As business owners and higher management have all watched our cashflows over the past few months more closely than ever.
We have furloughed staff, taken advantage of government grants and applied for bounce back loans to name a few methods businesses have used in the last few weeks to try and protect both their cash flows and their businesses. BUT have you been paying the same attention to your pipeline?
If you believe what many coaches and mentors are saying at the moment, then now is the time to start thinking about what you can do to prevent more hardship and stress further down the line.
The general thought is that although COVID19 has already impacted many businesses, further impact is still on the way.
I understand why this will be the case for many businesses.
Let’s look at some numbers as an example,
· Monday is the 1st June
· Sales staff and other teams have been furloughed for 8 weeks
· If you are now planning to bring them back 1st July (that would have been 12 weeks)
· Meaning 4 months lead generation, pipeline nurturing and communication has been lost – and if you have also furloughed your marketing teams then your marketing message may have gotten a little lost over the past few weeks.
· Plus, you then need to add on the buying cycle in your pipeline average close time before you start to see the results you were initially projecting for 2020.
From a sales perspective, new plans and considerations need to be put in place.
Decision Makers and Need
For example, the decision makers you were previously speaking to may have also been furloughed, are they back? Is the project still ongoing? Do they still have a need?
Remember a lot of businesses have had to change the way that they operate and this will have impacted requirements that they had before COVID19.
If your offer has changed you may need to re-sell new products or services that have now replaced the old ones.
Have your leads/prospects been communicated with over the past 8 weeks? Have they been nurtured? Do you know when they were last contacted? Do you have to start from day one again with some of these leads?
All of these things will have an ongoing impact to your business and the pipeline. Managing this through a single CRM system will help, but now is the time to do this. If you have multiple sales staff, using different systems to manage data then this will not work in the new landscape.
You will need to know your data now better than ever before. You need to know what you have in the pipeline, at what stage and equally the projected close date and probability in order to ensure that your business can stay profitable, a bad decision at the moment can be devastating.
But more than this we also need to know when projects are due to start, when jobs begin, when you can expect payments. Cashflow is still as important as ever, but now the pipeline is equally as important. Without either of these been monitored and nurtured correctly businesses will see a second wave of impact in 6-12 months’ time.
We need to know our customers and prospects better than we ever have in the past,
we need to become increasingly organised, improve communication and keep track of everything.
We need to be able to make long, medium and short-term decisions and they need to be strategic. We can only do that if the correct and relevant data is available, CRM is a great way to both track this and report in real time, giving you the information you need, when you need it.
For more information on how CRM can help your business email me at firstname.lastname@example.org