As the Coronavirus pandemic forces us into isolation, how will business and business interactions transform?
We asked this question to our agency partners and their responses clearly point in one direction. People are accepting online working, online discussions and online DEAL CLOSURES. Life is changing for the sales man. Its time to prepare for a new feature.
Here’s a brief note from Saumil Patel from Whirlwind. A wonderful digital agency and partner.
It’s amazing how quickly behaviours change during trying times. As the world comes to terms with the Covid-19 situation, businesses have been forced to adapt in order to keep things moving.
Suddenly, people are posting selfies while working from home and there are online chai-parties happening on slack! In fact, my team even did their daily scrum on WhatsApp. As we adapt to this new reality, it’s worthwhile to revisit how habits have changed over the years.
I still remember having to regularly travel to Mumbai, only to do a 1-hour meeting with my client. That was a decade ago. As time went by, I kept telling my Indian clients that most of work can easily be handled over email and phone and yet they felt that an in-person meeting is always required. They would ask me if I had a local office or had a client servicing team and I would simply say that I don’t but if they need me, I’ll be there.
Cut-to 3 weeks back, and I was doing a day long road-mapping session with a new client entirely on Zoom. Both of us wanted to keep things moving and none of us wanted to travel, leading to a marathon 5-hour long meeting done entirely online. And having done multiple such meetings, only in-person previously, I can say that the outcomes were not very different.
When I started my agency a decade ago, we were primarily focused on servicing international clients. Given the genesis, I was so attuned to doing skype calls and closing deals on email and phone that it felt very surprising when Indian clients won’t move ahead without an in-person meeting. I vividly remember, that I only met one of our biggest customers only after 4-years of only talking to him on phone. I hadn’t even seen him, and we had done thousands of dollars’ worth of business.
That same situation played earlier this year when I met an Indian client (very large MNC) for the first time after having done business with them for over 5-months and it immediately reminded me that things have massively changed in our country as well. Back in the day I would have never thought about working with a Fortune 500 client without not having met them in person multiple times.
Another client of mine, a B2B startup based in Bangalore who we helped expand globally with purely digital marketing, told me that “they had never thought that they could be sitting in Bangalore and closing deals thousands of miles away purely on Skype”
And I have many such anecdotes – however one thing is clear, there is a very clear movement towards using digital to move fast. Traditional businesses are leveraging digital to become omnichannel and stay in front of their customers and as their businesses adapt they are also finding comfort in choosing their vendors, qualifying them and doing business with them completely online!”
Our advice: Start moving your business online. Its safe, its cheaper and now more than ever before- its effective.
(Published with inputs from Saumil Patel, MD, Whirlwind. The author is co-founder of GroCurv, a marketplace for Sales, Marketing and HR services. The article was first published on the company's blog and has been reproduced with the author's permission.)