Since the start of the lockdown on March 23rd, many businesses, large and small, have had to enter into a temporary shutdown and furlough the majority, if not all, of their staff.
This has had a significant impact on almost every business in the UK. Some companies have had to cut jobs, such as TUI’s culling of up to 8,000 staff. Many other businesses have had to apply for the Govt’s Business Interruption Loan Scheme after facing serious financial difficulties. In some of the most serious cases, businesses have had no other option but to file for administration.
Looking at data provided by the Office for National Statistics, 23.4% of businesses in all industries saw more than a 50% decrease in turnover between 6th April and 19th April 2020. With the hardest-hit industries being Accommodation & Food Services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, and Construction, in which 57%, 50.9%, and 45.4% of businesses saw more than a 50% decrease in turnover within the same period. Only 1.7% of businesses across all industries saw a slight increase in turnover between 6th April and 19th April.
With all of that in mind, it goes without saying that after Boris Johnson’s announcement on 10th May, that those who cannot work from home are permitted to return to work from 13th May onwards, these hard-hit businesses will be looking to get back and up and running as soon, and as efficiently as possible to avoid joining the list of businesses that have fallen victim to the devastation of COVID-19.
But after being in a shuttered state for almost two months, how can you get your sales process back up and running promptly? How can you get back on track to growing your business? And how can you keep up with generating new business in a time where there will be more competition than ever, and even more operational hurdles to overcome?
Standing Out From The Crowd
With many businesses like yours scrambling to get their sales process kickstarted again, you’re going to have a lot of competition to deal with; and with the current financial struggles that almost every small or medium-sized business will have been experiencing in recent months, the stakes are higher than ever.
It’s always good to stand out from the crowd, but in a situation like this, it’s key.
One thing that your prospects will be swarmed with at the moment, is sales and marketing emails. Although email marketing can be a great way to engage with your prospects, when used as an unintegrated method, it can be quite an impersonal form of engagement – add this to the fact that it’s currently going to be an oversaturated approach, means trying to get your message across is going to be that much harder.
Despite what some people would have you believe; telemarketing is still very much a valuable tool for generating new business opportunities and adding a personal touch to your prospect engagement.
By building a quality-focused approach to your telemarketing, you can have genuine and valuable conversations with your prospects that will leave them with a lasting impression of you and your business. They’ll remember that when everyone was just bombarding them with mass emails, you picked up the phone and had a one-on-one conversation with them and actively listened to their needs and concerns.
Another advantage to using the telemarketing approach is that you can gauge interest a lot quicker, allowing you to cut down on wasted time and focus on the opportunities that are more likely to be successful.
With email marketing, you can often be left waiting for replies that may never come – leaving you in the dark as to whether any prospects have a serious interest in your offering.
Making the Most of the Current Situation
Despite those who cannot work from home being told that they can return to their offices many decision-makers will still be working from home.
If you are using telemarketing to approach your prospects, this is a great opportunity for you as one of your main obstacles when attempting to reach the decision-maker has been removed from the equation – the gatekeeper.
While working from home, company phone lines and DDI numbers will likely be redirected to the decision-maker’s mobile number.
This means you could have a direct line straight to a key decision-maker, without having to go through different operator options or being challenged by a gatekeeper – potentially resulting in higher contact rates, depending on your approach.
During the 2009 – 2010 Swine Flu pandemic, some of our more experienced telemarketers (some of which have been doing this for over 20 years) saw an 18% rise in contact rate with key decision-makers and an 11% rise in generated leads across various sectors.
Offloading Some of the Burden
After being put on pause in recent months, the priority for almost every business is getting operational again and being able to deliver your expected level of service or quality of your products; as well as making your workplace safer and more protected from coronavirus.
Doing so will be a challenge on its own, but the thought of then adding the time-consuming task of prospecting new business opportunities could prove to be too much to handle for many SMEs.
Despite this, maintaining a consistent flow of new business opportunities is essential for keeping revenue coming in, without which, your business will fail.
So how can you prioritise your operational and health & safety needs, while also keeping the quality business opportunities coming? Outsourcing.
By outsourcing your lead generation or appointment setting activities to a team of highly experienced professionals, you’re not just offloading some of your workload, you’re also putting your prospect engagement into the best possible hands.
After being inactive for months, your predicted business growth for 2020 will have taken a big hit. To pull this back, and even potentially get on track to achieve your predicted growth, you will need to take a highly proactive and targeted approach to your business development. But you may not have the experience or the resources to do so.
At Inspired, we are now back working with clients old and new to help re-establish engagement with their prospects, and kickstart their sales process again to get them back on track to having a productive 2020.
With our strategic integration of quality-focused telemarketing and digital marketing activities, we are already back generating fully-qualified leads and phone appointments for over a dozen clients, and we still have availability to take on new campaigns in June.
If you would like to know more about our B2B lead generation and appointment setting services, then please get in touch on 01329 277558, or drop an email at to email@example.com.