We receive a lot of questions about outbound prospecting in the period of COVID-19. “Is it actually possible to sell anything in a period like this?”. Our answer – as is so often the case – is that it depends. As an example, here are our standard metrics for one program in the month. This analysis compares the period following stay-at-home orders being issued in most areas (March 13th onward) against the previous month.
On this program, we’ve found decision makers slightly harder to reach via phone in this period, but much more responsive to follow-up e-mails. It’s possible this is related to a dramatic increase in the number of people working from home. For this particular program, we’re targeting a lot of individual business owners running their own book of business, and while we’re not always able to connect with them at the right time or keep them on the phone, asynchronous communication seems to be working better during this period.
Here’s another program we’ve been working through COVID-19.
The overall impact of COVID-19 was much stronger on this campaign – but not in the way we’d anticipated. Here, we’re targeting decision makers located in manufacturing facilities. While at first we saw a dip in connect rates, over time office lines started to be routed to decision makers at home, where they were much easier to get a hold of – and to pitch. Potentially because the total of number of phone calls they’re handling has reduced, we’ve had an easier time getting in touch.
When we look at our global performance during COVID-19, we’re finding individual outliers – both positive and negative – driving a lot of the numbers. Seemingly minor changes to personas being targeted or channels used matter a lot. For one client, as an example, targeting decision makers in a slightly more junior position within the organization has had a measurable impact on results within a few weeks.
So long as there are decision makers to be targeted and organizations have needs, sales isn’t going anywhere. We’ll be encouraging our teams to lead with empathy and think outside the box to generate results for our clients.