July 8th, 2008
Are you going to let the “Credit Crunch” crunch you? Even though the present negative press and media coverage is enough to make you pack up and head for the hills - don’t! Or, burying your head in the sand isn’t going to help either - you need to take some positive action!
In ignorance, many companies pull the plug on their marketing budgets when times get tough - but that is very short sighted. Why is your business in decline? It’s because you have less clients, or your current clients are spending less. So what is the solution? Yes, you need more clients or encourage those you work with to spend more with you.
As a marketing company, we often have people come to us when they are in trouble. Through months or possibly years of neglect of their sales pipeline, they have reached difficultly where their cash flow dries up, and their forward forecasts will no longer gain them credit with their bankers. That’s such an awful place to reach! So, please learn from other’s mistakes and concentrate your efforts on sales and marketing.
So - how’s your sales pipeline? Have you dedicated sufficient man hours or staff to ensure that new business will continue to flow your way?
It’s highly recommended to introduce new practices in the current climate and here are a few suggestions to get you going:
- Re-educate your sales staff to the new demands of business under the Credit Crunch i.e. you are going to have to negotiate harder than before and deliver more
- Re-evaluate your current spend on marketing and where possible increase it
- Adapt new methods of lead generation and find new sources
- Network with increased intensity amongst your clients, prospects, collaborators, partners, suppliers and competitors
- Rekindle your relationship with current clients and ensure you are getting your share of business if other suppliers are involved
- Tighten your credit control to ensure constant cash flow
- Take fewer financial risks than before, and if possible, increase the level of deposits on orders to spread your risk or costs (if applicable)
- Introduce something new (Product or service) to make sure your visibility levels remain high with current and potential clients
- Automate your sales pipeline using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system like www.salesforce.com - so you never ever miss another lead or opportunity, and you can track your sales pipeline accurately
- Ensure that you confirm at least 30% of this quarter’s pipeline - more if possible
- Ensure you are using the internet to your advantage using Search Engine Optimisation, Web 2 practices such as blogging, and raise your presence in social networking and book-marking sites such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Facebook etc
Entry Filed under: blog