How the Pandemic Changed Sales and Marketing Performance and What You Can Do

If there’s a common feeling between everyone we speak with at the moment, it’s uncertainty. And that's understandable with market sentiment shifting, almost daily. Can we still really say BAU without a slight eye twitch from a mini internal panic? 

This pandemic has profoundly impacted our economy, and frankly, it is hard to keep up, so here’s a summary from HubSpot’s March 2020 data analysis from their 70,000+ global customers of what we know so far. And the results are very interesting.

  1. Sales teams have hugely increased their email outreach. Not surprising, no-one is picking up their phone. Response rates to sales outreach and deal creation have steeply  declined. BUT overall on a bright note, buyers are actively interacting with sellers more in March as compared to February.
  2. On the week of March 16, new deal creation was down by 17%, and by the week of March 30, it fell further by 23%. 
  3. Website traffic increased by 13% compared to February.
  4. Facebook chat volume increased by 5%.
  5. Both sales and marketing teams are sending higher volumes of emails. The huge news is that marketing actually saw an increase in engagement rates!
  6. Correspondingly, sales saw a 27% decrease in open rates in March.
  7. While marketing saw a 21% increase in the open rates in March.

Chart for March 2020 - Sales emails sent and response rate

Chart for March 2020 - Marketing emails sent and open rate

What can we learn from this data? 


Data suggests that now is the perfect opportunity to attract, engage and nurture interested leads. Use this time to express genuine interest in helping them - educate, don't promote - and in return they’ll remember you after this pandemic is over. 


4 things you can do now based on the market’s reaction 


What the data says 

What you can do 

Website traffic is increasing. 

Optimise your website and SEO.

Facebook chat/customer initiated conversation is increasing.

Integrate Facebook chat to your website or business tools.

Marketing email engagement is increasing. 

Focus on sending educational resources and free tools that will add value to your customers.

Sales email engagement is decreasing.

If selling your product or service comes across as tone deaf to your customers right now, pause selling. Instead, identify how your business can help your customers without asking for anything in return. 


Resources you can use:


Manage your website data and turn them into reports with real numbers


Look for helpful topics to talk about with your customers and keywords to rank for SEO 


Integrate Facebook chat with your CRM or website


Use an email platform to optimise your results and track performance

always be helping

Now is the right time to engage the market with the right message


Have a carefully thought through content calendar which focuses on the current pain points, challenges and questions that you frequently hear from your target audience.  Don’t focus on headlines with ”COVID-19” or “The Global Pandemic”, people are fully aware of it. Instead, focus on what you’ve learnt, such as the emerging “new normal” or perhaps the “next normal” state we will find ourselves in. 

As Winston Churchill once said,  “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. Marketers should seize this opportunity to think and react differently to this new crisis. 

Find content that genuinely helps; research on different resources and  consider curating great content from trusted sources or partners. Your motto should be “Always be helping” - now more than ever.


Hopefully you find these insights and suggestions helpful. If you would like a free consultation about your strategy or a lead generation audit, you’re welcome to chat with us now

Topics: lead nurturing leadership b2b digital marketing plan positioning and messaging trends business leaders