Most of us have been impacted by the current situation in one way or another. For service providers, most probably you have seen retainers being cut and planned projects pushed to the future. 

For any operation that offers B2B services, this is the harsh reality of any time. It can happen during a “non-corona year” as well. Right now it just happens to a lot of companies at the same time. For us who operate in UAE or for that reason, any country where monetary support from the government is not to be counted own – It’s up to ourselves to manage the situation. 

I will share my best practice on how to handle it without having to save cost or reduce staff – And ultimately put your company in a better position than it was going into the epidemic. (I do know that this differs from vertical to vertical and I’m only talking based on my own experience)

  1. Increase your sales efforts

When revenues are down – The No 1 priority should be on increasing your sales. This needs to be done hands-on from the top of the organization. Increasing sales comes down to 3 key core pillars

  • Activity (No of Meetings, Quotations, Strategy documents, etc) Make sure that you increase the number of activities that drive sales. Don’t look too much at the numbers you need to get in terms of total revenues, focus on the path that will lead you there. It’s much to easier to “control” the number of meetings you are having than exactly how much your sales will produce a given month. Having control of your sales process is key to succeed, put yourself, and your team in a position where you can decide to win every day. 
  • Average deal size – Make sure that you price your services at the right level of pricing, but the easiest way to increase your revenues is to increase your price, which might be difficult at this moment. But I’m not talking about increasing your standard rate. Bundle your services, give more to your clients and price it at a discount, always try to find what additional value you can bring to the clients. It may turn out that you can increase the engagement from your clients and your billings at the same time that you can lower their total cost. 
  • Hit Rate – It’s a given, the better you are at closing your proposals or meetings, the more you will sell. Make sure you know the foundations, stakeholders, budget, and timing. Qualify your prospects early on not to waste time. Make sure to customize your offering and that you actually understand what challenges the client is facing. Being able to close a lot of deals comes down to understanding the prospect. Make sure that you put ample time in the start to understand their situation and business. You will realize that selling is very easy when you just listen and try to avoid selling 🙂
  1. Increase your marketing efforts

Comes hand in hand with sales. But it’s vital to focus your marketing efforts right now. Put as much as you can of your allocated budget towards the end of the funnel marketing. Branding is amazing, but if you need to increase your sales tomorrow – Focus on the quick wins. Make sure to know your high converting channels, whether its email, paid search, social, etc. And leverage your money towards that. Use your SM channels to work on your brand positioning. If you have done your homework from the start it should be fairly easy to get an instant overview in your CRM where your clients are actually coming from. If you don’t, make sure to set it up now and you will benefit in the future. 

  1. Make your clients understand you are in this together  

Selling is always important – But more importantly, it is to retain your current clients. Make them understand that you are in this together – Talk to them weekly, ask them how you can help, if they need relief in any way – Give it! Its an investment in your partners, just like they once have invested in you and your team – its now time to give back. If it means pausing, pushing payments, or to add added value, I always try to do this. I promise you that people remember this. Other than I believe its good for business, I also believe it gives me more business by referrals. 

  1. Leverage your current offering and add more services.

For an agency – the current situation has led to a lot of companies freeing up staff, this means more outsourcing. Review your services, add more services that are aligned with your offering and that are in demand. For a consultancy, I think the key to success is to keep the ear close to the ground and make sure to offer services that drive value at the moment. More services mean more revenues and tighter collaboration with your partners. Of course – this only works if the services make sense in terms of your offering.

Ultimately it comes down to having a strategy and plan that are aligned with how you wanna run your business. For myself, these pillars do not really change whether its a Pandemic or not. We always try to focus of end of the funnel marketing, we always focus on selling, we always try to make our partners feel we are in it together and we always seek to leverage our current offering. The great thing about this strategy is that it works in both good and harsh times 🙂

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