The COVID-19 crisis caught us off-guard and shook many businesses to their core. Sales numbers dropped drastically while cost levels remained high, putting many SMEs and Startups at risk.
As we are approaching the end of the lock down in some of the countries in Continental Europe, the question arises: how to best bounce back from this crisis and reach required performance levels quickly?
At CGEM, we are suggesting a few core areas to focus on, in order to achieve the fastest recovery possible and to get back to a revenue growth trajectory:
1) Leveraging state help
European governments are running programs to ease the damage of the crisis including short time work or loans. Take the time to assess the various options and use the ones truly suitable for you. Know, however, that if you engage in a loan, it might add additional costs and pressure down the line.
2) Liquidity management
The crisis might have turned revenue numbers and costs upside down. To stay in business, it is most important to develop and assess realistic scenarios and adjust the cash flow planning to the “new normal”. For Startups who are VC-funded, a joint plan with your investor will be core. Once the new base is firmly laid out, your focus can turn to top line revenue generation.
3) Generating sales
Shift your sales resources to opportunities with the nearest possible closing date – even if they are not your biggest deals. Time wins over size at this stage. Assess where a particularly close relationship with a client can contribute to closing a deal.
4) Proposal center and deal sharing
Launch a series of virtual meetings to work on proposals in teams and share experience of negotiation tactics that work in this special environment. Keep those meetings longer than the lock down as impacts on your business and your clients might last longer too.
5) Motivating teams
Most of your teams might still continue to work from home for a little longer. However, research shows that after approx. 2 weeks in home office motivation and thus performance drop sharply. That’s why it is important to set-up a tight weekly digital engagement schedule, comprised of both business meetings and social sessions – even if it means that breakfasts or end-of-day drinks will need to be taken remotely.
6) Do it the mindful way
For many, staying at home has made it difficult to get things done and could have been hard psychologically. Therefore, when chasing your teams or colleagues, be mindful of their situation and align required deliverables with what is realistically possible in the new set-up.
Over 20 years of experience in revenue growth and sales leadership across financial services, media and advertising. Skilled in scaling corporates, SMEs and startups globally. Focused on sales excellence, performance shift, growth model innovation, front-line transformation, market development and customer journey.