Cust Engagement

Post Covid, 6 Ways TechCEOs Can Jumpstart Customer Engagement

COVID-19 has been one of the biggest global challenges of our generation. Customer behaviour is changing at a staggering pace, and digital adoption has become necessary for survival. When the pandemic eventually recedes, your customers will have to continue to adapt and accommodate new business models, attitudes and behaviours in engaging markets. Leaders must take immediate action to meet customer expectations in the post-crisis era.

 

As a TechCEO, You have a unique opportunity in engaging differently with your customers and help them navigate this crisis.

 

Last month we covered how TechCEOs can respond to the Covid-19 event and take control of your business in H2 2020. Now, let’s explore how TechCEOs can engage their customers differently and deepen their relationship.

 

Let’s be clear. By now customers have accepted the fact they are bang in the center of a prolonged recession, at the same time they are seeking a level of certainty which allows them to move forward with caution and renewed hope.

 

Most important thing they want from any vendor is to assist them in establishing a sense of clarity. As a TechCEO, if your selling team has reach across a broad swath of customers, industry verticals, and geographies you can help your customers by providing evidence-based perspectives. There is a clear opportunity for vendors to make sense of rapidly shifting conditions and bring clarity to their customers.

 

As a TechCEO, you can offer your customers some of these information:

  • Assess impact on customer businesses and potential areas to offer support.
  • Create near-term commercial messages that help customers more effectively manage their business through the pandemic and aftermath.
  • In lieu of data-backed perspective, engage customers with a hypothesis-led approach. 
  • Position and arm sellers as “Sense Makers,” helping customers understand rapidly shifting dynamics.

 

Let’s elaborate.

 

Customer Engagement Strategies

1. Help re-visit the long-term plan or strategy. 

“How is your long-term strategy changing or evolving given current conditions?

Have you had discussions with your customers to understand the impact of this recession on their business strategy? As frightening as the current crisis may appear, if you can help your customers respond better to it will decide how well their organisations will thrive once the economy starts recovering. You will deepen your relationship with clients if If you can give them ideas whereby they can utilise the slowdown to step back and take some strategic measures that will pay off in the long term.

 

2. Explore hypothesis on coming changes to customer or market behaviour. 

“Here’s what we’re seeing and what we think it means. What do you think? Would you agree?”

To some extent if you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes and help them analyse their current situation, outlook, the forces shaping the next normal, and the new organisational structures that can help them keep pace with the changes – it will be really welcome. Instead of pushing your products and solutions, if your selling team can spend some time in engaging and visualising the changes in your customer business and test some hypothesis, it will go a long way in developing an empathetic relationship with client stake holders.

 

You could launch a survey, consolidate reports and gather vital data points and assemble it meaningful ways to make an impact to your customer assessment journey. 

 

3. Explore likely impact to business processes (e.g. workflow, supply chain). 

“Which processes will likely change as a result of COVID-19, and which won’t? Here’s what we’re seeing.”

One silver lining with Covid situation is that it has shown businesses how to manage better and achieve greater speed, quality, and cost control. Gone are the days of waiting around for best practices to emerge. CEOs recognise the need to shift from adrenaline-based speed during COVID-19 to speed by design for the long run. The winners are experimenting now, and boldly. 

 

You could explore with your customers as to which key processes are in for a major revamp. For example, redeploying talent, improving productivity in specific areas, developing new products quickly, shifting and adjusting operations can be explored in detail to adapt to current situational needs. You could be of help to your customers in some way.

 

4. Address previously agreed-upon strategic initiatives. 

“Which strategic initiatives will you likely have to revisit or re-prioritise as a result of these changes?”

 

Post pandemic, most organisations are being forced to address these 3 important questions: Who are we? How do we operate? How will we grow? Most customers are focussed on helping stabilise the company in the near term, creating the right conditions for growth as we emerge from the crisis, and building the resilience the company will need to get through the next several cycles. 

 

You could engage in conversations to discuss how strategic priorities are shifting with this sudden change in fortunes and how companies are responding to the situation. 

 

 

5. Help customers develop and prioritise actions for a range of upcoming scenarios. 

“Let’s lay out the range of actions you might take for each step of the following three phases, depending on how conditions develop: near term protection, mid-term recovery, long-term new normal”

 

For one of our clients we immediately engaged in a conversation that went like this:

Look after employees first, followed by customers and suppliers. It will pay off in the long run, as each group will certainly remember how you treated them during this difficult time. The profits and dividends will come later if you make the right decisions and moves now.

