Let’s face it—it can be hard to shake off the doom and gloom that’s permeating our world. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our health systems and impacted millions of individuals. To make matters worse, the economy has been in a perpetual state of free fall. But instead of being reactive and focusing on the negative, we urge you to view this time as an opportunity to hammer out the details of your processes and focus on achieving a higher degree of efficiency. Optimization is more important now than ever before. So, take the time to be proactive and set your business up for success in 2020 and beyond.

Cost optimization

There’s no better time than now to work on your financial fitness. Take the time to analyze the various costs associated with running your business – everything from your technology infrastructure to your resources, programmes and activities. How do they measure up in terms of ROI? Are there programmes that are no longer yielding benefits or technologies that are completely crippling your budget? Perhaps you could find a more cost-effective alternative that could help you achieve your goals while maintaining the level of financial fitness you desire.

But don’t just go slashing away at any and every expenditure that comes your way. The last place you want to be when all of this is over is in a position of lack. The key to success here lies in being pragmatic, logical, and playing the long game. Eventually, the current crisis will pass. Make sure you’re setting things up so that your business is in the best position possible going forward.

Optimizing productivity levels

When was the last time you took a moment to analyze your processes and assess productivity? If you are like many companies, chances are it’s been a while. Now is the best time to take on this challenge and work on identifying ways in which your company and employees can become more agile and adaptive. Which technologies are you currently using, and how are they impacting your company’s levels of productivity? Are there any other technology infrastructures you could put into place to increase efficiency even further? Are there any processes that could be dramatically improved through automation or a complete redesign? Now is the time to review your options and identify where substantial gains can be had.

Productivity can be significantly improved by taking steps to more effectively communicate, connect, and engage with your employees. According to recent research by The McKinsey Global Institute, organizations with connected employees see improvements in productivity by 25% on average. Furthermore, something as simple as improving your onboarding processes can increase productivity by as much as 70%. Many areas for improvement… Take this time to review your processes and seek out ways to enhance productivity wherever possible. 

Sales and marketing optimization

Now is a great time to review the collaboration between your sales and marketing teams and develop strategies that can help set your business up for success in the long run. Perhaps your teams could benefit from a greater degree of transparency. Do both teams have full end-to-end visibility throughout the demand funnel? Are SLAs between the two teams effective? Do they have a common view of performance metrics? Do they have meaningful ways of tracking and measuring?

What about the reports or technology that is being used? Is it time for an update? Is there a more efficient or effective alternative currently available on the market that can help optimize sales and marketing processes? Now is the time to ensure the relationship between your sales and marketing departments are strong. Taking steps to build deeper understanding, empathy, and trust between the two teams – combined with ensuring that they have the right technology infrastructure in place to support them – is crucial for success especially considering the fact that these two teams and their ability to collaborate effectively and efficiently will be the driving force behind your recovery from the crisis. 

Optimization of resources

When we look back on the 2008 crisis, we find that the companies that focused on cost optimization in addition to their talent and innovation capabilities were the ones that weathered the crisis best. The same applies to this current economic crisis. Take a moment to consider your resources and think creatively about how you can leverage the ones you already have. As a marketing leader for example, it’s essential that you not only have the right team in place to ensure that your core marketing competencies are fulfilled but that you also have the right tools available to support a strong and effective execution. And yes, many marketers will need to work within the constraint of a reduced budget. This is where your ability to reflect, be creative and innovative at that critical time will serve you well. 

Optimization of decision making

Research has found that more than half of individuals make decisions based on their own intuition even when they are confronted with evidence contrary to what they feel. While intuition may be helpful in some situations, that data-driven decision making (DDDM) is the standard to abide by. Data-driven decision making enables you to make more confident decisions while facilitating a proactive mindset, improving operational efficiency, and helping realise cost savings. By leveraging the valuable insights gleaned from data, you’ll be able to make more informed and effective strategic decisions. Stop being reactive and start getting proactive by taking the time to optimize your decision making today.  

Final thoughts

During times of crisis and economic uncertainty, shifting your perspective away from fear and towards optimization is crucial. If you’re looking to come out of this pandemic on top, then now is the time to start cleaning house. By staying focused on improvement and taking steps to enhance your processes, you can effectively set yourself off with a strong foundation so that you can thrive in the second half of 2020.