Against a backdrop of crises, there’s a focus on prices and service at the moment. These are the conversations that we are having with business leaders – are you experiencing the same?
There is still a lot for businesses to contend with.
Against the backdrop of COVID, resourcing and supply issues, inflation is starting to bite, and energy prices are taking their toll. And now the conflict in Ukraine adds to production challenges for some businesses, and fear and concern for a lot of us.
I was talking to one small high street business owner, whose electricity bill went up from £700 to £1700 in January and that’s before the increases on April 1st. His biggest challenge – no shows, people who book appointments and then don’t turn up. He was having to start charging for missed appointments, a difficult but necessary decision for him.
In some industries legislative changes are increasing costs significantly, and businesses have been developing their strategies to help with that. Once again, business leaders are having to face into the challenges they are presented with.
We’ve been talking to a lot of business leaders, and these are some of the trends that we are seeing.
In 2022/2023, we expect to see a robust focus on achieving numbers. Your customers will be under pressure too; it’s important to stay close to customers and understand how they are being affected by current conditions. Sales forecasts and sales plans might need a revisit. Where is the risk in your portfolio of accounts, and what can you do to close the gap?
New Business Generation
As companies may not see repeat levels of business from existing customers, or projected levels of business show a shortfall, sales teams will need to look at their New Business Generation activities, and we are seeing a flurry of those enquiries.
Mix of Business
Business leaders are paying attention to the mix of business. If it is all low margin, sales or project work, short term rather than long term, or low value rather than high value, increased costs will have a significant impact. “Do we have a basis to do business?” has always been a key question in B2B sales, it is likely to be more significant as businesses scrutinise their revenue & profits and customers scrutinise their costs.
Increased costs, means that business leaders are having to decide whether to pass on costs to their customers, and that means that sales people are having what can be uncomfortable conversations about price. We’ve been helping sales people think about the messaging of price increases and helping them prepare for those conversations.
Focus on Quality of Service
If prices are increasing, it’s important that service levels don’t drop. One of the things that we help clients with is their quality of calls. We’ve always audited these ( pre and post training if needed ) but we haven’t ever promoted it. Right now, it is essential that your customers are experiencing the level of service they expect, especially if you are passing on price increases.
Our call audits assess the customer experience AND how well you are spotting opportunities or leaving business on the table. If you record calls this would be useful, let’s talk.
This was our March 2022 newsletter, if you would like to receive updates like this, sign up for our newsletter by clicking the tab on the right handside of the screen.