Lessons From 2020: What We Learned From COVID

Few people were sad to see 2020 come to an end. And while we are all hopeful for this new year, things won’t go back to “normal” any time soon. However, it is important to take stock of the previous year and learn from the pandemic. Here are five business lessons that many organizations have learned during COVID-19 recovery. 

Adapt Or Get Left Behind  

One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned from 2020 is that companies must adapt quickly to change, or they will go out of business. Restaurants had to adapt to takeout-only or takeout-first models. Other businesses had to move to work-from-home models. Many closed their physical offices to save money. Companies entered new lines of business – manufacturing PPE, etc.  Companies that did nothing and played a “wait-and-see” game are likely no longer in business. Companies that pivoted quickly are in a much better position to come out the other end even stronger.  

Customer Relationships Make A Critical Difference  

Customer churn costs businesses $136 billion a year in the United States. It’s far more costly to find new customers than it is to keep your existing customers, but finding those new customers is an exceptional challenge, especially when the economy is down. That’s why it is so important to invest in customer relationship management 365 days a year. Preventing customers from leaving is crucial in tough times, and businesses need to keep their customer pipelines strong if they want to be able to weather future storms.  

Know Your Supply Chain Like the Back of Your Hand  

In 2020, some companies found out rather quickly that their supply chains were critically weak. Businesses that did not have a good handle on supply chain management struggled to keep up with the unpredictability of 2020 that included spikes in demand, vendors or customers that suddenly paused or ceased operations, and sudden material and product shortages. To ensure your own business can survive unforeseen changes, you must have a good handle on your supply chain.  

You Must Invest In Marketing 

When the economy ground to a halt in 2020, many businesses chose to shut down marketing because it was an “expense.” But according to the Wharton School of Business, companies that market aggressively during a recession recover faster, netting 256% more in sales than companies that do not market.  

Your sales team can only contact so many people per day, but marketing can reach people 24/7/365. Investing in marketing allows you to support your sales team and build a pipeline, attracting more business in the short term and recovering faster over the long term. Marketing also signals to buyers that you are in business and doing well, making them feel more comfortable dealing with you.  

Your Website Must Be Up To Date  

In a situation, like we faced last year, your website was your lifeline. Websites are a 24/7/365 virtual sales rep, and it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is updated, mobile-friendly, loads quickly, and captures leads.  

During the shutdowns of 2020, your website was the only way many potential customers could find you and learn about you. If they found an outdated website, they probably moved on to a competitor. Moving forward, make sure to redesign your website every three to five years, with three being the optimal frequency.  

Are You Looking For Sales And Marketing Talent?  

If you are looking for sales and marketing talent that will keep your ag business pipeline full, contact the agricultural industry staffing experts at Morris Bixby Group. Our proven strategies for success can help you achieve your sales and marketing recruiting and retention goals.

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