5 Key Facts to Realize About How COVID-19 Affects B2B Lead Generation
The current state of the world has changed life as we know it drastically. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to face harsh realities; events are being canceled, we can’t spend as much time together, and even simple trips to the grocery store have to be kept at a minimum.
The pandemic has changed just about every aspect of daily life for each of us, but let’s talk specifically about how businesses are being affected. As we get comfortable in our new normal, businesses are realizing a few harsh realities. It may sound odd to talk about setting B2B appointments during a pandemic, but setting appointments is actually one of the smartest things you can do to protect your business during these tough times.
The reality is this: every business is going to be majorly affected by what is happening in the world right now. We’ve listed five reasons how businesses will be affected below. Having a solid sales pipeline and consistently setting sales appointments can help insulate you from every one of these harsh realities.
1. All of us will lose clients.
The first and probably harshest reality of them all: we’re all going to lose clients. It’s unavoidable for any business. It’s never fun to lose clients, but typically if you’re losing clients, it’s because of something your business could’ve been doing better. It’s an opportunity for you to look at your business and say, “how can we improve?” COVID-19 is different because no matter how well you’re serving your clients, it doesn’t matter, you could still be affected. Everyone is going to lose clients because all businesses are facing harsh financial realities, forcing them to make tough decisions like ending partnerships.
As your clients think long and hard about financial decisions that need to be made, they may end their partnership with you. When you begin to lose clients, how will you fill these gaps? Since no one is safe from losing clients, having a healthy sales pipeline is more important than ever right now. When considering which partners are essential to keep around, an outsourced inside sales team may be one you want to keep. Not only can they help you retain current clients, but they can also help you set B2B appointments with new qualified leads during this time.
The stimulus bill is also going to be a huge help for businesses who are losing clients and facing hard times due to coronavirus. The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 to provide relief for workers and businesses affected by coronavirus (to learn more about what The CARES Act means for you, check out our video).
2. There IS market share to gain.
Every business is getting hit right now. While this may initially sound like something to panic about, it can actually be turned into a positive thing when thought about the correct way. Every single business has market share to gain right now because when businesses get hit, they simply can’t do as much. How you use this time to your advantage is critical. Some of your competitors won’t be able to serve their customers, so how can you be proactive and nurture relationships with your current clients? What can you do that your competitors can’t right now?
Also, when your competitor loses a client, that business will eventually need a new provider, and they’ll likely want to work with someone that reaches out now. During this time, use B2B lead generation efforts to be a resource for potential clients. Don’t be pushy; instead, provide prospects with free, valuable information to earn their business when their situation changes. Nurture potential clients who no longer have a provider and give them a reason to want to work with you when the time is right.
3. On lockdown, your sales team can’t sell face to face.
The quarantine prevents us from being able to sell face to face. For some businesses that traditionally only sell face to face, this could be a huge deal. During this time of change, embrace the fact that you have to sell virtually. Put a plan in action now, otherwise, these next few months could negatively impact your business and put you at a big disadvantage.
Look at the positives; this could be a game changer for your business. Traditionally, a salesperson may have only been able to give one or two face to face presentations each day. Now, selling virtually to B2B leads generated from an outbound appointment setting program, they can conduct four to five presentations each day. Drive time and other travel no longer come into play, and this can be advantageous to your business at this time.
Right now, you need to be thinking of new ways to connect with prospects—how is your brand set up to sell? At Abstrakt, we’ve been utilizing video conferencing software for years to sell virtually. Using other digital marketing tools can also keep your business connected to clients and potential customers during this time. Instead of slowing your sales efforts down during this time, find new ways to connect with customers and make sure your team is set up for success.
4. You could be working with a smaller staff.
The reality of having to downsize is another reality many businesses are facing right now. Whether you’re downsizing or your clients are, a smaller team = businesses having to do more work with fewer people. Maybe all of your marketing efforts are being handled by one person now. Or, maybe you’re down to one salesperson instead of an entire team. How do you still hit goals and see results with a smaller staff?
Salespeople typically devote 10-20% of their time prospecting, yet connecting with new prospects is unarguably one of the most important activities in your business. A focused B2B appointment setting partner will have a dedicated employee who spends 100% of their time prospecting, helping to produce more meetings. So, one devoted lead generation expert and one devoted salesperson at your organization conducting virtual pitches could produce more sales activity than four face-to-face salespeople…with less resources.
Everything we do at Abstrakt was designed to solve the problem of having a staff that is too small to perform at a high level. If you don’t have an entire marketing team (a designer, a copywriter, an account manager, a digital strategist, etc.) or a full sales team (cold callers and business development team members) our inbound and outbound lead generation programs are designed so that you don’t have to hire a huge staff. Abstrakt offers lead generation services for less than the cost of one full-time employee.
5. Key Decision Maker’s are working from home.
The last big thing to think about right now is the fact that more key decision-makers (KDMs) are working from home than they ever have been. Decision-makers are surrounded by less noise, they’re more receptive, and they’re easier to reach.
While working remotely may not be the ideal situation in everyone’s mind, it’s actually an amazing opportunity for sales reps who are actively trying to get in touch with KDMs. The person who you’ve been trying to get in touch with for months may finally be available because they’re at home and have fewer distractions. So, now is the best time to perform B2B appointment setting activities. Take advantage of the fact that KDM’s are at home; use it as a chance to generate more sales appointments and increase revenue.
Is Your Business Ready for What’s Next?
How your business thinks about these five facts and approaches them will determine the health and success of your business for the next 12 months. Our hope is that you find these facts helpful and that they get you thinking about the state of your business a little differently.
This is a difficult time for all businesses. Every organization feels the weight of our current situation, and not a single business is invincible to what is currently happening in the world. That’s not to say that some businesses aren’t more prepared than others. We feel fortunate enough at Abstrakt to have systems and processes already in place that help us in unexpected situations such as these. Since 2009, we’ve been helping companies build relationships with top prospects in their target market, and we’re not stopping now. We’re remote, we’re healthy, and our sales process hasn’t stopped.
Right now, we’d love to be a resource for your business to help you navigate through these tough times. For more helpful tips in the coming weeks on these five inevitable facts, how they will affect your business, and how B2B appointment setting can help, follow Abstrakt on social media. Or, contact us today to discuss more ways we can help your business.