How to track and support B2B clients that could be struggling financially
In this health emergency, some businesses are being forced to close, others are struggling financially and many are still conducting business as usual.
Check in with your customers to separate the most negatively affected from the pack. You can do this via personalized email outreach or over the phone. You can narrow this list down by reaching out to customers who have missed a payment, work for SMEs or in industries likely to be the worst affected, first. Once you know who needs your help the most offer video calls to discuss their situation. Now is the time to excel at inside sales.
Salespeople are often used to working independently and from home, but your clients may not be. View this as a teachable moment.
If you take the time to objectively listen to your client’s issues and offer advice, they will be thankful. Show them that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to continue a conversation with them and help them along their journey and out of this challenging period.
Now is also a great opportunity for managers to roll up their sleeves and get into the trenches—especially in service-based companies. This action will show both your clients and your teams that you can be depended on in the long-term.
Be prepared to encounter customers who are more stressed and frustrated than usual. Everybody is on edge, so prepare for this response and don’t take it personally. If your reps use a script on calls, or you have specific responses for overcoming objections, adapt them to take this into consideration. For example, if a lead or customer says they don’t have the budget right now to pay for your product, acknowledge that this is likely in some part caused by the financial crisis.
Additionally, you may have clients who don’t have the means or bandwidth to stay with you right now. If they don’t tell you outright, they may be avoiding this reality because it’s a decision they don’t want to make.
As a result, they may start to avoid communication and/or miss payments. Recognize these behaviors and reach out with compassion. Get creative and give them a better option than a hard cancellation. Perhaps you can freeze a subscription or payment on a feature until they’re back on their feet. Leave the door open for them to come back when this is over.
Practice humility, leave ego at the door and do the work you need to make life easier for everyone during this time.