An analysis of unfolding of crisis scenarios as the virus travelled from city of China to rest of the world since middle of December’19, is sufficient to conclude that Sales forecasts for 2020 for most of the companies have just become obsolete.
Long Lockdowns and pausing of businesses in many countries have compelled corporates and households as well to be prepared for facing financing and liquidity issues as the impact of lockdowns and shuttering of businesses is much deeper on businesses and individuals. As per a recent study, the covid-19 pandemic is expected to cost the global economy approximately $ 2 trillion and if its so it will bring noticeable ripples in the current model of how the businesses are being conducted.
While for essential services and items such as food, online collaboration tools and SAAS companies demand has surged, for most of other segments and companies its time for the top management to rework the business plan for 2020 with revised plan for each of the fundamental 5Ps of Product, Price, Promotion Place and People of business and marketing strategies and its elements.
Some of the Areas which will be very logical to include in the revised plan would be-
Reassess and revise the Sales Forecast and sales targets:
- Your SMART ( Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) targets set by you for your sales force will not be valid now and it would need to be relooked and revalidated post covid-19 and corrected at the earliest.
- Also your monthly, quarterly and annual sales forecast which was before the Covid-19 scenario would simply not be valid as the market conditions and many other factors including customer behaviour and expectations would have undergone a very noticeable change.
- Regular feedback from field and customers and building of market intelligence should be used to validate your sales target setting and sales forecasting methods at least every month till at least one quarter so that a clear visibility can be plotted for year wise business potential for this year and next 2 years.
Relook Sales & Marketing Strategy using the modified framework:
It’s time to validate your sales and marketing once again after evaluating and checking on adjustments needed for many of the sub-elements of 5Ps; some of them as given below
Some of the critical areas which may need immediate focus would be;
– How to infuse confidence in customers of badly hit segments (such as Travel and Leisure businesses). Here a judicious call will have to be taken how much to rely on investing on a revival plan for the badly hit segments/customers segments Or to start exploring afresh the new possible and prospective segments?
– How to ensure and maintain sales continuity and customer focus keeping in mind the new social distancing policy framework?
– How to make proposals self-explanatory by making visual and audio aid as a part of the proposal?
– Increased networking and collaboration with other vendors and consultants for lead generation.
Special Aid for Manufacturing and Business processes
– It’s the time now when more companies will start exploring Innovative automation solutions but at low cost. While companies will be planning to embrace automation across their business processes, they will be cautious enough and vigilant on their liquidity and cash flow status and hence vendors with low cost solutions are expected to be gaining more and more acceptance.
– Long lockdowns and global concerns on the pandemic would have made the individual fearful towards getting infected and this may remain in mind for at least next few months. Hygiene and safe work policy need to be re-formulated and implemented seriously to mitigate the fear factor in workmen and make them confident of a safer environment and work culture.
– Business terms with vendors and customers will undergo changes to include the revised payment terms and delivery schedules. Contracts will be specific on revoking possibilities of force majeure clauses.
It’s a famous saying that ‘when going is tough the tough gets going’ and in the changed time of post covid-19 era, the companies which would be quick to change their business model to adapt to the changes which the market has brought into our life and offer new products and services addressing the challenges posted by the pandemic will flourish and march ahead steadily.
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