remotely or still in the field with your clients. The opportunity during what might be a more quiet time for many businesses is to adjust and improve your sales and service operations to be ready when we can go back to (the new) normal.
For some businesses it meant that they had to reinvent themselves to be able to keep going. One such business is Stagekings.
Sue Barrett interviewed Jeremy Fleming, MD of Stagekings, about how he turned his business around overnight from having no business in the B2B staging and events market once COVID-19 hit to creating a whole new B2C business venture and re-employing his talented team of 56 people to locally design, manufacture and sell flat-packed home desks. With 4000 orders now in the pipeline and an operation that’s now working 24/7 it goes to show what people can do even in the most challenging times. Hat’s off to Jeremy and his team. He’s an inspiration to us all. His secret: Don’t Procrastinate.
Watch the 10 minute interview here.
If you need assistance to think and act like Sully, we have remote solutions in place to help you:
- Develop your COVID-19 Sales Strategy & Plan: This process provides the best starting place to allow you, senior leaders and your sales team explore and tackle your sales challenges and opportunities giving you clarity on what strategic and tactical moves you need to make, what client messaging needs to be conveyed, how to structure your sales efforts and provide guidance to plan your next steps through the crisis. This process is done in 3 x 2 hour group sessions in quick succession over Zoom.
- The opportunities beyond COVID-19: What will the world look like after the pandemic? What will your business and teams look like in the future? What will you be selling to whom and how will you sell? This Scenario Planning Exercise is an excellent way to explore a range of options and get people thinking about ‘What If’ scenarios. Underpinned by a purposefully optimistic approach this helps you and your people plan and pivot your business for what lies ahead. This process is done in 3 x 2 hour remote group sessions plus homework in between.
- Find new viable sales market segments and opportunities: Your current target markets might not be in a condition to operate as they used to do – they may be in hibernation or might need time to recover. How do you find the hidden opportunities in your existing market or other viable markets in which to operate, and customers to sell to? These 3 x 2 hour group sessions over Zoom will help you and your sales and marketing teams uncover hidden sales market segments in the supply chain of supply chains.
- Customer communication & messaging during COVID-19: The needs of people and businesses have changed as a result of COVID-19. The style, tone and type of communications that your customers need now might be completely different to what your team has been used to conveying. We can coach your sales and service teams to communicate with your customers during the COVID-19 crisis and be alert to new opportunities as the new reality emerges. Besides online training content we also provide remote small group training sessions to practice and implement how to communicate during difficult times. Session setup and duration are planned and scaled according to your team size and needs.
- Continue to train and up-skill your sales and service teams: with a combination of online education and remote classroom setting (you can go anywhere between 100% online to 100% remote classroom; we can adjust the dial to your preference and priorities) across a whole range of sales subjects.
- Customer care, retention and new opportunities during COVID-19: Your customers are also going through unprecedented changes in their circumstances. Train your customer service teams so they can provide the support and care needed to respond to the changed landscape. Help them spot and see new opportunities so the business can act on emerging trends and client intel. We can apply a similar combination of online training and remote group classroom sessions as above.
- The emergency sales manager: During this crisis you might need some additional sales management and coaching support to help your sales team with the specific challenges and opportunities that arise during COIVD-19. We can set this up remotely in the most efficient way for you and your team.
- Your business needs your clients to stay in business. Helping your clients stay in business by providing them with tips and advice on how to sell better and stay in business can make a crucial difference – for them now, and for their loyalty to you later. We can customise and host webinars to your and your clients’ specific needs so you can help your clients to stay in business too.
- Quickly up-skill teams to adapt how they sell and service around here now: Quickly up-skill your team with the key skills, tools and capabilities they need to be in peak condition to spot new opportunities, and sell and service better at this moment. We have short and succinct webinars and remote workshops on selected specific topics to cater for your most urgent training and development needs (e.g. Strategic KAM, difficult client communications, remote in-person selling, customer care and retention, telephone prospecting, etc.)
- Crises can bring out the best in people: We have two sayings that resonate here ‘It’s all about opportunity’ and ‘There’s no such word as can’t’. A team with a positive ‘can do’ mindset who is open to opportunity will make a real difference to their own wellbeing and resilience, and the business’ bottom line. We can deliver online modules and remote coaching support to train your sales managers and teams on how to adapt and deal with the new sales situation, unearth opportunities, master personal challenges, and keep a healthy ’can do’ mindset.
- Do you need to quickly recruit and induct staff? We have a range of off-the-shelf and customisable tools and templates to help you recruit and induct efficiently from behavioural interviews and psychometric assessments to sales process and training.
- Turn product information into client friendly sellable content: We call this fitting out your ‘Product Wardrobe’ to sell the way the client wants to buy: the aim is to build a ‘product assets register’ that speaks about your products/services from the client’s perspective – how they see it, feel it, experience it. This way salespeople and others can access and curate the right information when providing the right solutions for their clients making sure it is always in context of their clients’ perspective, priorities and business goals – how they will benefit from buying from and working you.
- Retain and grow Key Accounts during COVID-19 and beyond. We can help you set up the tools and means necessary to strategise, manage and communicate with key stakeholders within your key accounts during the period of “business as unusual”. We can facilitate remote Key Account strategy sessions, coach KAMs as to how to communicate with stakeholders and more.
We are an email or phone call away. firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9533 0000
We have published a few posts to help tackle some of the practical and emotional challenges brought about by the current situation: