How to effectively organize your sales and marketing during a crisis

The only way for a business to fight the challenges posed by the global crisis is by adjusting your operations accordingly. And your sales and marketing teams are the forefront of this battle – the way they operate throughout this crisis will define your chances to survive and get back on track once it’s over.

To help those of you struggling to make things work, we’ve decided to put together this cheat sheet based on our first-hand experience and pro tips to navigate your way through this crisis.

      • Organize effective communication and collaboration within your team using various software tools (see the Toolset section for recommendations).

      • Create a unified knowledge base for your team – make all the work-related information immediately accessible to all team members who might need it.

      • Define and document routine activities so that all team members have clear instructions in case they need them.

      • Establish seamless team activity reporting. For example, with Reply’s Team Edition you can manage your team members and track team performance.

      • Hold regular sync-ups within the team as well as with other departments, including top management.

      • Regularly meet with the team face-to-face, even if it’s via a video call. Sometimes, a chat is not enough.

      • Work smarter, not harder – use automation software to streamline mundane tasks and free up some time for more value-generating activities.

      • Set clear and achievable goals and track your progress. For example, we rely on the Objective and Key Results (OKR) framework to manage our goals.

      • Boost individual team member productivity by introducing time management practices and limiting the distractions (i.e. unnecessary meetings).

      • Make sure to keep in touch with prospects through automatic follow-ups and casual social touches.

      • Try to make more video calls – talking face to face, not just over audio, can help you establish trust and close more deals.

      • Be available to your prospects via any channel that works best for them (i.e. popular messenger apps).

      • Pro tip:
        Use ReplyNow to efficiently manage all your communications across different messengers.

      • Strategically allocate your resources by outsourcing or automating any tasks that are not directly related to sales, e.g. cold outreach and follow-ups.

      • Streamline manual tasks to scale your processes with minimum available human resources.

      • Start a reseller program or partner with other businesses to drive sales through your network rather than in-house SDRs.

      • Grow the top of your pipeline exponentially to maintain or increase your sales. This means adding more – a lot more – leads to your sales funnel.

      • Increase the effectiveness of your sales efforts (i.e. by hand-picking targeted prospects, employing alternative sales channels, and heavily personalizing your outreach).

      • Offer additional value to your prospects. For example, a new product or functionality, increased service limits, priority support, etc.

      • Look into your ideal customer profile to understand what are the other potential channels you can employ to reach your audience.

      • Explore alternative engagement channels, prioritizing digital experiences, e.g. virtual events, relevant online communities, etc.

      • Use a mix of different channels within your sales process, e.g. combine cold emails with LinkedIn engagement and targeted ads.

      • Focus on building and nurturing relationships with your current prospects and expand your network in the meantime.

      • Create a low-commitment offer with a small deal size (i.e. monthly or quarterly subscription plans instead of annual terms).

      • Reduce any bureaucratic roadblocks that can cause additional challenges for closing a deal, e.g. adopt contract management and electronic signature tools.

      • Invest in Customer Success, including proper onboarding processes, personalized according to the needs and goals of each customer.

      • Have conversations with customers who are looking to cancel and offer unique value and unparalleled quality of service.

      • Act on customer requests or complaints – right now, more than ever, focus on fixing the issues they point out to your Support team.

      • Understand where your prospects reside online and focus on building your consistent online presence across the relevant platforms and channels.

      • Switch to online marketing tactics; virtual events or webinars, content or email marketing, and social media are great channels to engage with your prospects.

      • If you still prefer outbound tactics, there’s still paid advertising and cold outreach you can perform remotely – via email, social media, or calling.

      • Review and analyze your ideal customer profile to see if there’s still any opportunities, i.e. active or non-impacted market segment, you can target.

      • Look into your data and talk to your customers to understand their immediate needs and challenges they are facing right now and how you can help.

      • Try to think of any new use cases for your product/service that you haven’t targeted before and pivot to address that opportunity.

      • Don’t be afraid to try. Just make sure to tailor your messages accordingly: show empathy and address the elephant in the room, use softer CTAs, etc.

      • Grow your strategic partnerships to drive new leads through referrals instead of reaching out to them directly.

      • Move away from direct sales for now: prioritize the leads that are already in your funnel and focus on nurturing these opportunities instead.

      • Track and analyze buyer intent data to see which sales triggers are still relevant and adjust your value proposition accordingly.

      • Perform market audit to understand the immediate needs and requirements of your target audience and introduce relevant value-added offers to address them.

      • Be mindful and stay away from tactless generic COVID-19 greeting (i.e. “hope all is fine in these uncertain times, now buy my stuff”).

      • Share your experience handling similar challenges – this can help you build a personal bond with the prospect.

      • Make it okay for your leads to say “no” or “not now” – it’s better than no response at all. Plus, your chances to re-engage leads later will be higher.

      • Try to get on a video call so you can handle objections right away (emails are very likely to get ignored, regardless of how great your arguments are).

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