How are you—and your business?
Hopefully, being at—and working from—home, your basic needs are being met. Personally, you have enough air, water, food, and sleep. You also feel safe and protected. But, what about your business? How healthy, safe, and protected is it?
The playing field has changed.
For many, a lot of current business has been put on hold. Opportunities in the pipeline have been cancelled or delayed. Clients are withholding payment or asking for new terms. Moreover, face-to-face meetings, trade shows/conferences, and special events have all been sidelined for the near future. Most have to find new ways to market, sell, package, price, and deliver their services and products.
There is still plenty of time on the clock, but you need to get a fresh read of the field. What had value six months ago may not have the same value today. Also, it is now a virtual world. If you are not using digital marketing techniques to the fullest, you need to adjust your strategy today. Be aware that trust and confidence are in short supply as run your new plays. Finally, every dollar is precious to your clients and prospects right now. Many will have tighter budget restrictions than they did even a few months ago.
The Hinge Research Institute realizes that the playing field has changed and has produced a new, actionable playbook with dozens of proven plays, coaching tips, and research facts to help those in B2B and professional services bring their “A-game” moving forward. It is entitled, “Getting Back In The Game.”
This article will highlight 11 of those game plays from the playbook for leadership, marketing, business development, sales, re-packaging/pricing, delivery, and technology.
Play 1: Be bold and invest. According to McKinsey & Company, tinkering, instead of making big moves, leads to changes that are too small to match the external pace of disruption. And when it comes to staffing and programs, don’t just think about cutting back. McKinsey & Company found that firms that invest when valuations are low outperform those that do not.
Play 2: Lean into change. Evaluate potential change as predictable trends or unpredictable events. Plan for predictable trends. Be open for adapting to unpredictable events.
Play 3: Make your top draft pick a digital marketing professional. We cannot emphasize how important digital marketing will be moving forward. Whether this person is on staff or outsourced, they should help your business with website design, social media, search engine marketing, email marketing, and more. These are areas that will generate more and more of your branding and leads.
Play 4: Conduct a blog audit. In sports, to win, you have to stay in peak condition. That goes for blogs as well. Use your analytics to see where engagement potential lies. Now is the time to adjust your calls to action and internal links. Maybe some posts are out of date and need to be freshened up. Other posts may have served their purpose and can be quietly put to rest. Just as team sports like basketball, hockey, and football rely on their strongest players to make the biggest impact. You, as coach, need to continually monitor your marketing program and take tired resources out of the game, assess their condition, make some changes, re-energize them, and get them back when they are ready.
Play 5: Develop a “trust multiplier” to help prospects build confidence in working with you. For example, at Hinge, we tell clients that if they co-brand a webinar with us, we can double or triple the normal number of registrations they receive. Many of them have set new webinar registration and attendance records by working with us. That type of trust multiplier is extremely compelling and helps a prospect move forward with their decision.
Play 6: Step back and do an honest assessment of your website. Is it compelling? Is it easy to navigate? Is it differentiated and memorable? Under the new normal, your website is the gateway to your firm. It is the place of first impressions. Keep in mind that folks will be accessing your website at their convenience—even when you may not be available. This can be a game changer. The decision to work with you may be influenced by your website. To learn more, download our Lead Generating Website Guide.
Play 7: Realize that time does not equal value. Understand your competitive environment and identify where you can create value by being faster, more efficient, or more reliable. Determine what your clients are willing to pay for this value. Also, appreciate that value communication is just as important as value delivery. You need to make sure that anyone selling a product or service clearly understands the value before you ask your prospect or client to accept the value.
Play 8: Create a client-only portal. Fill it with digital content in every shape and form. Create a very special experience for your clients with this portal.
Play 9: Leverage your subject matter experts in video and online formats. Make sure that these subject matter experts get media and presentation training. If they are not polished or comfortable on the new video or digital channels, consider hiring an actor to present your content.
Play 10: Consider chatbots. This technology is a great marketing, business development, and client service enhancement for your website. Keep in mind that you are playing catch-up and each of your business development and sales staff can only speak to one prospect at a time.
Chatbots are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can offer information to anyone around the world any time they show interest. Chatbots can answer most common questions and even schedule appointments for BD and sales folks.
Play 11: Take advantage of an email or marketing automation platform (MAP). This investment should be one of your top priorities, as you will need to scale and try to reach more people faster. Which system you choose will depend on what features you think you will need over the next three years. Email platforms tend to focus primarily on sending out the emails and tracking them. Marketing automation platforms can be integrated into a marketing technology stack to deliver sophisticated functionality such as lead scoring, lead nurturing, multi-touch attribution, personalization, predictive analytics, Account-Based Marketing, and more. Now more than ever, you need to establish a marketing and sales funnel or waterfall and be able to push out the right content at every stage of the funnel and every touchpoint. This engagement should be personalized and customized as much as possible to build trust and confidence in your expertise and products/services.
To learn more about the technology to use in these unprecedented times, please listen to the Hinge on-demand webinar, “Reboot: How to Rebuild Your Business Development Program for a Virtual World.”
To get more insights into these—and other plays—be sure to sign up for the live or on-demand Hinge webinar, “Getting Back in the Game: How Your Firm Can Win in ‘The New Normal.’”
In addition to listening to the “Getting Back in the Game” webinar, you can also download a free copy of the 40-page playbook, “Getting Back in the Game: A Playbook to Help Professional Services Firms Win Under ‘The New Normal.’”
Please let us know what you think of the “Getting Back in the Game” playbook and webinar. Hopefully you will pick up a few plays that will help you get the win.