Layoffs, Recessions, and RIFs (Ooooooh, my)
It’s a crap situation folks, no way around that. But if you’re in a revenue role and you smell it coming, or just got your notice, here are our top 5 tips to help you recover from a sales layoff:
- Attitude is everything. I don’t mean to not FEEL angry, sad, betrayed, and revenge-fueled! I just mean don’t show it. You’re in a fishbowl right now and everyone you rant to may actually be a prospective employer or referrer. And let’s face it, they’re all wondering if it was the company or it was you. We’ve heard that companies use uncertain economies to trim the fat, and telling the story of your betrayal may tip things in the direction of you being the problem.
- Try a re-frame. Perhaps you were cut because you were the most expensive! It’s the most efficient way to cut costs, right? You may have not been as aligned with the new leadership or go-to-market strategy. It’s probably time to refresh your skills, sharpen the saw, and expand your horizons! What I’m talking about here is your internal self-talk AND your “packaging.” Are you a dejected, rejected, dime-a-dozen AE on the hunt? Or are you a senior-level, uber-expensive, in-demand revenue professional!? I thought so. 🙂
- Get clear on what you want. For decades I’ve made a hobby of helping great people find great companies, and every time I get an email requesting help, I reply asking them to detail their dream job. I don’t mean title and income (you DID think that didn’t you!?). I mean what industry, working with what kinds of customers? What will you be learning? What kind of product or service would make you proud? How will your boss treat you, how do sell, and how will you be led and fed? Go nuts on the wish list and ask questions about past peeves like work hours, development opportunities, bosses and mentors, facilities, friends at work, tools, and more! When we know exactly what we want, we can describe that for people and INSTANTLY get better referrals than a generic, “anything in SaaS.”
Try this: When I ask if you know someone who leads a new or growing sales team in the banking industry, runs an insurance house, or manages a team that sells into government, did your brain find someone? Could you feel it scanning deeper than, “Know anyone hiring?” When you help people picture someone they know, you’re more than halfway to a referral.
I’m also a believer that putting it out there in the universe is necessary step #1 in bringing what we want to us!
- Brag a little. No, strike that. Brag a LOT. Your resume needs to be packed with results!
Numbers Are The Love Language Of All Sales Leaders!
Get yours in order! What percent did you increase market share? Was there a spike in metrics under your leadership? How many quarters did you exceed quota? How about your team? Did you win any records? Awards? Listen, if the very best thing you did was reach quota consistently realize that is a WIN! If you’re still there, start running reports to shore up your data.
What else did you do? Customer satisfaction? Product development? Process documentation? Testimonial acquisition? New customer types? Lead with numbers and close with some voice of the customer. They’ll be lining up to talk to you!
- Call in the favors (by offering to help!) If you fear it’s coming but haven’t left yet, NOW is the time to work your network. Funny how our colleagues, customers, and friends lose our numbers when we leave (and listen, some actually do only know your work email). But a call from an employed friend calling to catch up and see how I am and how they can help me gets 10x the callbacks than my newly laid off buddy who wants to give me the Telenovela version of their unfair termination. So do as many favors as you can before you’re gone, so it’s easy to call up for the payback when you need it. Start your re-frame marketing campaign about where you’re headed and your desire to leave to move up or move on! Then find out how you can help THEM and do it. Reciprocity is real (and everyone will like you better.)
In short, approach this well-deserved break like the freaking diamond you are. There’s an international shortage of professional sellers – especially virtual sellers. Find an industry and company that’s thriving and package yourself as a FIND! I’m confident that YOU are something you can sell.
Good luck out there! If we can help you brush up on your selling skills at Factor 8 with free virtual sales BDR, AE, or Account Management training, please email us at email@example.com and mention this blog.
If you’re a woman in revenue leadership, please apply to join the #GirlsClub Sales Leadership Certification Program as a Protégé (new or aspiring manager) or Mentor (5+ years of leadership experience). Our amazing sponsors will help foot the bill.
Want to hone your skills after a sales layoff?
Join one of our upcoming Virtual Sales Training Masterclasses! We offer different classes for BDRs, SDRs, ISRs, account executives, and account managers all focused on areas like prospecting, objection handling, running virtual sales demos, closing, and more!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE seat in any of our masterclasses.