Defining your business development path amidst major global shifts is easier said than done, we get it. For BWBacon, our team has put immense effort, care, and determination into our new approaches for better serving our clients during this time. Reflecting on our own business continuity and business development planning has been an exercise in flexibility and creativity.
While 82% of office workers felt their companies were prepared for the transition into remote work, 70% also said their teams are collaborating better as a result of COVID-19, according to the KPMG American Worker Pulse Survey conducted in April 2020. This feedback is huge, and implies there is motivation and loyalty among employees to help their companies through this time.
Elements Of Implementing Creative BD
If your team is already on board, what are the most important elements of reevaluating creative business development in the age of COVID? Analyzing our own observations, we are seeing patterns in companies finding new ways to provide support, shift their products to a digital stage, a rekindling or adjustment of brand marketing, and an overall resolve to pay it forward. Investing in employee relationships and health is also a common factor when considering how to move your business forward and plan for the future.
Solving Problems And Providing Support
In this moment, the problems we all face could not have been predicted. Intentional sensitivity and awareness are crucial pieces of doing business, as no one likes a pushy salesman. Most industries are facing some kind of adversity, and if you’re not out there to help people solve their problems, it shows.
Empathy and adaptability are pillars of best practices during a pandemic, and lending an ear to your clients or customers needing additional support goes a long way. This will look different for each company’s products and services. Still, assessing how to transform your services to be more accessible, more digitized, or more personal is the first step.
Prepare Multi-Faceted Solutions
When spending time on business development, preparing for the post-coronavirus world is also important. A good place to start is by identifying the major challenges, or foreseeable hurdles that your industry might face. Then, tackle each of these problems with creativity, and diversity of thought within your leadership teams. Come up with multiple scenarios, and how your company might approach different potential outcomes.
For example, an in-person financial services company may need to look into altering or providing additional services to their customers online so they remain a strong choice in a post-confinement economy over companies that already focus on automated financial services.
Be Aware Of Branding
With an acceleration of uncertainty, a company’s customer base may not even know that they are open and operating. While we all feel the saturation of over-communication, keeping up with your audience by ensuring that you are standing steady, prepared to serve them, creates the need for a different type of brand marketing.
In response to the concern of over-marketing, business writer Joanne Verkuilen notes, “Our clients are seeing that sharing thought leadership reaps rewards—the real risk is staying silent and being overlooked in favor of firms that are willing to speak up. When done well, thought leadership content builds trust and inspires action. Nuanced clarification of broader market trends, and especially sector-specific COVID-19 commentary, are generating meaningful dialogue for our clients.”
Defining your brand’s voice or particular expertise offerings through direct and polished marketing sets your company up for success down the road.
Paying It Forward
There is an element of treading lightly when practicing creative business development and marketing strategies, but that doesn’t mean companies should take a back seat in finding their service role. Across the board, we have seen companies promoting good will and additional services for free, and these types of offers matter.
On the vein of paying it forward, this idea extends into nurturing relationships. Finding opportunities to go above and beyond for employees, customers, and clients can have a lasting impact. People will not forget who was there for them without the expectation of return.
Before coronavirus, we were feeling an uncomfortable monotony in system-based relationships and the drone of text-based communications. However, in our recent experience, the inability to meet people out for lunch or for happy hour has skyrocketed virtual face-to-face meetings and actual phone calls. Connecting with our clients in more personal settings, removed from emails, has enhanced our understanding of the challenges they are facing and how we can help.
As we recognize this theme of relationships as ubiquitous across industries, finding your company’s personalized approach to building trust and rapport goes hand in hand with creative business development and business continuity planning.
There is also significant data showing engagement with marketing emails has also increased during this time, as open rates climbed to 25% higher than pre-COVID averages. All of this information points to sales and marketing teams honing in how to communicate and engage with their client bases. Customers are still looking to engage with companies, and resilience is a matter of creative modification.
As a recruiting partner, BWBacon is not only here to help navigate uncertain waters, but we are right here with you responding and adjusting in real time. Creative business development will be an ongoing discovery process as the world continues to change.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!