Sales Outlook for a Pandemic: Time to Focus on Costs

Sales Outlook for a Pandemic: Time to Focus on Costs

What’re the chances of Selling during a Pandemic? Who’s buying in these uncertain times anyway? 

Unless you’re a key supplier to one of the limited numbers of growth industries – Zoom, Ocado, the NHS etc. – existing customers & prospects aren’t buying and won’t be for some time.

I’ve taken some “silver lining” time to speak with many people in business over the last few days. Unsurprisingly their focus is on survival, particularly: servicing existing customers; cash management; the welfare of their people; how to access government grants. Sales and Marketing is for the longer-term when we emerge from this current & unique situation.

For most businesses there is no point looking at Sales now. The “silver lining” is there’s plenty of time to look at Costs. In fact, anyone who isn’t taking the opportunity to review their cost base is at best missing a trick, at worst putting their business at risk.

Survival and/or defending margins will come from aligning your business’s cost base to whatever the “new normal” turns out to be. Since the Government’s taking care of labour costs, at least in the short term, it’s likely that 3rd party costs that should be the focus. It’s not just looking at reducing them but making the cost base more resilient and more agile.

This pandemic has rammed home the lesson of supply chain risk and the importance of relationships with key suppliers, just ask NHS procurement about Ventilators. The question is – how you reduce costs whilst maintaining key relationships and increasing the quality of goods & services? The answer is what we’ve been doing for our clients at JMCL for the last 27 years. 

Under our Enlightened Procurement approach, we reduce 3rd party costs in the short-term and in the long-term, embed resilience & continuous improvement. What’s more we’re paid only on what we deliver, so the risk is all ours. How’s that for your cash management and risk mitigation! 

So, having now explained that now is a good time to look at your 3rd party supplies and costs, how do you do it, in an efficient and effective way. Over the next fortnight and in the spirit of pulling together, we’re going to issue daily advice building into a full programme to show you how to review and reduce your cost base, whilst maintaining supply chain resilience. So that’s the remaining 2 weeks of isolation accounted for.…how much fun can one person have!

We’re issuing our first step tomorrow. In the meantime, if there’s anything we can do to help please email me, Jonny Michael at j.michael@jmclconsulting.com

Links to the Programme:

Introduction to Cost-Base Segmentation

Tactical Quick-Wins

Tactical Longer-Term Wins

Strategic Procurement

Power Regimes and Supplier Perception

Procurement Fundamentals: The Building Blocks