During any crisis our instinct is to focus on the recent past, the ‘Old Normal’ and the immediate impact of the crisis itself. This fails to take into account the fact that the future is highly unlikely to be a return to business as usual but rather, a “New Normal.”
The New Normal is the phase where proactive leaders must focus their attention. Experience tells us that we get what we plan for, so the first question we must address is this one: ‘What am I doing to build our recovery plan?’ Not on getting back to normal, not on crisis management, but on getting ready to succeed in the new business environment we will face.
The most critical factor in this phase will be our ability to effectively adapt to the ‘New Normal.’ Markets will change in profound ways; our job is to understand those changes and adjust to them strategically. If we want to understand how new strategic landscapes are created, we must be willing to examine emerging trends in the five main competitive forces that drive market changes:
- New entrants
- Customer behavior
In assessing these five forces, we can get a clearer sense of how our markets are likely to change, and just as important, how we plan to change. The ability to manage this critical transition further requires taking a hard look at the people and processes that make up the organization. Here, there are three main areas of focus:
- Sales Skills and People: What are the right sales skills and job roles required in the new normal?
- Sales Process: What does your new sales process look like as a repeatable and scalable asset?
- Market Opportunities: How can you re-evaluate and segment your account plan to optimize total market opportunities in the new economy?
The organizations and leaders willing to incorporate these key areas as part of their planning for the recovery phase will be the ones to emerge as the winners in the post-pandemic phase of the global economy. Those who plan for business as usual, will inevitably be left behind.