Most Sales Executives believe once the economy takes off, 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 have broader consequences. And as conditions improve, it's critical for Sales Executives to recognize what has changed and adjust their selling strategies and approaches accordingly.
This is especially important when in a necessity-based economy.
What's 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.
When in an economic downturn, most companies cut staff, slash their budgets to the bone, and improve 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.
Going ForwardHere are some things to consider as you plan your strategy going forward into a healthier economy:
- 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're not likely to win.
The Harsh Reality
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 the current economy?
- What will you do differently over the next three months to improve the size and quality of your pipeline?
Bob Nicols has 34 years of experience in sales, sales management, executive management and sales force development. He founded Burton Training Group, now AXIOM Sales Force Development, in 1990 after being a top and highly recognized performer in sales, sales management and executive positions within the technology sector. He has managed and mentored thousands of sales people, sales managers and senior managers and been responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. For more than 21 years he has developed and delivered sales programs that have become the standard for many Fortune 100 companies including AT&T, BellSouth, Disney Enterprises, Alltel, Verizon and ESPN. AXIOM programs have been implemented in over 30 countries including Japan, the UK, Germany, Dubai, Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Slovakia, Sweden, and The Netherlands. Bob's highly energetic and insightful lectures and workshops have resulted in invitations to be a featured presenter at dozens of national and international sales meetings and conferences. He is a trusted advisor to the presidents and senior managers of multiple organizations, both large and small and has been a board member of a national technology company. Bob is the developer of AXIOM's “Selling Sciences ProgramTM” and co-author of the “Selling Sciences” CD series.