Real talk – the impacts hitting global and local economies right now because of COVID-19 are unnerving. Sales prospects have not been responding to you, or if they have it’s to say, “We need a minute to ride this wave out and then we’ll be in touch.” You’re staring down huge business decision that you don’t want to have to make – that you weren’t prepared to make.
You’re not alone. Over the past couple of weeks my clients have graciously shared what they are dealing with and how their prospects and clients have been handling the situation too. Most often those conversations started with the room (virtual, of course!) filled with anxiety and stress looming in the face of current events. I have been pleasantly surprised how most of these conversations have ended, though, because there’s been glimpses of hope and acknowledgement that this is just a season and that because of their inbound marketing efforts, almost every single client I spoke with has an assurance for the future.
Why is that?
1. Businesses Are Still Being Found by Qualified Prospects
While many activities and opportunities seems to have been put on pause currently, not everything is at a standstill. Consumers are still researching for solutions to their problems, and for those who are unable to work right now and who are staying at home, they have extra time that they are spending on the internet conducting this research. This means that businesses who implement inbound marketing well are still being found by researchers.
The inbound marketing structure that has been put in place is able to accommodate researchers the same way now as it does normally because blogs are still being read, eBooks and premium content pieces are still being downloaded, videos and social media posts are being engaged with, and buyers still want to buy what they both need (like toilet paper) and want (like extra toilet paper).
Further, if your business can afford it, now is the time to continue your existing Google Ad and Facebook Ad campaigns to continue driving traffic to your lead converting content.
Take this opportunity to get in front of prospects who are online even more and to get ahead of your competitors who may be pulling back on their ad spend temporarily.
2. Prospects Are Still Moving Down the Sales Funnel
Since business who implement inbound marketing tactics are still capturing leads via their content marketing strategy, they are less stressed right now because they are also still able to nurture the leads in their email list to further inform and educate them and move them down the sales funnel. The sales closing cycle may take longer, but movement is still happening, prospect’s mental wheels are still turning, and purchase decisions are still being made.
Further, since inbound is a mindset, those businesses who are implement inbound tactics face less resistance as sales team and key business leaders take this time to humanize their outreach and build additional trust bridges with prospects. They are already trained to actively listen to clients, consumers, and prospects and identify the problems each is trying to overcome in this season. Businesses who do inbound have more systems in place to be able to offer help and spread the word.
It’s not just your sales team who can provide additional value, though.
3. Businesses as a Whole Have the Opportunity to Add Value (Without Losing Money)
People are surmounting a flood of challenges right now, many of which have never been faced, or even considered as a possibility before. As a business, you don’t exist without your customers and clients, which is why it is imperative to think bigger than yourself and facilitate the success of your customers and prospects.
Throughout the entire organization, businesses who implement inbound marketing are better equipped to offer additional services as a helpful gesture temporarily, like offering free consultations to be a reassuring voice – human to fellow human. Some decide to temporarily unlock premium features in their software for users that don’t usually get the benefit of those features, but who would significantly benefit by being able to make smart business and personal decisions during this uncertain time.
Many businesses are accommodating their prospects and clients virtually too, which adds tremendous value. Virtual tours, virtual consultations, virtual contract signings…all of these activities are still happening to keep the sales funnel as normal as possible in this abnormal time.
Now Is the Time for Inbound Marketing
If your business is like most right now, you’ve got a lot of postponed work, which means you also have more time to invest right now into inbound marketing efforts. You can (and should)
- Publish extra content to gain additional traffic as researchers spend time on the internet
- Send personalized eBlasts from key team members to stay top of mind
- Practicing audience awareness. Reach out and listen to their current pain points and what THEY are worried about now and in the future, then start shaping your business as you can to be able to help
- Work on aligning your marketing and sales efforts
- Improve your internal processes
Capitalize on this time of uncertainty and use it as an opportunity to help your audience, improve your marketing and sales structure, and keep your sales funnel moving.
The businesses I come alongside to implement inbound marketing tactics are still stressed, but less stressed because they still see movement happening and know they have their work already cut out for them in the future.