The dramatic drop in new orders within a very short period of time has dealt a heavy blow to many companies, the likes of which have seldom been seen before. Many are still in shock, in particular because traditional reaction strategies on the cost side no longer come anywhere close to dealing with the complete fall-off of demand. Yet far-reaching structural changes have still not been made.
Moreover, in many industries, it is almost impossible to predict whether this is a cyclical fluctuation or a structural shift in demand down to a lower level. Have we reached the lowest point yet? And can the market levels of recent years ever be achieved again?
Because the greatest shifts in market share occur during crises, this situation also creates unimagined opportunities for the sales organization. To take advantage of these opportunities, sales management must address the remaining leverage that is value creation against the background of the new market situation. This includes:
1. The structural realignment of the customer and product portfolio
2. The targeted use of aggressive price scenarios
3. The optimization of process costs at the interface between the field service and back office
4. Greater focusing of Net Working Capital (NWC) and of customer financing
What all of these measures have in common is that they break with the rules that apply in the organization, and propose an optimization that involves a great deal of uncertainty. Accordingly, it is necessary to consider and to simulate the alternatives, and to limit the risk involved by means of strict operational action management.
Rarely in the past has the sustainable market positioning of the company depended on decisions made in such a short period of time. In the coming months, it will be necessary to turn organizations that were crippled by the arrival of the crisis into powerful and focused sales machines