Many companies are facing new financial hardships due to unforeseen consequences of the COVID-19 virus. Businesses are facing the new normal: remote work, 100% digital, and paperless.
Your business needs the right tools and business software that enable you to connect to the cloud and run operations in a remote way - along with: shared activity management, paperless invoicing, and security in omni-channel online payments.
We recently published resources for businesses affected by COVID-19, and below we expand further on the specific ways B2B businesses can best adapt, survive, and even thrive with new solutions and lower costs. This time is both a challenge and an opportunity for the decision makers in B2B sales channels, and these strategies will launch you into success not just during this time period but for the long term.
How your B2B company can best adapt and thrive in COVID-19
- Business basics
Getting paid is extremely important, but the primary concern is always the safety of your staff and your customers. Following protocol in this new environment that we are in is essential.
- Supporting each other, as well as being responsive and adaptive, is key
Whether you sell products or services, we are all trying to figure out how to keep running in the new normal.
If you’re having problems in maintaining business continuity, evaluate what are other companies doing to solve that? What tools are out there that are effective in this environment? What experts are they relying on? Then, reach out and offer your advice, your solutions, the tools you are utilizing, and the experts that you are relying upon. In channel sales, we are all in this together. Joining virtual casual conversations and zoom calls to discuss tools and strategies will not only expand your knowledge but allow you to become a thought leader with your professional peers.
Engaging experts in integrated solutions can provide you with new ideas and insights for the technological changes you want to make. Your payments provider may know a partner in AR with a pre-made integration into your ERP. Your contact for eCommerce shopping cart may know the best cart abandonment tool for your market. If you don't ask the question, you have no chance of receiving any answers. Engaging in conversations is the first and most simple step to improving your entire organization.
- Embrace going digital
Eliminate the issues involved with slow or impossible paper invoicing. The trend towards paperless invoicing was well underway before the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines took effect. Accept checks online just like any transaction and have them deposited into your bank account the next day. Getting those funds readily available and quickly is essential in this environment.
- Consider eCommerce solutions to enable sales while brick and mortar stores remain closed
BigCommerce, Miva, Magento, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, ZenCart, OpenCart….The options available for opening an eCommerce store or branch of your business are more plentiful than ever before.
Many of these platforms are providing discounts and free trials to new eCommerce stores opening up while social distancing rules are in effect. BigCommerce and Magento, for example, are providing the first 3 months of service for free.
- Ensure omni-channel and seamlessly integrated solutions
How can I make it EASY for my customers to pay? Use an omni-channel and seamlessly integrated payments provider. This will make it easy for your customer to pay with their preferred payment method and gets cash in your pocket as fast as possible and improves your cash flow and customer retention long term.
- Be authentic and have empathy
Make sure to communicate with your clients before sending an invoice during this turbulent time. Making a phone call may be the most prudent way to reach out about collections, because as the saying goes: a large portion of communication is tone.
Now that communication is exclusively done by email or phone, take additional time to consider how your tone affects what your message conveys. Simply checking in with a thoughtful message can relax your customers and let them know that you are on their side:
“Hey, how are you, how can we help you during this time?”
Giving clients an extra two weeks to pay, or even just a friendly gesture of goodwill, can transform client relationships during this pivotal time and create fans for life. Communicate with prospects, with clients, and with partners using empathy.
Hop on video, get on zoom, and have messy hair, be at home, and be vulnerable. It is much easier to convey appropriate tone and avoid misunderstandings while on video. Your clients will appreciate you coming to the table with authenticity.
- Partners have an opportunity
Leveraging APS Payments as a value-add partner, to reduce costs and enable new clients to onboard time and cost saving solutions that make their lives easier.
How APS Payments Can Help
- Customers can’t pay us right now, as they are working remote and cannot write checks, and it’s hurting our cash flow
Online payment portals, like APS ClickToPay, are available with many of our integrations. APS ClickToPay ensures payments can be made remotely, even if checks aren't able to be written or signed at this time.
- My customers are asking to pay by credit card as they are short on cash, and I don’t have a way to accept credit card payments
Allowing customers to pay how they want and when they want will help accelerate collections remotely during COVID-19. APS Payments will provide a free discovery call to you and your business and evaluate the best options for credit card processing for your payment needs.
- We have historically not sold online via eCommerce, but adding a shopping cart to our website, and I want to ensure the eCommerce solution we select can leverage the same payments provider we use for our accounting platform
Seamlessly integrated and omni-channel payment solutions, like APS Payments, enable consumer data to be easily transferred between different platforms.
- I am looking for ways to cut expenses right now
Working with an omni-channel, integrated, and all-in-one payment processing provider enables massive savings in multiple ways. Having just one provider to verify and enable all transactions eliminates any redundant fees and paperwork. Having a provider that offers automated Level 3 discounts for B2B transactions can also provide huge time and money savings - up to 43% off qualifying transactions!
- I am a VAR, and looking for ways to help my clients who are struggling with profitability in these turbulent times
You don’t have to solve every problem your customers face - but wouldn’t it be nice to be the hero they need in a turbulent time? Customers save on average $18,000 annually by switching to processing with APS Payments.
We hope these tips will enable and empower you to innovate and adopt new strategies to work more effectively during social distancing and after. Learn more about integrated payments and download our Buyer's Guide today!