Remote Selling Challenge #5: Adapting to New Business Models

Meghan MacRae

3 minutes

Using the ThoughtExchange enterprise discussion management platform, we connected with 300 Fortune 1000 Revenue Leaders from across the continent to find out what obstacles to growth they were facing in 2021.

There were very few—if any—businesses that were prepared for the pandemic. We took our physical proximity for granted in the office, at conferences, and with our customers. Although “agility” has been a hot topic for a few years now, not many businesses knew just how agile they would have to be coming into the 2021 fiscal year. 

The revenue leaders we spoke to shared their concerns around what market digitization would mean for their business models:

“The effect digitization will have on overall business models. Traditional business models might lead to adjacent markets.”

“Adaptability. With the pandemic completely changing the landscape of my industry, I’ve found that I’ve needed to learn lots of new tools.”

Forbes calls Business Model Innovation one of the top ten business trends for 2021 that leaders must prepare for. After a year like 2020, it’s hard to argue that traditional business models will hold up in the coming years, so finding effective ways to innovate is key to your organization’s survival.

Strategize and align on new business models

You could argue that 2020 called for a completely new business model instead of a more agile business model. In fact, Harvard Business Review says that rethinking your strategic positioning and business model “is a life-or-death need” in the post-pandemic period. No pressure.

Take ThoughtExchange, for example. For years, we developed and honed our expertise in conferences – facilitating sessions, sponsoring presentations, and running our own events. Then, when everything was canceled, we had to make a pivot to virtual events in a matter of weeks. 

We went from planning one of our biggest in-person events to date to putting it all online in a very brief amount of time—and with no shortage of panicking. Since that first virtual conference in the early months of COVID-19, we’ve put on several successful large-scale events and improved our process each time. Our Sales team has embraced the virtual booth and our C-Suite have become star speakers in the virtual conference circuit.

The key to our switch to virtual events was using our platform to figure out the best approach, to determine what we needed in order to go fully virtual, and to stay on top of our progress with a regular cadence of Exchanges. We found ourselves in an all-hands-on-deck moment, and our entire organization weighed in with ideas to keep us thriving through a truly disastrous time.

Plus, the way our customers used ThoughtExchange for their businesses changed, too. So we adapted to a new way of connecting with them, as they adapted to a new way of connecting with their teams and customers.

We know we’re not the only business that had to make a major shift in how we drove revenue growth last year. And the truth is, we’re all still making that shift. We need to find ways to evolve our business models quickly and efficiently and stay aligned throughout the process.

ThoughtExchange can be your primary tool in setting up and adapting to new business models. With one Exchange, you can leap over several potential obstacles at once: 

  • You can include all of your stakeholders because you have a platform that can host tens or thousands of participants in one discussion. 
  • Our anonymous sharing and anti-bias rating system ensure that the best practices and tactics that resonate the most with participants will rise to the top for easy prioritization. 
  • Your Dashboard analytics help you summarize the information quickly and easily, leaving you with data-rich insights to build a strong case for the resources you need to implement your plans. 
  • And above all—you can do all this in minutes, not months, meaning that your tactics evolve at the speed of market change, not in reaction to it.

Developing new business models that are agile and adaptable to whatever the market throws at you is far less intimidating using a tool like ThoughtExchange. Asking your people on the ground, learning from their insights, and repeating Exchange cadences at regular intervals will improve your business agility exponentially.

About the Author

Meghan MacRae

Meghan was raised by an English teacher, thus she found a way to incorporate her instinct for grammar and spelling into her career. She honed her corporate writing skills in clothing companies and the music industry, and brings a passion for creativity and playful wordsmithing to her work at ThoughtExchange. When she’s not crafting language that brings people together, she’s reading a thesaurus, playing Uno with her kids, cooking and singing and dancing, and collecting vinyl and art.