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Times are always changing, but perhaps more than ever over the past month or so. 

HubSpot has aggregated data from their global customer base of 70,000+ companies to understand how business metrics are shifting as the world grapples with the impact of COVID-19.

At Avidly we are always keen to learn and will always ensure we pass the new knowledge on to you. 

The companies they analysed are located all over the world, work in all types of industries and are of all sizes. 

So what differences do we see in how companies are behaving when we compare January 2020 to early April 2020?

1. More sales emails are being sent, fewer are being opened

There is a significant increase in emails sent by sales teams. This is the same for companies of all sizes analysed. Looking at response rates however, sales emails do not seem to be having the desired effect, as these have dropped. This is particularly true for the end of March and beginning of April. 

The data indicates that companies are increasing their sales efforts and outreach made by sales people, but this is also not having the desired impact. Combining this with the statistics showing us that the number of deals created is plummeting, it seems companies should be rethinking their efforts.

2. Chat is more popular than ever

People want instant answers, now more than ever.  According to HubSpot, buyer-instigated chat interactions has increased by 10% compared to pre Covid-19 levels. This indicates that there is still interest to buy in the market, but the customer wants to do so on their own terms. 

Using a chatbot will help companies provide answers to customers quickly, enable automated meeting booking, and help the sales team more effectively qualified leads. Your team might not be able to be available 24/7, but a chatbot can. This way you are truly improving your customer experience in a challenging time. 

 

Read more about how you can use chatbots for your company here.

3. Tailored marketing emails are being opened and read

For EMEA in particular, many took time off over the Easter holidays. This may have had an effect on deals created and sales email responses. But it did not seem to affect people’s engagement with marketing emails. 

The data provided by HubSpot is confirming what we have been seeing in our own markets and our own inboxes. Some companies have decided to hold back on marketing spend as they feel the outlook is uncertain. However, they still choose to push hard in their sales efforts. As an organisation that always talks about the importance of targeted marketing, personalised messaging and a better customer experience, we are not surprised to see the data confirming that skipping the marketing and going straight to sales is not giving desired effects. 

 

As our very own Jonaz Kumlander said: 

“I think that it also points to the fact that decision makers are fully focused on internal changes rather than external. The influencer has time though to read up on things. So when the decision makers are done with putting out fires they will start buying; and then you want to be the one that has been building a relationship with the influencers.”

 

What to take a look at the data yourself? 

https://www.hubspot.com/covid-data

 

So what are 3 things you can do?

  • Analyse your marketing and sales results:
    • What has actually worked before?
    • What is the response rate for your sales emails?
    • Compare that to the conversion rate and lead generation from your marketing emails.
  • Assess your budget: Can you keep some marketing efforts going? If you dial down, can you prioritise the top performing efforts and what will give you the quickest wins? 

  • Do you have a chat on your website? If not, perhaps this is the perfect time to get started with a strategy for your conversational marketing. Starting genuine conversations with your customers can build stronger relationships and ensure that you are seen as the go-to in your field. 

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