“Our selling motions may never be the same.”
“Competitive intensity is only going to increase … we could fall behind.”
“We will have to do more with less given hiring and spending freezes.”
The following are a few strategies I’ve seen my customers use to meet the challenge:
Sales is all about telling the right person the right story at the right time. In a “do more with less” environment, sales teams must focus on the best markets, accounts, and decision makers to pursue.
This prioritization requires an intelligent approach that relies on data. One of my Fortune 500 customers leveraged predictive insights to determine which deals might get pushed into the next quarter. They then developed recovery plans to speed up deal closures and capture millions of dollars in revenue in the current quarter.
Here’s how it works:
Example of a sales account prioritization matrix.
Discover how real-time customer data, paired with automated task completion and intelligent selling guidance, can help you land more deals, faster.
To do the same for your business, consider taking the following steps:
A tool by itself will not drive results, but seeing a rep in action, powered by their systems, can drive the kinds of impact leaders are looking for.
One of our Global 500 customers inventoried the different tools and systems that its sellers used as part of a sales cycle and came up with more than 30! They found multiple quoting tools and calculators, along with different processes and software to analyze the pipeline and forecast. By eliminating the overlap, they were able to save money, reduce complexity, and improve the seller’s experience.
For Gabrielle “GB” Blackwell, sales development representative leader at Airtable, it’s also about investing in tools that complement the way your reps already work.
“Consider how the tools support reps within the context of their work,” said Blackwell. “A tool by itself will not drive results, but seeing a rep in action, powered by their systems, can drive the kinds of impact leaders are looking for.”
Without surplus financial resources, risk can increase. You lack the room for error to make a bad acquisition or launch a nice-to-have marketing campaign or product. That surplus is only possible when revenue is stable, and stable revenue is only possible when customers are satisfied and top-performing talent is retained. That’s why you need to make sure both customers and your employees are happy. Here’s how:
For your talent: Survey your sales teams to gauge levels and areas of dissatisfaction. As needed, execute any necessary retention strategies that address these areas of concern. For example, if your reps are frustrated with low pay, consider multi-year bonuses. If SDRs are wondering how to progress in their careers, roll out new professional development opportunities like classes and seminars.
For your customers: First and foremost, train your reps to engage customers beyond the sale. Give them ownership over the customer relationship so they track progress both up to the sale and after the deal is inked — ensuring service, billing, and all other team interactions are exceptional. Encourage regular check-in calls or communication, even if the customer doesn’t reach out with an ask. This makes them feel valued, which encourages loyalty.
To get a sense of customers who might be ready to leave for the competition, look at data such as past buying behavior or service issues. For example, a customer who stops buying as frequently or as much as they once did may be at risk of defecting. They may also be contacting the service center more and have an increasing number of support cases. Be proactive about addressing these issues — prioritize reaching out to customers whose behaviors have changed or who need some extra help.
Driving efficient growth in tough times is ultimately achieved by returning to the basics. Most importantly, remain focused on the accounts that fuel revenue, cut back on tech that doesn’t serve you, and take care of your customers and employees. Also, be ready to adjust strategies and processes when they aren’t working. If you can achieve this, not only will you perform better during a downturn, but you will set yourself up for efficient growth whenever market conditions fluctuate.
Sharpen your competitive edge by automating manual tasks for boosted productivity, leveraging AI insights for faster deal cycles, and using real-time data to deliver exceptional customer experiences.