As the end of corona holidays are near, the world rejoices as life returns to its normal route. People are also filled with apprehension. With some countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Georgia, etc have managed to contain the outbreak of COVID 19, other countries are still reeling from this pandemic. The death toll as of June is 380265 and still infecting millions. India despite sincere effort has been unable to contain it with the death toll due to the coronavirus rose to 5598. As vaccination of COVID 19 is still an elusive dream, learning to live with it is the only option.
Corona outbreak has shown the fragility of human life against nature. Corona has impacted the world on all levels whether it be social, economic, and psychological. Corona effects have been positive on the environment and flora- fauna. The other repercussions are nowhere positive.
The world economic ecosystem has got disrupted and from the looks of it, recovery will take years. The world economy has estimated to lose 9 trillion dollars due to the coronavirus. The World Bank has estimated India’s growth rate to be lowest in three decades. The lockdown has affected people socially and psychologically. As the world adjusts with social distancing, distancing with profit has filled business with uncertainty. According to the IMF report, the world economy will shrink by 3 percent in 2020. This slowdown is sharpest since the great depression in the 1930s.
The world economy is heading towards a deep recession. The COVID 19 induced economic shutdowns and market instability have lead to a sharp rise in unemployment, a decline in government income, collapse of tourism and hospitality industries, stress on supply chains, and reduction in consumption of products and services. The majority of companies are forced to reduce or completely stop production as demand has fallen. The new start-ups are struggling for funds as the market has dried up. Stock markets in India have announced their worst losses in history. The plight of migrant workers is not hidden. The government is obligated to spend its revenue on food security and medical facilities. The prime minister has announced a package of 20 lakh crore rupees. The effects of loss of lives are immense.
The halting of industrial production, exports, and allied economic activities has plummeted b2b sales. Even after the corona holidays get over, the momentum of b2b sales as prior is still unpredictable. There is one thing in business that is certain, is uncertainty. The uncertainty fuels business with opportunities. With well thought out action plan and courage, rebounding for these turbulent times is possible too. The five ways that will keep you afloat in stormy COVID 19 times are
Keeping the spirit high
We cannot control situations in our life but we can control our reactions to them. An upbeat attitude will keep us sailing through tough corona time. Corona pandemic has affected people immensely. People’s hesitation and reluctance are genuine. The halting of the economic machine has broken the back of many and dried upmarket with money flow. Many have faced income cut down while others have been laid off. The manufacturer and seller both have faced major losses. The manufacturer lost by stopping production and the seller lost by steep fall in the purchase of products. The instability of the market has tied the hands of both manufacture and sellers. These factors have in turn led to a drop in b2b sales and new b2b leads are abysmal.
These are the facts that should be accepted for what they are. These are the problems that every business i0s facing right now. The economic packages of government are ventilators for an economy that is struggling with corona symptoms but completer recovery uncertain. Acceptance of the situation will open the doors for change. The belief that too shall pass is the need of the hour. The eradication of corona is a difficult nut to crack. People along with businesses have to learn to live with.
Sense and sensitivity
With the world still recovering from the pandemic and your marketing strategy, oblivion to the sensitivity of matter will create a negative impact. An aggressive marketing approach in these times will leave a bad taste in your client’s mouth. Business in this time should be looked upon as empathic and concerning not money hungry and selfish. Brand image will take a serious hit if even after this global tragedy no compassion is shown.
B2b website content and social media communication channel should reflect the sincerity of the brand. The creation of video content to educate people could be included on-site and social media. The advertisements on-site should be as per condition right now. The people are apprehensive to travel in their town and your site is advertising discounted world tours.
The valuable steps were taken by the company during corona times to help people and emergency service personnel will demonstrate the humane nature of the brand. Like the majority of companies has come forward in making and distributing masks, sanitizers, gloves, respirators, and other essential medical equipment. The steps taken as CSR (corporate social responsibility) should be publicized so that others are inspired. The people get connected to the brand which is aligned with their values and morals, not some entity that is cold and unfeeling.
For b2b business related to selling, in homepage listing, hygiene and medical products could be included. All e-commerce companies are taking this approach. Even in the appeals section personal protective equipment (PPE), apron, coveralls, etc are found in the first listing.
Website themes and homepage content subliminally convey the intent of a business entity. These are small changes to be made but making a series of minor changes could change the big picture too. The emails forwarding to the current customer base with hoping for the wellness of customers and brand eagerness to standby them through tough times like this will create goodwill.
Without sensitivity in these times, a business will look like Evil Corporation no one want to associate with.
Tried and tested
Corona has also affected online trends. Keywords that were once getting website on first search pages have lost their charm. In this uncertainty of b2b lead generation, data mining and data analysis tools are useful like never before. What business intuition cannot predict data analysis of customer behavior and SEO tool can predict. These customer insights are crucial in times like this when stable sources of leads and sales are unstable.
Emails appending, data scrubbing, address search, data scraping, and data verification are all tools at your disposal. The quarantine and lockdown have altered customer behavior. These are shown through online trending topics, Twitter trending, etc.
Using data gathered through these tools can help businesses to include the keyword in their content which will increase their visibility of the online stage. With people relying on the web for news and updates on corona, correct utilization of data mining services works wonders. If b2b leads are not generated as per expectation online presence will surely increase. That too will be beneficial in the long run.
Exploring the unexplored
B2b leads and sales have tools a serious hit during corona times. Already established marketing channels cannot tap into lead generation. As the corona holidays are over. New leads on old channels are dried up. Unexplored marketing channels can be explored. Never had your business presence on Esty, it’s time to do so. Never held a business account on VK, it is never too late. These new exploring will open a gateway for a new customer base and new business opportunities. What is not in demand in your current client base can be in high demand for new clients. The customer outreach program through an online discussion forum could be done. Many broadcasting sites are present to which are not explored with a marketing point of view, that can be done. Take this time to explore other channels for advertising. It will take time to return to the normal course of life and with free time in hand online world is safe to explore for people. While they do their part you can do yours too.
Value the bird in the hand
While hoping for the best in new leads it may be possible that it takes time. The loyal customer stronghold should be safeguarded first. The current customer database can be used to identify the high-value clients and sales strategies focused on them. The high-value clients offered discounts, premium membership benefits, and exclusive offers will respond positively. The clients still ordering during corona times should be valued. Once someone made a purchase they can be pitched for other purchases or reorder. It takes time to develop customer relations. A loyal customer base should always be cherished.
Every b2b is different. What can work for SAAS cannot work for an e-commerce b2b. Keeping that in mind, these five ways are generalized for all b2b. It’s up to you that you choose the way that keeps your boat afloat. The corona times have been tough and right now circumstances are grim. Opportunities can be found in the darkest of times if we remember to turn on the light. When staying home can save lives, staying in-game can save the business as well.