Generate leads during COVID-19 — Strategies to keep your business going!
2020 hasn’t quite turned out how most of us planned thus far. Christmas and the new year wasn’t that long ago. Coming out of 2019, we were thinking about the usual business-related things like how to expand our businesses in the new year. Who could have predicted the COVID-19 inspired panic that was to come?
If you read and watch the news too often, you will start to feel that it is all doom and gloom. You’ll probably think that the COVID-19 is going to shut down all of our businesses. Unfortunately, it is true that some SME’s will fall due to the impact of COVID-19. However, it doesn’t need to be that way for all businesses. Your company doesn’t have to be one of those that fail. There is enough business out there for all of us and you can generate leads during COVID-19. It’s just a matter of using the right marketing techniques to get that lead in and then ensuring you have the processes in place to convert.
If you’re worried about your company that is COMPLETELY understandable but you need to keep calm and look towards a new strategy. Don’t let your business be another statistic of the coronavirus. Find a way to generate leads during COVID-19.
Business during COVID-19
The Australian Government has made a number of decisions due to the spread of COVID-19. Coronavirus imposed restrictions have massively impacted many industry sectors. The Travel Industry is, for example, weighed down by travel restrictions, retail & hospitality businesses are struggling through enforced lockdown leading to little or no foot traffic and generally, owners of SMEs are pulling back on their spending. This is all having a negative impact on our economy.
However, there is plenty of business to go around. You only have to Google to find stories of innovation and companies that are thriving. It sounds simple but all you have to do is alter your lead generation tactics. This means:
- Pivoting so that your product solves a problem directly related to the current climate;
- Change your targeting towards businesses that are still spending money and actively looking for solutions;
- Adapt to the marketing channels that are in play right now.
More than anything the best pieces of advice that we can give right now is to stay calm and ensure you safeguard the health of your workforce. If you keep your head and your team avoids this outbreak, you will be able to strategise the best way for your business to survive. If, however you lose your head, pull your marketing spend and lay off your staff, you will not give your company much of a chance.
Generate leads virtually during COVID-19
Ok, now to the crux of the matter. How to actually generate leads during COVID-19. Those SMEs that adapt the fastest to the coronavirus challenge will see not only survive but thrive.
1) Strategy is key to generating leads during COVID-19
I’m sure that these days, it may feel like the walls are crumbling. There are already cases of businesses going under all across the world. However, you have to keep your head. Now is not a moment to panic. Instead, it’s the time to work out how to beat this virus.
Your business will survive without you running it for a few days so get together with your leadership team or business mentors and spend a few hours strategising the best way to get through this crisis. If you don’t you risk losing all your employees and shutting down for good.
Things to think about:
- Which of your products or services are best tailored to helping during this outbreak;
- Who needs your products or services as a matter of urgency right now?
- How can you get yourself out there and add value to those that really need it;
- What should you spend money on and what should you pull back on;
I should emphasise it’s not a time to shut up shop. You need to get to terms with spending money smartly. It may be the case that you need to create some projections just for the next 2–3 months.
2) Make sure you get a modern and up to date website
If you don’t have a decent website or the one you have is outdated, now is the time to get it sorted. The health of your website may be the most important tool for you to survive. That’s because in a time where everything is moving online or to the cloud, every prospective lead will look at your site before deciding whether to proceed with your services or not. In this moment every lead is valuable. You cannot risk losing even one person.
The other thing to mention is that been as people are avoiding going into the office and abiding by the lockdown, many will spend less time on their computers. That means mobile will be key! If your website is not slick, if it’s not responsive across all devices, then you’ll find it hard to keep selling your product or service.
I would also go one step further and ensure that you have a sales funnel in place. In those cases where you lead your potential clients through a funnel, you will have much greater conversion rates, which is critical right now. Track their progress, provide information and give them valuable updates to keep the front of your service of the mind.
You shouldn’t even waste a day without a proper website so my suggestion is that you seek out an affordable web developer to help.
3) Make sure you’re online where your potential clients are
Once you’ve made sure that you have a website that is able to generate leads, it’s time to start hanging out with your current clients and new prospects.
That means first working out where are they online whilst coronavirus leaves them stuck at home? What social media channels do they use? Would your business benefit from hosting virtual meetups and video conference meetings? If you are unsure just ask your current clients!
Those SMEs that use COVID-19 as a springboard to add value on mediums like social media, as well as other digital channels, will be the ones that thrive. Not only will you continue to generate leads during COVID-19, you will likely get business unavailable to you in the past. Selling online is really your only option now!
4) Connect and converse on LinkedIn
One of the best tools available to you, and so often underused by SMEs is Linkedin — especially the Sales Navigator tool. It allows you to improve your lead generation, create highly targeted lists and generate more sales from better-targeted prospects. The Linkedin Messaging platform allows you to have conversations with prospects, as you would if you were at a networking event. In many ways, online conversations are more beneficial as you can have multiple conversations at once. That means you can generate sales faster that will, in turn, produce an increased amount of conversions.
5) Leverage lead generation and virtual sales services
If it all seems “too hard,” if marketing and lead generation is not your “thing” then you should consider leveraging a virtual sales team to generate leads on your behalf. Lead generation experts can help you increase your revenue and grow your business for a fraction of the cost of mainstream advertising channels such as Adwords. They can also save your company a significant amount of time through lead validation — so you only deal with the hottest of hot prospects.
Getting leads? This is how to convert remotely during COVID-19.
The Coronavirus pandemic has lead to social isolation across the world. This, however, should give you a lot more time to take advantage of technology to improve your business. There are plenty of tools available for selling online. These solutions will not only help you get more leads but also improve conversions.
COVID-19 recommendations for self-isolation and not to meet face to face means businesses need to take advantage of video communication platforms like Zoom. Social Media platforms like Facebook also offer live video features to help you communicate with clients. These tools are great for those businesses where some face time is needed. Plus COVID-19 has given you the advantage of no commute time. It’s amazing how much time can be saved when you don’t have to drive to a meeting.
You should also investigate automated proposal software. Such systems may vastly increase your efficiency by enabling you to create templates that are easily customisable for an individual lead. This will make your selling process faster. Definitely check out Better Proposals. Each lead will get a custom proposal that you can use to track opens and even sign on the spot.
If your company paperwork has previously required physical signatures your business should definitely look at the value of virtual document signatures (using tools like hello sign.) Not everyone has a printer or scanner that they can use at home during their coronavirus isolation.
Don’t let COVID-19 self-isolation and lockdown be the end of your business. This COVID-19 crisis could be the wakeup call that your business needs.