Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, businesses have had to deal with the subsequent economic impact for over a full quarter. How does the state of business compare today to what it was in March? And how have teams changed their behaviour to adapt to the new economic climate?
This retrospective takes a look into buyer interest, marketing & sales outreach, and sales outcomes. We can’t make predictions about what will happen, and nobody knows what the future will look like. But we hope this provides helpful insights and some useful tips as businesses enter the next quarter.
What We’re Seeing Today
When COVID-19 started affecting global economies, businesses that already had an online presence were at a distinct advantage. The data shows steady and sustained growth in buyer engagement throughout the pandemic, and that businesses with an online presence were ready to capture that interest.
Marketing teams have risen to the challenge of staying relevant during the crisis and met an audience of consumers who spend all day online. While email volume has risen significantly, open rates have risen faster than volume, demonstrating that teams have been successful at providing relevant and helpful content.
On the sales side, things aren’t going so well. The data shows that sales teams sent up to 60% more email than pre-COVID benchmarks, but response rates have been dire. Marketing teams have been able to connect, but sales teams haven’t to a greater extent. This is a huge area of opportunity for businesses as they enter the next quarter of COVID-19.
Website traffic has been one of the strongest-performing marketing metrics over the last three months. As consumers have moved their purchasing online out of necessity, businesses with an established online presence have reaped the rewards.
Since the business world has suddenly shifted to a remote setting, chat volume has rocketed. Sales teams have pivoted to chat software to grow their pipelines, while customer service teams are leveraging this channel to manage the increased demand for support.
When it comes to the usage of live chat, every industry is hitting above the benchmark. This is a positive sign that consumer interest is increasing, and that people are engaging with companies more frequently.
It will come as no surprise that both sales and marketing emails rose significantly since March and stayed at elevated levels throughout. With the digital world getting busier, it was surprising to learn that marketing email open rates have maintained a steady rise relative to the increased volume of emails sent.
As mentioned above, despite the success of email marketing, people aren’t responding the same way to sales emails, with response rates falling significantly. This shows that sales and marketing teams should be working closely together to understand how they can improve their email engagement rates and send far fewer emails.
New deal prospects took a nosedive in March, as companies paused “business as usual” to understand what cutbacks and operating changes they’d need to survive the pandemic. More recently, this has been on an upward trajectory. Though this growth has been volatile, businesses are hoping that this trend will hold.
A few tips to take away:
- Invest in online chat software.
- Shift prospecting away from quantity to quality.
- Invest in your digital presence
Free Software to Get Started:
- HubSpot CRM is free and comes with included advertising and sales acceleration tools, including free 1:1 video, meetings, and chatbot tools.
- Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Search Console integrate well with multiple platforms.
- Zoom integration integrates well with multiple platforms.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator integrates well with multiple platforms.