The world is a very different place than it was a couple of weeks ago.
There’s a lot of uncertainty, businesses and employees are concerned about what the future holds and, unfortunately, we’ve already seen a few paying a high price.
In the grand scheme of things, continuing with marketing and sales might seem trivial but for businesses still trying to survive and grow they remain essential. Sales need to be made, and employees need to be paid.
However, the way we engage with marketing and sales can’t be business as usual, because the reality is these aren’t usual times.
We’ve already seen (and experienced) the struggles and effects of trying to reschedule or cancel events.
And lots of us are working in ways which are unfamiliar to us. Our team is now working entirely remote, which obviously comes with its challenges but we’re powering on like everyone else.
What these events have proven, is the importance of having agile marketing and sales processes in place to adapt to fast, unpredictable changes.
In the last week we’ve been talking about how we’re going to adapt our own marketing and sales strategies to cope with current conditions and, in case it helps anyone else or can help guide you in the right direction, we wanted to share what we’ve come up with.
Focusing on 1-2-1
Keeping in touch with clients, prospects and members of the team is always important to us, but more so now. If nothing else, having everyone working from home is going to leave most people desperate for some outside contact to stave off the cabin fever.
We’re going to continue putting out regular content, and will be increasing our content output (more on that later) but we’re definitely putting more focus on connecting with people one on one - and doing it as often as we can.
Calling from your home to a customer’s or prospects (when they’re in the same situation as you) is a powerful way to connect and just providing reassurance of what is going on with the work you’re doing - or just checking up - will provide some much-needed reassurance in this time of uncertainty.
Also, one tip we would urge you to keep in mind.
Keep it human.
Plenty of people are scared enough right now, they’re working in new ways (we are too) and the last thing they need is a constant reminder of the things they can’t currently control.
Just empathise with that and reassure them.
Call as many of your customers and prospects as you can - over the next few days and weeks, those of us working from home are going to be desperate for outside contact. Calling from your home to their home, while both in the same situation - that’s a powerful way to connect.
Focus on content that helps right now
Like we said at the start, things have changed dramatically in the last few weeks and the content you had planned to go live now (while we’re sure it’s great) might not be what people are looking for right now.
Simple, to-the-point advice is what people need right now.
Whether it’s tips to make the best of the tech and processes they have, or advice on bringing in new platforms to help streamline and reduce the costs of current processes, you should be there to help them.
For us, it’s been about how we can make even better use out of our partner technology with HubSpot, Drift and Vidyard.
Pausing the glossy HTML emails and making our content more conversational and video based has been one thing we’ve decided to do. By focusing more on conversation starters we’re hoping to make better connections with customers and prospects right now, figure out what challenges they have and then figure out how we can help.
Now more than ever, marketing and sales has become about focusing on your customer’s needs.
Even outside of marketing and sales, how we use the other tech and platforms we have to make sure we stay in touch and keep projects on track has been a big focus.
Digitise as much as you can
We’ve postponed our regular HubSpot User Group and partner meetings for the time being, but that hasn’t meant we haven’t been able to find other ways to communicate and add value.
While we’ve had to cancel face-to-face meetings, earlier this week we managed to hold a remote client technical workshop with a team on the other side of the UK, as well as teams in the Netherlands and South Africa.
We’ve even managed to stay on top of recruitment and have hired a new member of our growth team.
Finding ways to digitise your work is a great way of continuing as close to business as usual as you can.
Whether it’s changing your events to webinars (just don’t call them that because it makes them sound a bit rubbish), holding remote training for customers so they can continue to learn and make the best of any extra time they have with not commuting - or holding virtual catch-ups with your team regularly to check-in and make sure they’re ok.
Just because you can’t meet face-to-face doesn’t mean you can’t catch up and keep offering value.
Personalised videos are a great way to do this. We've got some advice on how to use personalised videos in this blog
Content Strategy and internal house-keeping
While it might not seem like it right now, things will get back to normal eventually and now could be the best time to get around to finally cleaning up those internal processes, or working on that new content strategy you’ve been meaning to get around to.
This is definitely something that we’ve been looking at before, and something that we’ll be looking at more now so we’re ready to go again when the storm clears.
Again, use the digital tools you have at your disposal, get your team on a call and kick around some ideas (no doubt they’ll be grateful for the time talking to other people), talk about the things you would put on a “wish-list” of content or sales processes if you could.
If you are concerned about your marketing right now, we've created this completely free comparison tool which can help guide you where to focus your improvement efforts.
You can use the free tool by clicking below: