The Top “Early Covid-19” Priorities and Challenges of Business Leaders

Business Priorities

During Q1 2020, JONEX Global conducted a market study of 36 diverse Business Leaders from various countries & industries. The business leaders represented in this study hailed from a two-man start-up to multi-million turnover Enterprises. The objective was to ascertain the business Priorities and Challenges of these business leaders moving forward notwithstanding the global economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic

The TOP Business Priority of the business leaders in this study is to “Grow International Sales” at 19% of overall respondents.

The lowest business priority is “Sales Profitability” at 3% of overall respondents.  

“Priorities” of Business Leaders taken verbatim

  • The prime focus is business growth
  • We need to have the right kind of market segmentation done
  • We need to align our segmentation to whatever strengths we have as an organization
  • We need to back up business growth with the right kind of people both in terms of front line selling as well as business development and support
  • To achieve business growth, we need the right kind of people who have exposure to the domain, the knowledge and come with a good amount of salesmanship skills
  • We need our people to be able to relate to people, understand the needs of customers, their desires and align their sales pitch
  • Our marketing & sales initiatives must back up our salespeople
  • Building a pipeline
  • It was always about creating something large or which will disrupt and doing justice to a niche
  • How do I ensure that most of my target market use my products or services?
  • I want to reach decision makers
  • We had prioritised getting wins with big brands
  • We need that one big break to take us Global
  • Building large partnerships and alliances which are large is important to us
  • Finding customers or investors in our product which will take us Global
  • Or figuring out a product that is so unique that it will take us Global
  • We had a global ambition
  • It was important to have the right partners onboard to partner with to take us Global
  • How can I sell better in foreign markets?
  • Are we targeting the correct teams/departments within organisations
  • Some amount of assistance in marketing in foreign markets will really be helpful
  • Getting new business
  • Being profitable from the business that we get
  • Desire is to have continuous flow of work and to execute this work in a profitable and sustainable manner
  • How do we find new markets
  • How do we diversify our products
  • How do we find new industry verticals for our products
  • I want to have a consistent sales funnel
  • It would be good to have a continuous flow of work and the data to plan in advance
  • We want people to see and understand the product
  • Get to the right people
  • Revenue growth
  • We wanted to reach new markets
  • We wanted to get our foot through the door
  • We need to look beyond what’s in front
  • Grow the markets in new areas from typical

Business Challenges

The biggest Business Challenge of the business leaders in this study is “Poor Client Relationships” at 17% of overall respondents.

The lowest business challenge is “Profitability” at 3% of overall respondents.  

In late 2019, Gartner conducted an industry-wide market research which highlighted that “Lack of Customer Confidence” is the biggest challenge in B2B sales today. The JONEX Global study corroborates this fact in a random survey that Client Relationships are directly proportional to growing Customer Confidence.

“Challenges” of Business Leaders taken verbatim

  • Especially in our field of software product, the reach with salesmen is very little because the market is so vast
  • We really don’t know where we have our potential customer
  • Our market reach is limited
  • Our people can only do so much
  • Lead time is large
  • There are organizational mandates but given some levee, I could certainly choose another approach
  • Given the limited bandwidth I have, how do I enlarge my pipeline as I never have enough in the kitty
  • I cannot simply grow my team without first getting the business in
  • Our target organisations are too centralized and take too long to get things done
  • Lack of readiness to adapt (Prospects/customers)
  • Why are we so successful in our own country but unsuccessful in other countries?
  • I do not know or understand foreign markets and what works for them, or how do we market ourselves there
  • Biggest pain point is having a consistent sales funnel or sales pipeline
  • It is very difficult to predict how much work or projects we are going to be working on
  • It is very difficult to predict how many resources we require
  • We are just not getting enough projects
  • We are not getting enough projects even from our existing clients
  • Our existing clients don’t come back
  • If we do one project with one client, they do not come back to us for the next project
  • There is a long gap or gestation period between requests (projects) from our existing clients…we do not know what’s the reason for that but that’s hitting us
  • We lost a couple of clients because we did not do well with the client servicing, or the quality, or the timeline, or communications which could have been avoided
  • We are losing money on projects (undercharging and/or over-committing)
  • It’s a “Who You Know”
  • Getting Access to decision makers
  • It is difficult to educate our customers on the benefits of our products and trying to get them to understand
  • Just not getting enough projects from our existing clients
  • We are not sales and marketing experts
  • We were not good at following up
  • We did not have the skill sets
  • Getting the influencer to take the matter forward to the decision maker
  • Everyone likes our product, but we didn’t have the credibility
  • People were not willing to take risks in recommending us
  • We are too operational based
  • We do not have any long-term strategic planning
  • Not enough time

Written by:
Anna Cranston

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