The pandemic and its corresponding economic disruption may seem like it will never end, but we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Business restrictions will ease and company leaders will look forward. That means marketing and sales teams will again have lead generation and sales and revenue goals to reach—albeit in “new normal” conditions.
No one knows exactly what this recovery will look like, or the exact pace, but we do know that B2B and medtech companies will be eager to attract new business. We expect every industry, and even different geographic regions, will begin to rebound on their own timeframes.
Even if that turnaround for your sector seems far away, it’s smart to plan now for recovery. You’ll need time to pivot your story, evaluate your campaigns and align your resources. Plans made before COVID-19 may no longer fit today’s market conditions. What’s most important is getting prepared for when that green light comes.
Here are some ways that your B2B and medtech sales and marketing teams can plan for a rebound:
Evaluate your brand story
Much has changed in just a few weeks. With that context in mind, every brand should evaluate its story to make sure messages remain relevant and impactful. Examine your pitch with a new lens—one that realizes the pandemic and its affects may linger for many decision-makers. B2B and medtech brands should be authentic. It’s also important to avoid overly aggressive sales tactics. Injecting a helpful and supportive message will demonstrate your brand values and build relationships with customers and prospects.
Identify your opportunity areas
If your sales pipeline went dry at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, you’re not alone. Many marketing and sales activities—from tradeshows and customer visits to product launches—simply evaporated. The opportunity areas that existed just a few months ago may no longer be viable. Instead of dwelling on the problem, start identifying which market segments, industries or customer types will have the strongest need for your product or service in the near term. Consider which geographic regions will recover first. Then, use this information to prioritize where to target your lead generation campaigns and sales prospecting calls.
Create special offers and resources
At this stage, you’ll want to create content that will incent responses and purchases. Again, what worked six months ago probably won’t work exactly the same when you reactivate your marketing and sales efforts. Think about what has changed for your medtech clients or B2B prospects in their businesses. Then, make sure your solution remains relevant to their current challenges. Resources may include articles, webinars or training material. You can also target offers that will support your lead generation efforts, such as product bundles, discounts, or financing options. Offers and resources put the punch in your medtech and B2B prospecting efforts by sharing your expertise and providing a reason to connect with decision-makers. It’s especially useful with those who may not be ready for an immediate sale.
Find alternatives to business travel
Social distancing guidelines will remain even when restrictions loosen and the economy picks up. That means your field sales team, distributors and key executives will be less likely to get in a car or on a plane for face-to-face visits than in the past. Events and conferences will also be slow to regain traction. It all reinforces the need for other options for lead generation, appointments, product demos and meetings. Look across your entire lead generation and sales process and determine where you need new tools to connect with your audiences. Online platforms like Zoom are one alternative, and work well for scheduled meetings or webinars. To replace other lead generation and prospecting activities, outbound calling is a proven solution. Even with employees working from home, most companies remain reachable by telephone. Calling also lets you pivot and refine your message quickly, with the ability to scale up or down as market conditions dictate.
Set the right expectations
Once business picks up again, it’s important to show progress. Metrics are available on most marketing campaigns, but setting the right expectation with stakeholders is critical for marketing and sales leaders. Where possible, allow more time to test and refine your programs. Sales cycles may be longer than normal, making your process less efficient. You many need extra effort to reach your audiences, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. That could mean more digital campaigns, more prospecting calls or new alternatives like outsourcing.
When it comes to rebound planning, starting early gives you and your resources maximum time to create the best possible solutions. Working with a professional contact center enables you to start small and test, or scale up quickly with high-volume calls for lead generation or appointment setting. Learn more or contact us to discuss a rebound program for your medtech or B2B company.