Let’s be honest, pandemics suck.
So many jobs lost and businesses devastated as the ramifications of closing our country cascades through every industry.
Hopefully, your business has not been affected too much. You've survived by being lucky or by resilience earned through past storms. Either way, you may have found yourself with unexpected time on your hands during the COVID-19 outbreak shelter-in-place order. There is a silver lining to this disruption.
You now have time to focus on – and level up – your business and empower your team with sales tools that don't suck.
Now is not the time to blend in.
What’s going on right now will not last forever.
When you look back at this period, you want to be able to look back and feel pride in what you accomplished.
What should you upgrade? What can you upgrade?
To get out of option overload, I like to answer those questions with another question: What will help your sales team and make the biggest impact?
What do you need to upgrade in your business?
The clarity of your messaging
- Are you speaking to your target audience and doing so clearly?
- Are you addressing your clients’ problems quickly, so they understand you were built for them?
- Does your messaging suffer from ‘we-itis’ – is it all about you? (Psst – it should be about your clients and the outcome you can deliver!)
The way you’ve positioned your brand
- Do you stand out on the shelf, or do you blend into a sea of sameness?
Your visual identity
- Is it still serving you, or does it represent the company you were ten years ago?
Website ease of use
- Is your website mobile friendly? (Does the layout change based on desktop, pad, mobile? If the site just gets smaller but looks the same… you’re not mobile friendly)
- Is your contact info easy to find and navigate? Is it easy to get lost?
- Can I easily find in what city or state you are located?
- When was it last updated? Has your content gone stale?
- Is your site correctly set up to play nice with search engines?
- Do you have an SSL certificate? The s in https:// which gives your site the little lock next to your URL
Digital footprint consistency
How consistent your company looks across all your digital channels (LinkedIn, Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Are your contact details/opening hours up to date?
- Are you using the same logo/brand assets across your profiles?
- Do you have outdated or incomplete information listed in various databases across the web?
The effectiveness of your sales tools
- Slide decks, capability docs, proposal templates, case studies, brochures, trade show materials, videos, landing pages, lead generators, etc.
Your authority in the market
- Blogs, guest articles, LinkedIn posts, recorded webinars, and videos, etc.
Everything listed above IS a sales tool. From clear messaging, to your positioning strategy to your website and social media. All of it helps fuel your business with credibility which makes sales easier and marketing more effective.
How to Prioritize Your Sales Tools Upgrade List
This process can seem overwhelming, but a great place to start is to rate how well you are doing in these categories. Using a scale of 1 to 5, circle the number that describes your business. (1 – not so good and 5 – you’re nailing it).
- Clear messaging – 1 2 3 4 5
- Clear market positioning – 1 2 3 4 5
- Consistent modern visual identity – 1 2 3 4 5
- A credible website that is easy to use – 1 2 3 4 5
- Consistency on social channels – 1 2 3 4 5
- Supporting your sales team with up to date sales tools – 1 2 3 4 5
- You’ve built authority in the market – 1 2 3 4 5
- You’re visible online – 1 2 3 4 5
- You’re top of mind in your category – 1 2 3 4 5
Any category above that you rated a 1, 2, or 3 should be on your shortlist to upgrade. There are plenty of tweaks and changes you can make TODAY within each category that can help you prosper in the weeks ahead.
“Those who invest during a crisis, win” – Brad Martineau
Regardless of when, where, and how much you choose to upgrade, be logical, you can’t do everything overnight. Upgrade where you can make the biggest impact (messaging and positioning). Put the rest on your bucket list to address in the next 6-12 months. Make consistent strides to strengthen your brand foundation and support your sales team with tools that don’t suck.
No matter what you choose to do, stick to your principles – the values you lived by before a crisis, will help guide you through a crisis.
Here are our core principles; they might help you during the tough times ahead:
- Lead with empathy
- Be pragmatic
- Hustle with honor
- Learn from your mistakes
- Be kind to yourself
- Evolve and thrive, don’t just exist
- And, do everything with a high level of give-a-damn
It’s time to take up the mindset of tragic optimism – accept what’s going on but plan and lay the groundwork for success in the future. Go forth with a positive outlook and a mindset for upgrading. If you need help prioritizing and executing your brand asset upgrade, let’s get together.
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Tracy O’Shaughnessy Founder / Lead Brand Strategist of Branding & Beyond
Tracy and her team help firms in and around the B2B building trades look and sound credible online and off.
She has been in the industry since the early '90s and is tired of seeing fantastic firms struggle, blend in, and get bypassed by prospects who judge them solely on the outdated information found online.
Branding & Beyond's mission is to solve real business problems and build the brand foundation clients need to get noticed and hired.
You can find Tracy on Linkedin and here on this blog.