Business leaders around the world are starting to consider how they can preserve their business and also prepare to move forward from the devastating impact caused by the pandemic.
The global consulting firm McKinsey recently wrote an article, From Surviving to Thriving: Reimagining the Post-COVID 19 Return, in which they discuss 3 strategic areas I call the 3R’s, that businesses must focus on post-pandemic:
- Recovering Revenue
- Rebuilding Operations
- Rethinking the Organisation
The following are my observations of each of these strategies and their implications for SMEs pursuing business customers.
1. Recovering Revenue
Businesses will need to rethink their revenue profiles, position themselves for the long term and get ahead of the competition. Determining how your SME will do so involves 3 steps:
a) Identify and prioritise revenue opportunities
For SMEs operating in the B2B space this will entail:
- Prioritising your customers and
- Using Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to drive how you will manage, nurture and grow these customers
b) Understanding who are your key business clients and customers, what they value and what they need
Ensuring that your SME is meeting your customers’ most pressing needs and requirements. These could include:
- Providing financing options
- Modifying your internal systems and processes
- Providing intelligence and insights to enable your customers to understand their new environment and make key decisions
c) Develop an agile operating model which is:
- Built around the business customer supported by the right processes, systems and governance
- Is flexible and responsive to emerging and changing market conditions and customer requirements: Teams such as Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service should meet regularly to revisit market and economic conditions, customer expectations and requirements and adjust their plans, and actions, accordingly.
2. Rebuilding Operations
SME business leaders need to ensure their operations are setup for the “new normal” by undertaking the following:
- Increasing their use of data and analytics to better understand and respond to the needs of business customers and their end-users
- Creating a sustainable competitive advantage by:
- Delivering a “Dual B2B Customer Experience” – whereby the company is meeting the needs of both business buyers and users in a seamless, digitised and customised manner.
- Developing and maintaining strong relationships with members of their ecosystem
- Collaborating and co-creating new solutions and processes with customers, suppliers and other members of your ecosystems such as industry/professional associations, universities
3. Rethinking the Organisation
As businesses move forward they must decide:
- Who are we
- How we work
- How we grow
Who are we?
Both leaders and employees within the SME must have:
- a shared purpose,
- know what the company stands for,
- know their roles
- how to get things done
Gaining this understanding and clarity across the organisation, I refer to as “Listening to You.”
How do we work?
Businesses must continue to make important decisions fast and quickly respond adjust in response to changing conditions.
The ability for SMEs to do this will be contingent on your company to hire and retain top talent, upskill and empower them to act in such critical situations. Delegating decision making authority across teams is also imperative.
How do we grow?
SMEs must look at how they will grow and scale.
In addition to having a deep understanding of the business customer they serve, SMEs will also need to explore new ways of revenue expansion and growth such as implementing recurring revenue models and pursuing strategic partnerships.
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About Michael Haynes
B2B Customer Acquisition & Growth Strategy Consultant
For over 20 years, Michael has worked with micro-businesses to large corporates alike across Australia and Canada, developing and implementing business growth strategies and programs.