We are pleased to have secured keynote speaker and founder of To Be Consulting; George Liberopoulos, for our webinar being held on the 7th of May at 4pm. George will be sharing insights and providing an update on the current business challenges and how business leaders can prepare their businesses to transition from Crisis Mode to Recovery Mode in a COVID-19 environment.
In the lead up to this event we asked George to share his thoughts on The Three Essential Growth Questions during COVID-19
The Three Essential Growth Questions During COVID-19
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 700,000 Australians losing their jobs in just a week. More broadly, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that two thirds of Australian businesses reported that their turnover or cash flow has reduced as a result of COVID-19. The Federal and State Governments have responded with an economic stimulus package to address the reduction in cash flow and lower demand for products and services – however, there will be further pain, with 96% of all businesses reporting adverse impacts expected in the coming months.
As businesses continue to adapt and, in some cases, struggle to survive the current Pandemic Crisis, business leaders have an important role to plan the transition from Crisis Mode to Recovery Mode. Doing nothing different is not an option.
Crisis mode involved some difficult and fast decisions to secure business viability including, renegotiating property lease arrangements, deferred loan repayments, changing payment terms with customers, changing the method of delivery of products or services – this one was punctuated by a significant shift to online activities and in the local communities, businesses setting up ‘pop-up’ shop services.
Recovery mode will require strong leadership, courage and fast decision making with incomplete data. There are three problem statements that require your attention when it comes to reigniting your company’s sales, growth and client servicing approach:
1. How will your business model adapt?
2. How will you refocus your client servicing approach?
3. And importantly, how will you refocus your sales strategy?
1. How will your business model adapt?
Your business model explains how your business creates, delivers and generates value for your customers. Whilst there are several elements that make up your business model, a good start is understanding more about your core business activities: How efficient and profitable are your core business activities? How might your core business activities be further disrupted? A holistic understanding of your business model provides a valuable starting point to explore new channels for growth and where are your most profitable business activities exist.
2. How will you refocus your approach to client servicing?
There are two underlying client servicing principles that underpin all successful businesses: 1. Rusted relationships are everything. 2. Not all clients are created equally. The value of your client is measured by how profitable or strategically important they are to your business. Then, value is measured by the size of revenue, nature and strength of your relationship with them. The trap for client relationship managers (CRMs) is not having accurate data to identify their most profitable clients. Only when CRMs have access to this data, can they make the servicing decisions that means they don’t over-service low profit clients at the expense of the high profit (or strategically important) clients. This insight will focus their efforts and how they can reshape their customer relationships for long-term business success.
3. How will you refocus your sales strategy?
COVID-19 has dawned a new business reality: your sales team needs to generate new business from home. Whilst the working from home trend has steadily increased in recent years, preparing your team for the next six months in this fast-changing COVID-19 environment will set them (and your business) up for success. It will not be business as usual for the remaining (long) months of 2020. A valuable starting point is getting the hygiene factors in place: remain positive with your sales team – the challenges of isolation and the impact on one’s mental health is real. It is ok to show the team that there are struggles ahead – they will value authentic and honest communication. This will impact their ability to perform at expected levels, so prepare clear employee wellness initiatives focusing on your teams mental, physical, financial and social wellbeing. Another consideration is resetting expectations and gaining more clarity on where you will invest your new business efforts in 2020. Best tip: less is more. Agree on 2-3 core sales strategies that will keep the revenue (and profit!) ticking over and focus the entire team on achieving these.
We are working in unpredictable times and your transition from Crisis to Recovery Mode will shape the future success of your company. Investment guru and modern philosopher, Ray Dalio best sums up the challenges of the modern-day leader, “the two biggest barriers to good decision making are your ego and your blind spots. Together, they make it difficult for you to objectively see what is true about you and your circumstances and to make the best possible decisions by getting the most out of others.”
Know what you can control. Be honest and authentic in your communications. An incorrect decision is better than no decision – use the data you have available to make quick decisions.