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Open for business - 8 steps to ramping up post-lockdown

As we start to move out of lockdown and consider next steps, it is not a case of business as usual. With so much change and shifting priorities, reverting to the same approach will undoubtedly mean missed opportunities. It is time to think out of the box and harness our creative juices in mapping the way forward.

And don’t delay. Once lockdown is fully eased, it will be a case of managing the day-to-day issues with little time to step back. Smart planning now will ensure precious resources are assigned to the right activities so you can hit the ground running.

1. Don’t be defined by your past

Keep an open mind rather than being led by what you have done in the past. Review your strategy, your proposition, and your target audience in light of current market conditions - focus on where you offer most value. Involve your staff, brainstorm and seek new ideas. This will ensure your team care about outcomes and have a real sense of direction and purpose.

Consider:

  • New or evolving customer requirements that your proposition might address.

  • Shifts within your traditional market segments and new potential audiences.

  • Competitor activity and repositioning that might alert you to new risks or opportunities.

2. Exploit every opportunity

Whilst you don’t want to be led by the past, it isn’t a case of starting completely from scratch but being prepared and exploiting future opportunities. Look back to identify what still has value and relevance.

Consider:

  • Existing relationships – is there scope for new cooperation, do any of your partners have complementary offers you can co-market?
  • Untapped skills within your team that are more relevant and valuable than before.
  • Unearthed nuggets within your lapsed clients and inactive prospect bases.

3. Adapt your engagement style

Will existing channels do justice to your refreshed strategy – are you going to reach the right people, with a strong message and the right tone?

Consider:

  • How customer-centric is your approach - how have buyer behaviours and expectations changed?

  • What style of communication is appropriate? Keep it authentic and personal.

  • What is the right mix of channels following the shift to digital and remote contact, where will human interaction add most value?

4. Re-assess your key clients and priority segments

It is vital that your resources and future investments are aligned to these new priorities. If the 80/20 rule has applied to your business to-date, this needs to be validated before you kick-start new activity.

Consider:

  • The potential value of existing customers – how have they faired during COVID?

  • Are there new and upcoming brands in the sectors you are now looking to target?

  • Does your key account list still represent your most valuable customers?

5. Refresh content and assets

You can’t implement your refreshed strategy and align your messaging without the right collateral. Again, it isn’t a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water so wherever possible refresh existing content and assets.

Consider:

  • Which materials can be easily adapted, is it possible for example to tailor sector-specific examples within existing product flyers?

  • What are the ‘must have’ assets that will give you credibility with new audiences – do you need a new webinar or in-depth opinion piece?

  • Which processes need retuning to target content/assets effectively – review your nurture programmes, segmentation strategy, lead scoring or assignment rules.

6. Align resources

Similarly, priority objectives must be appropriately resourced if they are to be viable and this is a great opportunity to invigorate your team with new challenges and a new sense of purpose.

Consider:

  • Which projects demand and merit most support?

  • What type of resource or skills are required for each project to be successful?

  • Do those involved understand what is required? Robust briefs should be communicated to all stakeholders, both internal teams and external agencies. 

7. Upskill your team

COVID-19 has necessitated an accelerated learning curve for most businesses and individuals so keep that impetus and provide opportunities for team members to continue to grow.

Consider:

  • Reinforcing skills that may have developed as you pivoted during COVID with formalised training – for example, webinar delivery, remote sales, digital marketing.

  • If you don’t have skills in-house, look to upskill existing staff before investing in expensive recruitment.

  • If you are testing new approaches or new markets, consider outsourcing to an external agency so you don’t incur long-term overheads for short-term needs.

 8.  Measure and communicate success

Once you have set off on this path and have harnessed the support of your team, continue to communicate success and failure in the light of new goals. Make sure your team continues to feel involved and has a real sense of ownership.

Consider:

  • Establishing KPIs to give clear visibility of success across the business and make provision to celebrate when they are achieved.

  • Set regular review points and opportunities to seek input and refine strategy based on lessons learnt.

  • Make provision within any approach to test new ideas so you keep moving and learning.

Evolve your strategy for future growth

Whilst it may feel daunting as we look forward into the unknown, consider the fact that you have already weathered an unprecedented storm for which there was no forewarning. This means most of us are more resilient, able to embrace change and better equipped to respond than we were pre-COVID.

If you are looking to try new approaches and evolve your growth strategy, we can help. We offer our clients a true and flexible partnership, enabling them to test, benchmark and scale programmes using a trained, proven sales team. If you would like to discuss how our tailored, end-to-end solutions might support your future growth, get in touch today.

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