2021 CEO Survey

Mid-Market Companies

Navigating COVID-19

Businesses throughout the world have been battered by the pandemic and the US mid-market is no different.

has the pandemic impacted your business?

95%

of companies made changes to how they operate due to COVID-19

COVID-19

IMPACT ON COMPANIES

68%

NEGATIVE

17%

NEUTRAL

Chart

When the Going Gets Tough...

But there is some good news. Overwhelmingly, mid-market CEOs have acted to address this monumental market upheaval. Almost every CEO we polled indicated that they not only made operational changes, they also adjusted their revenue goals as well as their go-to-market (GTM) and/or sales processes due to COVID-19. CEOs have fought back, deploying an arsenal of tactics across sales and marketing.

The most used tools in the mid-market COVID-19 toolbox land squarely in the digital domain, perhaps signaling that the extraordinary circumstances of the last year may have accelerated digital transformation within the mid-market:

96%

of CEOs adjusted their revenue goals and targets due to COVID

95%

Shifted to digital tools and digital sales processes

Of companies that took more than one actions in the digital sphere also reported revenue growth

Leaders Hone in on Top
Priorities

There is nothing like a crisis to bring your priorities into sharp focus. Amidst an unprecedented business environment, mid-market leaders have become laser-focused on the things that matter most to their business – today and into the future. According to our survey results, revenue growth, customer experience and employee wellness respectively ranked as their top 3 priorities.

Forced Ranking Priority List

(CEO Rated 'Very Important')

Revenue Growth

72%

Customer Experience

67%

Employee Wellness

55%

Human Capital

53%

Virtual Teams

43%

Innovation

41%

Leadership

40%

Digital Transformation

36%

Newport Insight

COVID Insight

As the business impacts of the pandemic began to emerge in the second quarter of 2020, Newport outlined a three-phase approach to address the disruption – Stabilize, Re-start, and Success & Resiliency.  Our survey results support the idea that the re-start phase often involved a pivot away from the risk of doing things the old way and toward new opportunities.  Our data shows that those companies that changed their ways of operating, especially across multiple factors, were best able to move forward.

Lynn Lednicky
Newport Partner, Houston, TX

How Newport can help

Newport is a strategic business advisory firm, working with founders and CEOs of privately held, growth-stage companies to accelerate growth, improve performance, and successfully exit their businesses.

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© 2021 Newport, LLC | All rights reserved.

COVID Insight

As the business impacts of the pandemic began to emerge in the second quarter of 2020, Newport outlined a three-phase approach to address the disruption – Stabilize, Re-start, and Success & Resiliency.  Our survey results support the idea that the re-start phase often involved a pivot away from the risk of doing things the old way and toward new opportunities.  Our data shows that those companies that changed their ways of operating, especially across multiple factors, were best able to move forward.

The necessity of real-time change and adaptation during the pandemic led to rapid deployment and adoption of new technology tools across the business.  McKinsey & Company reports that during 2020, “we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption…”.   The National Center for the Middle Market reported that entering 2021 middle-market companies are more likely to make investments in information technology than any other category, including plant and equipment.

Before the pandemic, digital acceleration was a way to create competitive advantage. Today, digital acceleration is required just to remain relevant. Post-pandemic, innovation and resiliency will rest on a digital foundation. Digital assets are essential tools to compete, but you still need the right strategy to win.

As you guide your business into 2021, keep digital acceleration at the top of your strategic priority list.  As both a tool and a way of thinking, it will be a key factor in creating value.

To hear more COVID-19 recovery insights from Newport, check out Time for a Strategy Re-set.

Lynn Lednicky
Newport Partner, Houston, TX