We helped them establish clarity in communicating short term execution of long term plans and not short term guidance. 

We discussed with their leadership team as to how as a company they can withstand the crisis, and how strong will it be in the long term, considering its competitive position, growth potential, and returns on capital? It help them a lot.

 

6. Create near-term commercial messages that help customers respond smarter. 

Your selling team should help develop points of view based on your customer/ prospect company’s perspective in markets served and relay this to customers. Helping your customer assess patterns in how they are inadvertently mismanaging their responses to the crisis and not pro-actively engaging their markets is a big help. Your team should let buyers know that commercial opportunities will exist where assumptions and rapid decision making are driving customers’ business responses.

If you can encourage your customers to respond as a relevant thought leader with a sharpened focus linking their value proposition with the most critical and timely concerns of their customers.

 

 

P.S.Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business:
 
1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.
  • 10 Steps TechCEOs Can Take Now to Bounce Back Click here.
  • Should Tech firms consider Re-Branding to Drive New DemandClick here
  • Do TechCEOs Get ROI from Marketing Click here
  • 3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.
 
2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.
 
We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.
 
3.    Join our TechCelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study
 
I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at TechCelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.
 
Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.
Post Covid growth

How To Drive Post-Covid demand Acceleration?

Leveraging Transformation to Win in the Second Half of 2020

  1. Re-segment your target market. Micro-segment it if required. It’s bit of a mayhem out there. 
  2. Change your perspective on how to reach and resonate with customers.
  3. Strategy wins and losses through COVID-19.
  4. Evaluate both sales & marketing budget for the last half of 2020.
  5. Get sales coverage model right.
  6. Rejig product and services portfolio and be on message.
Mechanics

Is Your Sales Mechanics aligned to Post Covid Message?

If COVID-19 has impacted the effectiveness of your outbound sales campaigns, you’re not alone.

 

A lot of TechCEOs are in similar situation. Most have gone into a shell ‘protection’ mode and are being conservative. Very few are taking chances and doubling down on marketing, revamping messaging and staying connected to clients and market in general.

 

A 2020 HubSpot analysis of 70,000 software customers found that response rates to sales emails (and campaigns) declined by 27% from February to March this year, so the decline is affecting all of us!

 

But there is hope. The same HubSpot study found that marketing open rates actually increased by 21% overall over the two months.

 

These numbers paint a compelling story. Clients are willing to engage with your company but in certain contexts above others, and the study suggests that people are more interested in educational or informative resources, like your blog or educational assets.

 

What does that mean for TechCEOs and sales leaders? As business are recovering and tweaking their H2 plays, you can continue to position yourself as a trusted advisor to prospects and look to create a long-term relationship when the buyer–and budget–are more ready.

 

Even if you don’t have a relationship with a prospect yet, you can build credibility and trust by incorporating inbound learnings into your outbound approach. Here’s how:

  • Work with Marketing to learn what your prospects care about right now
  • Add value, not asks in your sales messaging
  • Revisit your prospect tiering/scoring accordingly

 

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Uncertanity

Are You Spooked? Don’t.

“This feels like a hell. 2008 seemed manageable”

“Will my business survive this? Two of our customers have asked for massive hair cut!”

“How will I manage next 3 months?”

“My pipeline is off the table. This is disastrous!”

“This is not the moment for growth. This is the moment for survival.”

These are some verbatim quotes from TechCEOs with whom we are talking to right now. There is fear, anxiety, pressure to hang in and most painful of all is that (it seems) there is no visibility at end of the tunnel. 

 

“We just came back from our fantastic sales kick off in Bali end January and now this! This is the worst crap show that could have happened at the beginning of the year. “

Are you resonating with these thoughts and emotions? If yes, well you are not alone.

 

Well then in any situation you have two ways of looking at things. One through a filter of fear and anxiety and another through a filter of confidence and progress. Fear usually is usually related to uncertainty while confidence is related to commitment, courage and discipline.

 

It’s all about having the right frame of mind to address this crisis. Maybe we have to learn to shift our mindset and pick up a few tricks from the Navy Seals.

 

There’s a part of Navy SEAL training called “drown-proofing” where they bind your hands behind your back, tie your feet together, and dump you into a 9-foot-deep pool. Your job is to survive for five minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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