What is the best strategy for business sales

7 survival strategies for companies in times of Corona

SXSW, Internetworld, CMCX - the list of canceled trade fairs is also getting longer and longer in online marketing and e-commerce. Organizers, speakers and exhibitors fall by the wayside. What strategies can companies adopt in order to survive in times of the Corona Virus? The following article looks at cost savings and revenue generation alternatives.

Like many companies, we at contentmanager.de have also become victims of the Corona Virus. Not in the sense of an illness. However, we had expected until Friday to exhibit at the CMCX in Munich and to meet numerous partners. Then came the final cancellation of the organizer on Saturday. Due to trade fair failures, there are also slumps in sales in the entire tourism sector. The Berliner Zeitung stated that the failure of the ITB trade fair will cost the city of Berlin billions. The COVID-19 contagion continues to rise. (See also assessment of the current risk situation of the Robert Koch Institute).

Various fields of action are now emerging for companies, from sales and internal communication to HR areas, in which they have to make decisions in order to cope with the Corona crisis. You can also read our article on the perfect home office.


1) Create your operational pandemic plan

The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance has published a manual that helps companies draw up a pandemic plan. If you don't already have such a plan, you should think about the following questions in particular:

  • Have you carried out and communicated relevant hygiene measures?
  • How is the procurement and display of disinfectants and medical items organized?
  • How is the maintenance of core operations regulated? Is there a substitution plan?
  • What happens if an employee falls ill? (Are the communication channels known and defined?)
  • What happens if the management falls ill? (Powers of attorney? Bank access and passwords? Who takes over?)
  • Is there a works agreement with the works council?
  • Is there a crisis PR?

Create a manual that regulates these points and is known to the employees in the company.


2) Shift budgets in the sales process

If trade fairs, congresses and other events are no longer available in the near future, the sales department has to come up with something new in order to reach customers and generate new sales. The obvious thing to do is to strengthen digital sales. Up until now, new leads have mainly been generated at trade fairs. Companies should shift their budgets as quickly as possible. It is helpful to know what the lead costs on average at a trade fair.

So that leads can be generated via the Internet, companies need a good portion of content as well as traffic and marketing automation solutions. In many cases, companies have already carried out activities at this point, which makes reallocating budgets easier.

Also read our article on optimizing budgets in times of Corona

The article on 5 unusual savings potentials also goes further.


3) Away from new customers

The generation of new customers is often associated with high costs. Another strategy can therefore be to intensify current customer relationships. The main advantage is that you already know each other and, at best, trust each other. However, when addressing your own customers you should take into account that they currently have the same problems as your own company. The focus of communication should therefore be directed towards the areas of action in which your company can offer clear added value that also works under the current circumstances. The expansion of an existing customer relationship makes a lot of sense, but of course it doesn't work entirely without new customers. New business relationships are difficult, especially in the B2B area, and are largely “people's business”. Of course, this will not be easier if the current situation means that it is only to take place on a digital level. Building automated funnels is the key to success if it has exactly the right approach and the right content. This requires a lot of sensitivity, creativity and the right pricing.


4) Rely on webinars as an alternative to live events

Some event organizers are preparing a digital event to replace the trade fair / conference. Most conference organizers hide behind a webinar or even several parallel webinar sessions. The advantage: speakers and participants can comfortably follow the webinar from the office or even from their home PC in the home office and the risk of infection is zero. In addition, the webinars that have been recorded once can also be permanently integrated into automated communication processes. Or the webinars are merged into an online academy that is sold to generate additional income. Read here how to develop a webinar strategy.


5) HR action area - with home office, hygiene and short-time work against Corona

In the HR area, the main thing is to protect the company and its employees from the worst disasters. This includes that the entire company has to be closed because one or more corona cases are emerging among the employees. In order to prevent this, both hygiene regulations and a regulation for working in the home office are important. The company should proactively check that hygiene regulations are not only read but also implemented. In terms of labor law, the employer is also subject to certain obligations that he should check in the company.

In the event that sales collapse sharply, the continued existence of the company may even have to be secured with the help of short-time work.

6) Communication digitally - digitize meetings

Google was kind enough to make the conference software from the GSuite available to companies and schools free of charge until July. In any case, companies should reduce their travel activity, which large companies and corporations have already integrated into their policy. In order to still hold meetings with customers, partners and employees, the use of conference solutions is recommended. Read here how to efficiently prepare, hold and follow up online conferences.


7) Look at your costs

In order to reduce costs or to cancel campaigns that have already been paid for, companies should create an overview of the costs that have arisen in connection with the virus and which can be avoided in the future.

If, for example, there were costs for train journeys that were paid for a trade fair that does not take place, it may be possible to have the train costs reimbursed by Deutsche Bahn. In this context, Deutsche Bahn speaks of a goodwill regulation.

Even if flight costs have already been paid, you should check with the tour operator or airline to see to what extent a reimbursement can be realized.

In the case of business events such as trade fairs, conferences or network events, the organizer must be asked whether a postponement or cancellation of the event is planned or the costs can be reimbursed in some other way.

The following list serves as a guide to potential cost savings for your company in order to check where you can save costs in the short and medium term:

  • Rent - if home office regulations are an option for the company, the rental agreement and termination options should be checked for at least some of the space
  • Personnel costs - In addition to short-time working, costs can also be saved if necessary for new hires during the probationary period
  • Vehicle costs - As travel will be more limited in the future, some company cars may be canceled and converted to pool cars
  • Travel expenses - This cost factor has already been explained in detail
  • Training costs - Digital training is currently the probably better and cheaper alternative.
  • The state is likely to give some companies that are particularly hard hit financially "under the arms". You must also check this option.


Conclusion: a strategy is essential

The corona crisis affects more and more areas of life for people and companies. A crisis strategy is essential for the survival of the company. For this reason, companies of all sizes have to deal with how they will run their operations in the next few weeks and in which situations and how they react. The next few months will be a bitter time for companies that have built their business around events. A diversification of the business strategy and maybe even the business model is necessary! With all the risks, you should make sure that you speak to your employees transparently and regularly. Crises of this kind stir up fears that can only be resolved with the help of appropriate internal communication.

Important: Read here how to restart after the Corona crisis and what to look out for in your Corona exit strategy.


Image sources

  • Corporate strategy Corona: Photo by Travis Saylor from Pexels