COVID-19 has destroyed lives and livelihoods around the world.
As we await the full implications of the pandemic, it’s obvious that the economic impact is dire for many businesses.
B2B buyers and sellers have started to interact differently, with the savvy operators leading the way in adapting to what is the new normal.
While there are many losers, there’s equally many winners.
The Losers: Airlines, tourism, shipping, restaurants and bars, conferences, sport and entertainment among others. Who could have predicted the impact to overseas travel, the closure of shipping ports across the world, or the rescheduling of the 2020 Olympic Games ?
The Winners: Online shopping, supermarkets, technology that enable people to work from home, video conferencing, and home gym equipment. Kogan.com sales have increased 40%, Woolworths e-commerce arm, WooliesX has grown 43%, and shares in videoconference platform, Zoom are up 50% since Feb 2020.
SELL A BUSINESS has been monitoring B2B buyer and seller activity during the pandemic, and three (3) key priorities have emerged:
1. While many businesses are reducing spending, a number are increasing or at least maintaining their spending.
2. A move to digital interaction with clients preferred to more traditional interaction.
3. Remote and more flexible work options and sales models – many businesses believe a model built around videoconferencing, phone, and online sales is equally or more effective than preCOVID-19 models.
A financial lender asked me last week how I was finding the B2B selling market right now.
I answered by saying “We are not overly busy, but we are very productive”.
By that I meant we are talking to less buyers – the time wasters have left the market, so buyers contacting us today see opportunity, are keen to act, and have the financial capacity to do so.
As a result our enquiry to sale ratio has improved dramatically since the start of the pandemic.
Banks are starting to lend again, and deals are being settled.
This is the ‘New Normal’ – changes like never before to the way we work and interact with our colleagues and clients. The businesses that embrace and adapt to these changes will prosper and grow – the ones that don’t will not survive.