The Sharpening Stone – Headwind or Tailwind? Building Your COVID-19 Sales Recovery Strategy

Hello, this is Michael Lambert with True Edge Performance Solutions, a management consulting firm in Lancaster, PA.  I’d like to cover a few points about not only staying afloat today, but taking advantage of the situation and building momentum for an eventual exit.

There is no need to talk about the latest details of the disruption we have all faced.  Forgotten are the “old days” already — they feel much like ancient history.

The federal government’s stimulus package is designed to be a bridge to “normal operations,” but what does that mean?  Our guesses are based on yesterday’s perspective.

If we are honest with ourselves, foundational things probably have changed for the long term.  Nobody knows what the “new normal” will be.

However, we do know some business fundamentals that apply in any situation.  Every leader should

  • Define the organization’s value proposition (this might be very new going forward)
  • Define your target customer demographic
  • Define the buying / action criteria for the decision-maker relevant to your product or service
  • Build messaging to resonate with this person
  • Set a marketing plan to get your message in front of him or her
  • Execute, measure and adjust accordingly

Now is the time to build out a sales recovery strategy not only for an eventual “exit” from the current, locked-down situation, but even for now to explore alternative solutions to matching up what resources you have with what people in your market need.

Suggested next steps:

  • Spend time with your leadership team talking through the definition steps above.
    • For example, on your value proposition: “what do we have to offer in today’s environment?”, “Do we have resources or a network that could be of value?”,  “What do we do that sets us apart?”
    • On your customer demographic, ask yourselves questions like: “Who is it we are trying to serve?”, “If we built a new offering, who could benefit?”  Define this in terms of size of customer, geographical area, industry, etc.
    • For buying criteria, set a pricing strategy, list out the value points that will weigh the most in the mind of a decision-maker in this demographic, and at the top of that list, mark the things that are most compelling.
  • Pay particular attention to the “persona” of the decision-maker, such as a typical job title, size of organization, size of budget, etc. for B2B sales.  Or it could be age, income level, interests, size of family, etc. for B2C sales.  There is a process for defining the attributes of this person and what is important to him or her.  This is what may have changed during this crisis, and it can be the key to unlocking hidden business opportunities!
  • Once you have the target client persona defined, then figure out whether your traditional or a new value proposition could be attractive
  • Then set up marketing campaigns to get your messaging in front of this audience
  • Execute and follow up with a tight sales process (no leaks!)

This isn’t rocket science, but it is a basic approach we at True Edge humbly offer in hopes you can profit during this time of change.  We actually have a good deal of optimism for our community’s path forward based on what we are hearing from our client touchpoints.

Please reach out if you’d like to discuss further or just to share your story and hear what others are saying.  We can be reached via our website, trueedgellc.com or via phone at  (717) 509-9177.  Our hope and prayer for you is that this situation is not just a headwind, but becomes a tailwind that propels you to accomplish extraordinary things!

About the Author: Michael Lambert

Michael earned a distinguished Bachelor’s of Science with honors in mathematics from the US Naval Academy. After five very rewarding years active duty as a Marine Corps officer working in aviation logistics, he began his civilian career. Initially joining IBM in a supply chain function similar to his role in the Marines, Michael quickly zeroed in on client-facing responsibilities where he felt he contributed most naturally to the company. The remainder of his career has been through successively broader sales and sales management roles, both at IBM and at other technology companies, culminating in his most recent position as the head of a sales, marketing and consulting team for North and South America where he helped turn around a struggling business to eventually help exit private equity ownership and complete the sale of the company to a strategic buyer.

Michael brings a wealth of experience to bear for True Edge clients who desire to grow their businesses, define and execute strategic plans, improve sales and business development functions, optimize compensation plans, build high-performance customer-facing teams, and the like. He is excited to leverage his experience with large enterprise “best practices” to benefit local business leaders in their efforts to reach more customers in a professional and repeatable way.

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