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You can probably say it out loud - 2020 has not yet gone down in the history books as our favourite year. Our social and, of course, also entrepreneurial life is increasingly at risk.
The OECD is lowering expectations for the global economy, Apple is warning of lower sales in the second quarter and more and more reports are circulating that companies no longer expect to achieve their targets for the current fiscal year. Do we already have to give up the current year?
We are still in the first quarter and yet the situation in many companies is already tense to critical. At present, 605 trade fairs and exhibitions have already been cancelled or postponed worldwide - 292 of these just in Europe. Hanover Fair alone, with around 4000 exhibitors, leaves these 4000 international companies at a loss. Investments have already been made and expectations for successful participation in these events are high. This poses an enormous challenge for entrepreneurs - many from medium-sized companies - because a large proportion of them use these points of contact to initiate business and fill their order books. What options are now available to compensate for this loss?
Entrepreneurs and managers are well aware of this danger. The fear that the current situation could threaten their existence is creeping in. It's dramatic, but the time to act is now. Burying the head in the sand will not pay off in this case. Just as the economic environment is driven by enormous dynamism, it is difficult to make up for a lost quarter in terms of sales and revenue over the course of the year. And unfortunately, we do not know at the moment how the year 2020 will develop. For all entrepreneurs, managers and CEOs the time for action is right now.
At the end of this year, only the company that has ensured that incoming orders are secured early in the year will achieve an EBITDA target. Easily said, when customer contact becomes more and more difficult and points of contact are rare. The exchange between CEO, CSO and CMO becomes essential, especially in these critical times. The sales manager will demand more leads and will therefore certainly aim at marketing. The marketing manager will have to find alternative ways to generate leads. Ideally, these are qualified and have a high conversion rate.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to lead generation at events and trade fairs. Just one look into your customer database opens up many possibilities. Your best customers resemble each other and the analysis possibilities of our data age make it possible to discover their twins in your data. Identifying these twins, or look-a-likes, is an ideal method to provide your sales force with the leads that are more likely to be concluded. Relevant leads increase the efficiency of your sales team, lead to higher revenue and secure your EBITDA targets throughout the year.
It becomes even smarter if, from the outset, the aim is to identify high-quality B2B leads with a high probability of purchase, the greatest challenge in sales & marketing. This is achieved through the use of Smart Analytics. This innovative approach to lead generation combines structured offline and unstructured online company data with customer data. With the help of artificial intelligence, prospects are evaluated and sorted according to purchase probability. In this way, companies benefit from more effective sales management, shorter sales cycles and as a result, sales, revenue and EBITDA are ensured.