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    By Chris Strandin September 5, 2022

    Doing More With Less: A Sales Story

    The unemployment was good, the inflation was bad.
    Customers needed the product, customers wouldn't buy. 
    I need better results, I need to cut costs and downsize my team. 

    Yikes. 

    Never fear, We've been through this before, and it can be done

    Our client transitioned out 25% of the sales team,
    we increased revenue 30% in the same year.

    HOW?

    If you need to do more with less, you need to invest in those that make the cut. They need training, processes, coaching, encouragement, and to be a part of the transformational dream. This client unapologetically invested in growth. 

    How do you invest in your most tried and true, ride or die, foxhole teams?

     

    A Great Playbook

    There's some great sales methodologies out there, but they won't work for you until you make them work for you. What do I mean:

    1. Your message needs to change during market uncertainty
    2. Your team needs to convey the same compelling message
    3. Mapping new priorities to the personas you sell is paramount
    4. Understanding the new business pains is important, how your benefits fit is critical
    5. Objections change in this environment, how well do you handle the NEW objections?

    It's imperative to invest ahead of time in how to combat market changes, and how your team will message, respond, counter, and negotiate in the new era. 

     

    An Improved Process

    Budgets may get tight, but buyers still buy. New market conditions necessitate tuning your sales process to include:

    1. New decision makers
    2. Different decision criteria
    3. Longer sales cycles
    4. A different spin on your value proposition
    5. Higher internal titles required to close deals (greater executive presence)

    Regardless of weather or not your process was efficient before, it likely needs a tuneup if you want to not just survive, but thrive over the next 18 months. 

     

    Coaching & Communication

    Your teams' communication is more important now than ever. What the competition is doing, how the market responds, what's next, analyst insights - there is nothing more important than communication in times like this. HOPEFULLY you had a flavor of this during the early months of the pandemic, but Sales is on the front lines of gathering data for the organization, and unless you build communication channels, you're going to fall behind. 

    Empathetic coaching refers to continuing to coach your team, while engaging in a more empathetic listening style. In a downturn, there is bad news to be heard. Sure, there is some sandbagging and excuses, but now is a good time to listen to everything before writing off bad news as excuses. 

     

    The Tools Your Team Needs

    Fifteen years ago, going into a recession, you would have gotten a lot of flack for hiring sales operations or enablement support while cutting current staff for an economic downturn. Today, it's one of the best ways to survive and thrive. 

    Information is key during a recession and sales support is one of the best ways to get better data and insights. Understanding your leading indicators is more important now than ever, and  tools that make the team more efficient and effective are imperative. Optimizing or upgrading your CRM, investing in technology, revamping training to fit the this market, and other tools out there can all support increased sales in a down market. 

     

    Conclusion

    If you want to win this upcoming 18 months, now is the time to pivot to a winning strategy for designed for this economic environment. Invest in your revenue engine, make them more impactful, avoid as many negatives that come with down markets as you can. 

    Down markets are almost a specialty of ours - creative thinking, refreshed action plans, innovative strategies. Reach out for a consultation early. 

    Topics: Sales Management, Sales Playbook / Training

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