By: Peter Cannone, CEO, Demand Science
Last month the UK reached ‘Freedom Day’, which meant all businesses could theoretically reopen without restrictions. However, this did not mean that working life has reverted to how it was before the pandemic. While there are undeniable benefits to in-person interaction, the hybrid working environment is certainly here to stay. Companies must consider the best way to take advantage of this new way of working. This means understanding that engaging with their customers has changed and finding the right tools that will enable them to operate in this new world.
Below are four ways that businesses can accelerate their growth in the post-Covid era.
#1 – Work with trusted partners
In a world that is more connected than ever before, businesses are increasingly realising the potential of being able to operate anywhere. The pandemic has proven exactly that, with employees forced to work from home and not carry out the usual business trips for due diligence that would normally accompany a new business relationship. Relationship building had to continue and trusting in those relationships while in an online space was paramount. That trust is crucial to any team, internal or external partners. You must trust that you have the right people in the right roles and give them the freedom to execute their own judgement. Trust is the backbone to any successful organisation or partnership.
Moving into the post-Covid era, companies, their employees, business partners and business contacts, have found a new respect for virtual connections. However, this does not mean physical meetings are dead. Being able to meet in person will help cement relationships formed in the virtual space. Combining the two will create a wider pool of possible contacts for sales teams. Using data to find possible connections and then reaching out for calls and meetings will ensure that business executives are able to find all possible leads for their companies.
Businesses must seek partners that can provide a holistic solution to their new ways of working; trusted partners with multiple solutions, such as databases on potential customers, information on buying intent and the ability to integrate. No one has time to manage nine different vendors or waste time manually transferring data from one system to the next. By working with these businesses, executives can help give their companies a boost when it comes to generating demand for their product.
#2 – Engage with a target customer where they are
Businesses need to engage with a target customer where they are today, not where they’ve been before. Twenty years ago, it was the desk phone, now obsolete. Then during the pandemic, it was “working from home”, and now there is the potential for “working from anywhere”. With widespread geographical obstacles, the pandemic has fundamentally changed how businesses communicate and operate with their customers and partners forever.
This means it is vital that businesses are able to access customer information on where they are now. This includes mobile numbers and social networks such as LinkedIn that will enable sales teams to contact potential leads wherever they are working. Our renewed ‘on the move’ lifestyle, working across multiple working environments, will require matched ‘on the move’ working methods. By ensuring sales teams have access to this type of information will allow them to continue generating leads, no matter where the customers are based.
#3 – Develop a global mindset
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation at a lightning rate. To scale and stay relevant in today’s economy, businesses must adopt a global mindset. This means finding tools that will allow you to manage and grow your business on a global level. Finding customers and partners wherever they are in the world, all without being in an office, will require global data and intelligence in order to support sales and marketing objectives.
In addition to this, businesses must also consider travel. With business travel beginning to be an option again, it is a question now of whether this travel is essential. When nearly all business operations have been proven to be able to be conducted online, businesses must evaluate and prioritise when global business travel is actually necessary. The increasing business pressures of adhering to sustainability missions as well as tightening budget costs will mean the spontaneity and frequency of travel for businesses will never look the same again. Business executives will need to do the majority of the leg work from their desks before being able to justify a trip to meet a new partner. By being able to demonstrate to CFO’s and other business leaders that the trip would generate a return on investment will become more important than before. This can only be done through data analysis that is proven to show that people are in the position to buy a product.
#4 – Have access to accurate, healthy revenue intelligence data
All businesses generate data. What you do with that data and how you make it actionable could determine the success of your business. Data is a wealth of information that provides learning opportunities and insights at every avenue.
The pandemic has only expedited the transformation into a data-driven world. Data is now a prerequisite for our digital-first world. This data has to be reliable as the management and analysis of it is a key strategic asset for any modern business to succeed.
Ensure that data is high quality, timely, robust, and accurate. This will provide greater benefit when it is analysed, including buyer intent signals, which are crucial in finding prospects and evaluating how to best engage with them. Sales and marketing professionals rely increasingly on data-driven aspects of business for growth. To make informed decisions, businesses must harness data and use it as a tool for their development.
By adopting these four ways of working, businesses can create a more robust sales team that can operate in this new way of working. Ensuring that they are still able to generate leads for the business and help drive overall growth for the company. Teams that do not adapt to this new normal will struggle and lose ground to their competitors.