What does the next 12 months and beyond have in store for us? If you, your colleagues and your business are asking this question, then read on as to why we don’t need a crystal ball.

Regardless of what’s going to happen, we need to do what’s best for our people and our businesses; a growing or declining market should not change that. The reality is, no one knows the answer other than it’s going to be different, it’s going to be changeable and it’s going to be challenging.

But…there WILL be opportunities!

So, we thought we’d share what we’re doing here at QGate to ensure we’re best placed to not only survive but thrive and take advantage of them. We hope that you can benefit from this and make the most of what’s being called the “bounce back”. The term certainly suggests we’re in for a bumpy ride!

Our approach

To maximize our success, we’re focusing on three areas of our business: 

  • Marketing automation
  • Sales operations
  • Our people

These aren’t in any particular order of importance, but we are and will be focusing on each one of these to take full advantage of every opportunity and deliver exceptional customer experience to our customers, whom we know are facing the same challenges as us. 

First off, before we get into each of these, this isn’t a sales pitch. However, it’s essential that you have a technology platform to help make this happen. 

Marketing automation

What is it?

Without meaning to state the obvious, it’s essentially the automation of marketing i.e. the ability to deliver content to your niche audience through chosen channels with little manual interaction. This include tools such as: website tracking, campaign automation, email marketing, event management, lead capture, lead scoring and social posting (read more about these features here).

Marketing automation is the ability to deliver content to your niche through chosen channels with little manual interaction.

Benefits of doing it

Two key objectives of marketing automation are to obtain more leads from new customers and to better retain your existing ones. 

Fundamental to the success of any business during challenging times is to have a healthy, visible sales pipeline. Everything stems from confidence of you, your business, your investments and your people, which in turn is driven by pipeline visibility and health. Marketing automation supports your marketing team to ensure the top of this pipeline is fed consistently with leads from new and existing customers. 

Sales operations

What is it?

Sales operations is every aspect of your sales process, from the point at which a lead is picked up by sales, to an order being placed and delivered against. 

Benefits of doing it

If we consider the Lead to Cash process, there are four fundamental objectives.  

  1. Accelerate the process. Reduce the duration between lead received and cash converted.
  2. Improve efficiency. This is most easily achieved by leveraging automation, particularly of repetitive tasks and duplicate entry. 
  3. Be more effective. Remove activities which don’t add any value to your customer or your salespeople. Put in place collateral to support your teams and customers on their sales journey and make it easily accessible and available.  
  4. Have a competent on-boarding process which is repeatable, consistent and monitorable. 

The obvious practical benefits of this are cost reduction, increased and accelerated conversation rate and staff engagement (there is nothing more disheartening to your people than a painful, laborious sales process). 

Customer trust in your business will also be significantly increased when they experience a professional, seamless journey through your business. When a customer’s experience is that good, not only do you get repeat orders from them, but you also get a new salesperson. That customer will become an advocate for your business, they will market for you on social media, at conferences, with friends, with their peers.

Our people

What is it?

One important goal, if not THE most important, is to ensure your employees’ roles are the easiest they can be, and that they are happy in their work. Having your people engaging and embracing your business, its vision and goals, is a major factor in the success of anything your business does.  

During the previous section we talked about reduced activity duplication, automating repeatable tasks and the removal of bureaucracy. Creating great user experiences can go much deeper and wider by looking at every aspect of where, how and when they work. Crucially, be sure to understand, assess and remove their pain points (e.g. by using modern, mobile-friendly systems). 

The objective is to improve user engagement in your business and its tools by enabling effective working, and especially in the current environment, a work anywhere/anytime capability and culture. 

Our staff celebrating Christmas 2019

Benefits of doing it

Looking after your people first and carrying out these actions will free them up and enthuse them to spend their time focusing on making the experience of your customers great. 

To summarize this article and what we’re doing here at QGate to bounce back, let’s use this formula: 

Our formula for bouncing back from the pandemic

Increased leads using Marketing Automation. 

Efficient conversion through optimizing sales operations. 

Engaged staff by enabling effective working and a work anywhere/anytime capability and culture. 

Increased profit with more customers moving faster through your customer journey and less cost driven by automation and reduction in activities with no real value. 

Brand advocates after providing your clients with a great customer experience and your people with a great user experience, encouraging them to market and sell your products, services and brand at every opportunity.