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May 18, 2020 // Justin McInturff

Is Your Sales Pipeline Ready for Post-Social Distancing?

Your business could offer the best product and the best service with the best employees. But there is uncertainty in how the economy and businesses will rebound after social distancing is relaxed and businesses return to work. So how will you keep your sales funnel full as states start to slowly reopen?

The first thing you need to accept, if you haven’t already, is that all businesses will lose clients at some point or another. When your business loses clients, you will need to fill those gaps in your pipeline with more leads. It may seem daunting right now, but it is the right time to concentrate on filling your top-of-funnel and middle-of-funnel pipeline.

During a time when you are inevitably going to lose clients, here’s how you can fill your pipeline to set yourself up for success during the remainder of 2020.

IDENTIFY TARGET MARKET & IDEAL CUSTOMER PROFILE

Do you have a strategy or priority in place of who you are targeting?

  • Growing within EXISTING clients?
  • Regaining LOST clients?
  • Targeting NEW clients?

MESSAGING & APPROACH

Once you identify your strategy and priority, spend time determining messaging and approach.

  • Is your positioning the same now as it was three months ago?
  • Are your customers’ needs and priorities the same as they once were?
  • What is your value proposition for your return to market?
  • Is there something you could offer to current or previous clients that may be valuable in helping them turn the tide as businesses reopen?
  • Is there a new (modified) service you could offer based on the needs you see currently in the market?

DETERMINE CHANNELS & MEDIUMS

Now that you’ve determined your strategy, prioritized who you are targeting, and developed the messaging and approach you want to return to market with, spend some time determining the channel(s) you believe are going to be best to reach your market. Are you trying to bring your clients inbound or target them outbound? To help narrow your options, ask yourself questions like:

  • Where is the best place to engage with my customers or target audience?
  • Will my customers be searching for this need on Google?
  • Are they going to be receptive and responsive to emails on the topic?
  • Are they best contacted by phone?
  • Will my customers be out on social media?
  • Are they members of associations/organizations?
  • Are they best targeted face-to-face?

ASSIGN RESPONSIBILITIES

Depending on the channel(s) and medium(s) that your target buyers are leveraging, it may require various skill sets and responsibilities. For example:

  • If most of your buyers are searching for your product or service on Google, are you comfortable that you’re digital marketing strategy and team is putting you in front of them during these searches?
  • If your buyers are receptive to emails regarding your product/service, do you have an email strategy that aligns with this?
    • Are your buyers more receptive to 1-to-many marketing emails (newsletters, promotions, etc.)?
    • Are they more receptive to a 1-to-1 Sales Development email with personalized outreach?

Based on that answer do you have the right team and tools in place to be in front of these buyers this way?

  • If your buyers are on the road, out-of-pocket, on job sites, or out in the facility, is phone the best way to catch them? If so, do you have the right team in place to do outbound calling and prospecting? Is this something that your current sales team does effectively?
  • If out on social media, are you comfortable with your social media strategy? Is the goal to drive followers of your company or target them with advertisement on social media? Do you have the right team and skillset in place to do this effectively?
  • Are they a part of associations/organizations? If so, do you have representation from your organization participating in these associations/organizations to be in front of these buyers?

In most cases, your buyers are not isolated to one of the channels listed above, but rather leveraging multiple. Do you have coverage across multiple mediums? Is your strategy lopsided and too heavily focused on one channel?

CREATE LIST OF PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS & FILL YOUR CALENDAR WITH MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS

With all the above in place, the goal is to ultimately create a healthy list of prospects and leads. However, make sure you don’t stop there and confuse prospects and leads with being ready for the sales team. Once you have an engine that is bringing in qualified leads, you can work on turning them into sales qualified leads (SQLs) by making sales calls to nurture the MQLs, gather additional marketing intelligence, and set appointments. According to TOPO’s 2019 Sales Development Benchmark Report, SDRs are the most important channel for successful account-based programs. Account based is the most significant strategy for go-to-market teams today and SDRs are the cornerstone of that strategy. Of account-based marketers, 88% cite outbound SDRs as an important channel in their marketing strategy. Because of this success, 41% of organizations have built a dedicated account based SDR team.”

Meaningful conversations are crucial in getting new clients. You should be going full force to have as many conversations as possible. Your main focus right now should be filling your calendar with as many appointments as possible. Start engaging with people now to fill your gaps and fill your pipeline so you can be successful.

ARE YOU READY?

Is your organization set up to rebound and attack the market effectively? How will your strategy and coverage compare to your competition? Do you have the team in place to be where your prospective customers are?

If not, is getting there quickly important? Have you considered the costs associated with making this a focus? Have you considered the costs associated with not making this a focus? Is this something you want to do internally, or have you considered leveraging a partner for various areas?

Concept offers inbound and outbound lead generation services that can help you build a strong sales pipeline. Whether you need help generating leads or nurturing leads, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more or talk with an expert.