Most Sales Executives believe once the economy turns around, their revenue numbers will be once again achievable. Budgets will be funded… people will start buying and happy days will be here again.
The economy is not a like a light switch that is either on or off. Economic downturns like the one we are experiencing have broader consequences. And as conditions improve over the next 12 – 18 months, it is critical for Sales Executives to recognize what has changed and adjust their selling strategies and approaches accordingly.
We are now in a necessity based economy and this will not change anytime soon. What is a necessity-based economy? For your prospect this means the pain of not having your products and services must override the pain of paying you for them.
Most companies have cut staff, slashed their budgets to bone and improved the productivity of their remaining employees. Surviving the trauma of the recession, they will not be quick to staff up, spend and return to their old ways.
Here are some things to consider as you plan your go forward strategy:
- To be better salespeople your Reps must become better business people. In this new environment, your prospect will expect no less.
- Differentiation is critical to success. Your prospects will always opt for the low cost solution if they see no difference.
- Know when to walk away. Sales Reps must fully appreciate the opportunity cost of pursuing business they are not likely to win.
The harsh reality is that the skills and tools that got you to this point may not be adequate to allow you to thrive in the new economy.
- What are your plans for the new normal?
- How will you differentiate your products and services?
- What tools and training have been provided to you to improve your team’s selling skills in this economy?
- What will you do differently over the next three months to improve the size and quality of your pipeline?