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Tollejo Briefing: 2022 – The Swerving Curveball

Here’s the the latest from Tollejo.

Quick lessons:

  1. Don’t leave money on the table – it’s almost certainly there 
  2. It’s especially important now to give clarity to your customers and teams 
  3. Shout louder – turn up the marketing volume while it’s cheap

2022: A Swerving Curveball to Plan For

If you thought it was hard to make plans during the pandemic, compare that to today.

At least in lockdown, you knew you weren’t going out… In fact, marketing planning was almost binary because the rules of engagement were clear.

Sort of.

“Go out. Don’t go out”. But you still managed to build business plans around that, didn’t you?

2022 is different. 

Consistent, top-line growth is more challenging because the arena is hostile.

Straight out of the pandemic, into a boiling pot of inflation coupled with a nearby invasion and a workforce unsure where to sit. Investors are spooked. Talent is scarce and on the move. And the trains and planes are unreliable.

This makes sales hard. It puts pressure on marketing – and makes everyone question if they have the right proposition and performance models.

So how do you steady that ship, captain?

Our advice – above everything, keep your people and customers engaged, interested and hungry to do more. But try to think long term. Those companies taking wins today were ready for this environment and have engineered growth by changing simple behaviours and disciplines. They can plan years ahead rather than just a few months out.

Get a map 

But if you’re not in that privileged position, it’s first worth looking at what you thought was true. Do you even know where you are with your customers in this new world?

Test your market and the ease of selling to it based on the new variables above. Always ask the client base if they’re getting what they want. Find out their challenges as we emerge from the pandemic.  Is there more value to be given?

The art of asking great questions shows the three emerging themes that came from 12 consultants being asked what they think a great question is. Apply these themes when asking your clients questions.

Great questions lead to great opportunities. Have you asked your clients:

“What else could we do for you?”

This sounds obvious, but every month we continue to find millions of dollars left on the table by sales teams that didn’t follow up or didn’t ask the question. (Tap me up if you want help on that.)

It’s imperative to understand your market context to know where your sources of growth will be. You can then adjust your proposition with certainty as the buying drivers may have changed.

We’re seeing B2B companies switching emphasis from end-user experiences for greater sales and engagement to cost-cutting and risk mitigation.

Articulate your profit models (internally) and shout about your propositions (externally).

It’s time to go big or go home. At a time when most companies are pulling their marketing budgets, yours is the opportunity to buy cheaper marketing. In the face of adversity, you have to ramp up the effort and push harder than anyone.

Internally, teams will be looking for clarity. They’re unsettled. They will want to know why so much change is occurring and to see how leaders are adapting to it. Read more about employee retainment in the wake of the great resignation here.

Keeping things simple at this time is crucial and the way you communicate even more so. Knowing your sources of growth and articulating simple messages around them will help your leaders to understand your profit models and where their focus should be.

And keep management layers to a minimum 

Speed is necessary when the economy is tough. Layers of decision-making management will be unhelpful, so stay nimble and ready to evolve around new challenges.

For example, consider your geography. Not every country is experiencing hard times. Those in the Middle East are experiencing a budget surplus from the higher priced sales of oil.

All the best


If your organisation needs to evolve – in product, strategy or engagement, why not say hello. We’d love to help you.

Tollejo designs stories, propositions and business strategies for technology and financial companies. Our team comprises entrepreneurs and growth experts with backgrounds in marketing, sales and organisational change for top-line growth. Evolve faster with a better story.

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