As a result of the Covid-19 impact on the business landscape, including a shutdown of many economic activities, businesses are seeing a paradigm shift in supply chains, operating models, consumer behavior, procurement, and sales strategies.
You must take proactive steps to put your business in a secure position and accelerate a recovery process. Business resilience can only go so far in adapting to unforeseen circumstances and ensuring sustainability, especially for B2B commerce supply chains. In addition to a likely slump in the market, you may find it difficult to meet a surge in demand during recovery. Both situations are equally distressing. Manufacturers and distributors must rely on sound business continuity and resilience to ensure unhindered supplies in a pandemic of this size and scale.
Businesses must estimate the impact of the pandemic on operational capabilities. As an immediate response, most businesses have established cross-functional teams to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on sales operations. They have also adjusted flexible credit terms to support their channel partners. These initiatives help meet immediate goals; but careful planning and execution are vital for long-term recovery.
B2B sales activities are already being fundamentally altered during Covid-19. These alterations are expected to continue to change post Covid-19, with the focus shifting from offline to digital platforms. As B2B businesses foresee a massive increase in digital interactions soon, you must look at every sales activity to identify potential opportunities for digital automation. To improve the digital experience, ensure that buyers can find useful information on the internet, and compare products and services. You must also fix technical issues real-time and look for new and innovative ways to enhance the customer experience.
Game Changer for Suppliers
Suppliers providing a reliable and personalized digital experience with an increased focus on speed, transparency, and expertise are likely to recover faster and grow their customer base. To do so, you must leverage technology and introduce customer-friendly features such as live chats that help you understand specific requirements and respond quickly. In addition to interactions on the website, suppliers expect increased traffic on mobile apps and social media communities. Thus, in the new normal, you need to make radical changes in your sales strategy to be able to make the most of the opportunities in the virtual landscape.
Many B2B businesses minimized the impact on their sales by transitioning to virtual sales models during the pandemic. The emphasis on remote selling and connecting via videoconferences, webinars, and chatbots has grown significantly. While some businesses rely completely on virtual mediums to replace field sales, others use their sales professionals in tandem with web sales. Most found remote channels to be equally or more effective for reaching and serving customers. Therefore, remote channels are likely to increase even as travel restrictions are eased and people return to their workplace.
Severe disruptions in the supply chain during Covid-19 have accentuated the need for businesses to implement changes in procurement strategy. Supply chain disruptions hampered raw material sourcing from vendors, especially for internationally-sourced raw materials. To overcome this challenge, businesses must look at local vendors to procure raw materials. Securing contracts with local vendors will help avoid delays in production and distribution. It may also be useful to identify alternative products and materials.
Don’t Wait for the Pandemic to End
Experts predict that the impact of Covid-19 will last a few years. As organizations look to rebuild and begin their operations with a limited workforce and necessary precautions, it is imperative to align all operations with the new requirements.
Businesses must adopt a proactive approach and follow a set plan to ensure continuity in operations and prevent supply chain disruptions. Keep a ready inventory and prepare beforehand to avoid missing a sales opportunity. You must also stay ready for a post-Covid-19 recovery and use this time to prepare for pent-up demands. If you do not start now, you may not be able to capitalize on emerging opportunities at the right time.
As you plan for a Post-Covid-19 recovery, financing may become an issue. If you find your business in need of a cash flow boost, contact Allied Financial Corporation, and talk to us about Accounts Receivable financing.