In the span of just a few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has deeply shaken the economy, upended daily routines, and caused businesses to change their normal protocols.

We’re just at the beginning. Social distancing is here to stay for at least a period of a few months as the country opens back up. There will be hotspots and outbreaks. The media will continue to stir up fear. We may be a year or more from a vaccine.

One person I talked to last week said that “as things return to normal, we’ll get back to selling as we always have.” But will that really be the case?

What if “normal” isn’t what it used to be?

Your executives and managers are scrambling to scenario plan and figure out what the new “normal” looks like for your business. I’d argue that for many of you, “normal” will never look the same.

Video conferences, teleworking and the avoidance of business travel will change the way you have to sell, at least for the foreseeable future. Many of you are struggling with this. How will you make your [revised] sales goals? Why have we put our eggs in one basket for so long? What will replace referrals? How can we “sell” while not appearing tone deaf? How can we “sell” if it’s not in person?

Truth is, many of you are starting to come around to the idea that your website needs to bring in business. This realization is brought about out of necessity. One of our clients in an industry that previously relied solely on in-person sales recently commented that “if we didn’t have our website set up to generate leads, our phone simply wouldn’t be ringing."

Businesses should rely on more than one sales approach or method to get business. All of your eggs shouldn’t be in a single basket. You’re starting to realize that now, because your sales methods have at least temporarily had to change.

It’s not too late to develop other sales channels. We’ve been waving the flag that a website is actually your customer’s preferred way of starting a conversation. But the website has to be set up properly to invite this interaction.

→ Talk to us about how to establish a digital sales and business development  channel

Digital sales doesn’t mean that you’re selling online (though for some of you, it may come to that). It means that your website reliably brings in new opportunity because it educates and builds trust with prospects. It means that they find you through a web search because you’ve put helpful information on your website (not service lists and brochures, but information that helps them decide what services and products are right for them).

Just like you’ve set up a referral network over many years, or just like you’ve figured out which trade shows to attend because they generate leads for your business, it takes time to refine and get it right. Digital marketing is no different.

You might think digital marketing is a puzzle, and there are too many pieces to put together. I hope we can help you put that puzzle together, because we have the blueprint. We know what it takes to make your website a lead generation machine, and we know what technology and tactics work to turn leads into sales.

Will your business development ever operate the same way again?

Let’s hope not. Let’s welcome diversification. Let’s make the best of what we have to work with right now, knowing that it’s how prospects actually want to interact.

If you’re exploring the possibility of using your website or the digital platform to generate new business opportunity, we’d like to help you find new sales possibilities in a COVID-19 world. It’s possible. But it’s up to you to take the first step.

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