Using Prospect during a Pandemic
From us all here at Silktide, we do hope you and your families are safe, well and adapting to the new way of living we have found thrust upon us.
As you will all know COVID-19 has created an unprecedented global business environment. Major world economies are on lock down, and uncertainty is driving decisions and indecision at all levels. This environment is unprecedented in the way that it:
- Affects everyone in every sector in most countries across the world
- Requires businesses to transform existing processes and systems while moving their teams to work remotely
In this article we want to take a look at how the market is changing, offer you some tips and tricks, and introduce a few new features we’ve launched to help.
New challenges in a lockdown
This situation is particularly hard on local small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that drive many of the major economies. They will likely have cash flow issues as they try to keep their businesses alive; to keep staff and to cover overheads all with very little or no opportunity to generate revenue.
As with most economic downturns or shocks, now is also the time that businesses will need to review what they do and how they do it. Many will be looking at new ways of doing business – improving their operating efficiencies, improving customer satisfaction, increasing engagement and retaining customers. They will need significant help as digital services will play a major part in this.
This could be as simple as helping a restaurant to market and sell its services online as a take-away or delivery service. Or helping a local business sell its products online by adding e-commerce capability. Or introducing a CRM or social engagement platform to help a business keep in touch with its customers.
Here are three of the main challenges that we see in this new world:
- Your teams will need to engage SMB customers remotely
- Adapting your services to meet to the evolving needs of your customers
- Understanding how the SMB market has changed and is continuing to evolve as the situation progresses
To help you out, we’ve put together a few tips on how Silktide Prospect can help you address each of these challenges. In addition, we’re launching two brand new features that are super relevant to the current situation. Read on to find out more.
1) Moving to remote sales and engagement
One of the biggest challenges is that you won’t be able to meet your customers face to face. Field sales agents become inside sales agents. This is where strong insight, video calls and simple to use screen sharing comes into play. Silktide Prospect was designed for this – many of our partners have seen great success with inside sales and customer success teams using the full screen feature in conjunction with screen share software.
We’re agnostic of any particular platform – you could use Zoom, Google Hangouts, whatever works for you. But for one-on-one customer engagements, many of our partners prefer CrankWheel. It’s designed with sales and customer success in mind. It’s super easy to start sharing your screen with your customer. It requires no downloads and it works on any device, including mobile. The best part is that you can even see what the customer is looking at in real time.
In response to increased use of screen share tools, this week we have launched an integration with CrankWheel that makes it super easy to start your meetings. It also optimises what’s on screen for the viewer. If you’re already a CrankWheel customer, the integration can be enabled today at no additional cost. If you’re not, head to crankwheel.com to try it out.
Additionally, for sales leaders moving to managing a remote team, don’t forget to take advantage of our comprehensive activity reporting to see how everyone is performing.
2) Adapting to evolving customer needs
Consumers are expecting change in the current climate. They’ll be looking for answers to questions about businesses like: are they still open? No doubt many businesses will have updates they need to communicate. For this reason it’s critical SMBs have up-to-date information on Google My Business, Facebook and other profiles. Make sure these points are enabled in your report.
Many physical product businesses that have not sold online before will be setting up online shops. Local restaurants, florists and car dealerships may now be exploring how they can sell online with delivery services. As they pivot to change their current business model, now is the time to consider enabling the ecommerce check in your reports if this is a service you can help them with.
Many of you will be moving from a sales mode to focus more on retention, as your small business customers reassess their outgoings and value of services. To help with this, we’ve launched our new Progress dashboard in beta for all our partners free of charge. This gives you the ability to compare and contrast audits from two points in time and makes it easy to demonstrate the value you’ve added for your customer.
Whilst adjusting to this retention focused model it is also an opportunity to up-skill your teams and re-train them on some of the new features and functionality of Silktide Prospect. Please feel free to contact your Customer Success manager should you need any support with comms and training material.
3) Understanding the changing market
Right now more than ever the business environment is changing. Fast. Understanding your market is pivotal to make intelligent decisions about how to best serve your existing customer base and make the best of limited opportunities.
This is the perfect time to run a batch audit of your customer base. You can use this data to perform a sector analysis to find out vital information. Here are just a few highlights:
- Which restaurants, cafes and hotels in your market have not updated their website recently? As many are moving to online delivery, now is the time to help them add a takeaway menu or delivery scheduling capability
- Which retail businesses do not have ecommerce capability on their website? Now could be the perfect time to reach out and help them sell online
- Which professional services businesses are performing poorly? This is the time that accounts, insurance and legal companies are in high demand
- Which businesses are effectively using social media? Now is a critical time for businesses to keep on communicating and updating customers across their social channels
- Which businesses are performing poorly online? Use this insight to benchmark sectors and establish how businesses compare locally. Although it is a tough time financially, this period is also an opportune time for impacted SMBs to dedicate time to improving their online presence and readying their business for a post COVID-19 world.
How you approach the customers and structure your proposition financially will be critical to the success of this and establishing loyalty.
So those were some of our tips on how Silktide Prospect can help you navigate this difficult time. We hope you find it valuable as you adapt your business to the new environment. As always, our team is on hand to assist.