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How Sapper Consulting Responded as a Business to COVID-19

From recession-proofing your business to transitioning your sales meetings online, we’ve been creating resources to help you manage the impact of COVID-19. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, you’re not in it alone. In this article, we share with you exactly what Sapper has done to mitigate risk and support our lead generation team in this unprecedented crisis.

 

Pre-Mortem & Projections

Three weeks before COVID-19 began to spread in the US, we had already prepared our pre-mortem (you can read more about our pre-mortem here). We were extremely proactive in assessing the risk and using the few data points we had to revise our projections. In our planning, we sought to understand how people respond to crises and how to optimize for each behavior. After reviewing our financials in comparison to our revised projections, we took action where necessary to prepare for a worst case scenario.

 

Values

Since the start of Sapper Consulting, we have strived to operate from our values. In light of a crisis, our values act as a north star now more than ever. Our values are more than a few one-liners accompanying our mission statement; they are truly the standards of our company and we flex to them daily if not hourly. From difficult conversations with our team to expense reduction decisions, our values have provided a framework for how we operate during a pandemic. 

 

Increase Communication

In light of COVID-19, we have increased communication tenfold. We have daily update emails from HR, daily update emails regarding services processes, and every team has started doing stand ups/stand downs to stay in communication. Our leadership team meets daily for at least an hour. Additionally, Sapper’s CEO Jeff Winters hosts a check-in with 5 different employees everyday to discuss what’s working, where we need improvement, and to answer any questions. With a constantly changing environment paired with the transition to remote working, increased communication is absolutely essential.

 

Seek Outside Help

Let’s be honest; the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen this generation and we’re all navigating the best we can. As this is uncharted territory, it can be helpful to seek outside guidance. We’ve relied on companies like Chapman & Co. to advise us on crisis management. We’ve leaned on advisors, vendors, and clients to offer insight and support. We’re all in this together and we are all stronger when we support one another.



Clarify Messaging

While we’ve increased communication both internally and externally, we’ve made a point to focus on messaging. Delivery can make the difference between instilling a sense of calm and fanning the flames of fear. 

We immediately created as many resources as possible for our teams. We revised talk tracks, implemented training on how to communicate with clients, and created a 'success room' in Slack where any services team member could go to receive help from the exec team on COVID related issues in 15 mins or less.

When speaking with our team internally, we’ve focused on acknowledging fear and uncertainty, while inspiring the resilience to keep pushing. Every company-wide meeting (which we hold weekly) feels like a Super Bowl half-time motivation speech. Now is the time that we need to come together, bolster our strength, and sprint towards renormalization.

 

Revise Processes 

While we are all still working, this is not ‘business as usual’. We’ve altered our communication with our team and clients; we’ve altered our company culture building techniques; and we’ve altered our sales and marketing processes to reflect COVID-19 concerns. 

Even through these challenging times, there are companies who are thriving and who are buying. It’s our job to not only find these prospects, but also to offer real value. To do this, we’ve doubled down on our sales and marketing processes. We’ve reconsidered our messaging in content, focused on precision in marketing, and are treating every potential deal with patience and attention to detail. Ultimately, a lot of this comes back to active listening and empathy.

In order to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve had to rise to - and embrace - all of the necessary changes. We’ve focused on not only pivoting where necessary, but also on maintaining resilience, optimism, and grit through the process. Now is the time to buckle down and lean in; and we’re here for it.

If you're ready to do the same, check out our recently updated guide to recession-proofing your business.

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