President and Co-Founder of national commercial cleaning franchise Image One USA. Learn more at ImageOneUSA.com.
Covid-19 has disrupted every aspect of work, and business development professionals are facing sudden and unique challenges they were not prepared for. Some companies have been crippled by this, but the ones that have found success are the ones that have adapted to the current circumstances.
Here are three pandemic-related obstacles your business development team should be prepared to face in the upcoming season and how flexibility and agility can help you meet those challenges head-on.
1. Starts And Stops In The Sales Cycle
Business development and sales professionals will need to be able to keep prospects engaged throughout the sales cycle, which is now likely to be longer and more “stop and go” because budgets are up in the air. Understand that your clients are as uncertain about their futures as you are, and anticipate that sudden news could put a pause in your business. Have worst-case-scenario plans in mind so you can weather these ups and downs.
As you’re dealing with longer or interrupted sales cycles, be sure to maintain consistent communication with your customers. Provide value so that when they do have the capacity to resume services, they’ll contact you. Even if they’re not ready to commit to a sale right now, updates and reassurances from your business can go a long way in creating a positive experience and staying top of mind.
2. Continued Remote Work And Virtual Sales Meetings
Many teams that had hoped in-person sales could resume by the fall will be forced to continue virtual meetings, so now is the time to invest in more permanent remote work solutions for smooth and seamless sales calls. If you haven’t already done so, upgrade your videoconferencing services and internet speed so that your sales meetings can be in the highest quality possible. Have a robust, professional virtual sales pitch that looks like it was made intentionally and not because Covid-19 forced you to go remote.
Check in with your employees and see what they need to make their home office the best possible work environment. Even once the pandemic is over, remote work will still be commonplace. Investing in work-from-home solutions now will go a long way for your company’s future. Don’t look at it as a temporary fix; see these solutions as a means of extending your business and its flexibility.
3. A Potential Second Wave Of Covid-19 Cases Across The Country
It cannot be ignored that there may be a second wave of Covid-19 this fall, as some experts predict. An increase in cases could shut down businesses again and hinder sales further. The potential loss of sales a second wave could cause should be taken into account when budgeting.
On the flip side, less of a wave may make for a stronger sales season than anticipated. However, much like the spring onset of the pandemic, the length and severity cannot be foreseen, so it’s important to plan ahead for any circumstance.
Regardless of your industry, every business development team can and should be thinking about how it will adapt to the continued uncertainty in the months ahead. While the pandemic is very likely to impact sales throughout the fourth quarter and into 2021, teams that are able to move quickly and pivot their strategy to meet consumers’ changing needs will be the ones that come out ahead.
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