The pains that your business was solving a few weeks ago (before COVID-19) look nothing like the pains you are solving today. In all cases, your sales and marketing strategy must shift during this time and if that wasn’t enough to ask, you must shift quickly. Agility is the name of the game.
Logic alone will tell you if your customers’ pains are changing, then customers’ buying habits are also changing, therefore you should also be changing. Because the best businesses always follow and serve the pain.
To draw on an analogy, as the housing market can shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, your sales and marketing strategy is experiencing a major shift at this time. Here’s some advice from the trenches.
Simply put, we have moved from traditional selling to unconventional serving. Fostering relationships and providing value to your existing and prospective customers matter the most during these times.
In fact, it’s really all that matters. These moments in time have the ability to make or break your reputation.
We are in some historically unpredictable times with no defined timetable. The rules change every day as new information emerges, so you also have to be swift on your feet and act quickly to focus on serving the pain that you are still learning about. Simple, right!?
This is a tricky, yet pivotal time for so many businesses. You need to step up, but you need to do it thoughtfully. Here’s an inside look at our own internal planning framework to guide you.
If you find yourself asking any of these questions, We would love to offer some advice from years of serving businesses like yours.
The most successful sales and marketing strategies contain 5 core elements.
Customer dynamics change, especially amidst a worldwide crisis, and without proper feedback loops, you could miss out on important shifts and needs of your customers.
If you are still trying to serve the pains of yesterday (before COVID-19), I’d advise you to stop bombarding your customers and wasting your money and resources on efforts that will ruin your reputation. If you haven’t adjusted your strategy, do that immediately.
Great brands understand how to strike the balance of understanding customer needs with empathy. And that perfect balance shines through in everything they do and say.
Clearly defined brands are remembered. Think of 1 large brand at the forefront right now. Their iconic branding and messaging are clearly defined, consistently presented, and intelligently refreshed during this time.
Rule numero uno! When you create content, you create it to serve. This is only about them, this is not about you or your business. If you even think of leading with anything about yourself or your company, just.stop.now. And thank me later. (You’re welcome)
Content is the key to building trust through value. Content comes in many forms so you need to be thinking outside of your box, and then outside of that box.
The list goes on. Follow the pain and think BIG on how to deliver solutions to solve it. That answer alone makes up your content plan.
The balance of how sales and marketing work together can vary by industry and size of company. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but if you aren’t revisiting your sales and marketing strategy right now, I think you are doing yourself a huge disservice. They are both important, but their jobs should be shifting to serve the customer today.
Sales (or your relationship keepers) are the closest to the customer pain. Marketing should be working in partnership with sales to deliver tools and content to help sales do their jobs.
This is a time to deepen relationships. There has never been a more critical time to ensure marketing and sales are aligned and working together for the greater good.
Campaign planning is where the building blocks all come together to guide your planning.
This is also where the art of marketing comes into play and why I love marketing so much! You have to think outside of the box. This demands new solutions to new pains. Think Big :
You’re now clear on your core target customer, you understand the new value you can offer at this time, you create the tools and resources they need right now, you deliver it in an integrated way through personal and digital channels, and make sure your sales team and marketing teams are speaking and working in lock step at all times. Voila!
Business will resume. When it does, we don’t know what it will look like. Budgets may be stalled, indefinitely, but not forever. Tomorrow will be different, that we know for sure.
Ask yourself how you should be embracing these new opportunities to meet your customers’ pain. Now more than ever, your customers, regardless of who they are, are struggling. Meet them where they are. Know them. Understand them. Serve them.
Right now, as a leader, your customers’ pains should be at the forefront of your mind. Your messaging at this time will make or break your sympathetic voice.
This blog was written by Shannon Prager from LeadITMarketing, a fully outsourced marketing service business specialised in B2B technology and B2B professional services companies. Head to their website for even more great content and to see how they can help you get your marketing strategy on track.
From time to time guest contributors write on the Workbooks Blog – have something to say? Email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org