Sales and Marketing Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World
Published on April 28, 2020
With many businesses beginning to turn focus from immediate crisis management and business stabilisation to the “next normal”, there is a growing need for sales and marketing leaders to develop robust plans for recovery and strategies for operations in a post-pandemic world. While we anticipate a strong focus on cost base and profitability in the coming months, the role of growth-focussed commercial leaders remains critical: securing a business’ profitability and sustainability is not unrelated to its customer engagement and top-line revenue generation. As has been a consistent theme in the past few years, critical to business performance is customer centricity; fundamentally, businesses provide services, solutions, and products for the benefit of their customers.
Nevertheless, in these uncharted waters, a recalibration of business priorities is inevitable, and essential. Leaders must not only address the immediate challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but must think forward too.
For many of our clients, with legacy systems and processes, the present situation is a catalyst for genuine and full-scale digital transformation. Driven by a need to recalibrate go-to-market strategies and seek better and more personalised customer engagement, businesses need to raise their digital ambitions. Retail businesses present the most obvious case study, the present climate illuminating significant and pervasive deficiencies in ecommerce capabilities; but other sectors are not immune.
Leaders must not only address the immediate challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but must think forward too.
However, with disruption comes opportunity. A readiness to capture early demand for new products and services and to recalibrate market positioning and share of wallet will be the defining characteristics of successful businesses post-pandemic. Businesses and their leaders must be agile; they must be willing to reset priorities and use data and insights—in abundance—to determine the best path forward. A “fail fast” mentality will be indispensable: test driving initiatives and being unafraid to unlock CapEx to capitalise on successful activity.
So what capabilities will be required of leaders and their businesses to address these challenges and accelerate growth in the “next normal”? A few key attributes emerge:
- Resilience and agility — an ability to embrace change, flexibility, innovation, and purpose.
- People centricity — an investment in a business’ people to support and rebuild post-pandemic, and partnering with HR, an assessment of capabilities and talent needs in light of new priorities and demands.
- Digital literacy — a pivot to digital and holistic use of data and analytics to drive go-to-market and growth strategies.
- Commercial acumen — an ability to take advantage of a highly-disrupted market, to re-evaluate a business’ brand proposition and market penetration, and develop a differentiated experience for potential and existing customers.
While the ramifications of the present times remain somewhat abstruse, one thing is clear: we are in a generation-shaping moment from which a significantly different world will emerge. Sales and marketing leaders will play a critical role in determining whether their businesses can succeed in it.
If your business is looking to pivot for the “next normal”, and would value a conversation about existing and future capabilities to help realise these aspirations, please get in touch on +61 (2) 8318 1818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.