Regardless of the industry you’re in, there’s no escaping the dreaded R-word: Recession.
Some industries might be struggling more than others (over 58,000 tech workers have been laid off since 2023), and those ‘other’ industries might not even be feeling the effects at all. But the bottom line is: you never know when you might be impacted by a recession or by the mitigating factors in a nervous and challenging economy.
Whether you’re in the thick of it or preparing for the worst, if you’re in sales the good news is you’ve got plenty of ways to protect the pipeline you’ve built and keep building on strong momentum.
Factor 8 Founder Lauren Bailey recently chatted with Doug Landis – advisor to the biggest and brightest SaaS startups and current Growth Partner at Emergence Capital, and Zach Miller – a 20-year enterprise-selling veteran and Vice President of Sales at Highspot. Together they compiled essential tips for both reps and managers to keep building pipeline, continue selling, and boost company culture and morale during an economic downturn.
Spoiler alert: DON’T wait to implement these or fall into the analysis paralysis trap! Vigorous execution of these strategies ASAP is the best way to get ahead.
Top 3 Tips for Sales Reps
- Get Used to Selling to New Personalities
If you’re a rep, the likelihood of the CFO getting involved in your sale just got higher. They\’re often now the ones making the final decisions when it comes to implementing new tools and products and adding it to their existing budget. You may also want to get comfortable selling to procurement.
- Own Your Own Mindset
Don’t wait around for your managers to offer you more development, ask for it! If you’ve got goals you want to accomplish or skills you want to learn, do some of your own research first. Find the people who know what you want to know and utilize existing resources. Don’t make excuses for your own success – get out there and make it happen!
- Emphasize Loss, Not Gains
It might sound counterintuitive – but how many times do you think a decision maker has heard about all the money they’ll save if they just invest in [x] product? Probably about over a billion dollars worth! Finding ways to surpass the ROI and value your product adds by highlighting what they’re missing is the A+ solution right now.
Example: If you don’t buy today, you risk losing out on $100,000 a quarter.
(Looking for more tips on virtual selling? Factor 8 can provide the training and resources you need to excel. Learn more about our training and coaching services here. )
Top 3 Tips for Sales Managers + Leaders
- Get Involved Now
As a leader, it’s important you have a pulse on your reps’ activity without micromanaging. Both of you are in a critical atmosphere right now when it comes to sales – so make sure you aren’t waiting until there’s a problem or all hands are needed on deck before getting involved. Mitigating risk is important on both sides of the transaction!
- Protect Your Time
What’s the one thing you still have full control over? Your time! This is your best resource to utilize and protect. You may be inundated with “fire drills” from your reps – but making sure to prioritize and block off your schedule is still a crucial part of ensuring responsibilities are front and center.
- Celebrate Wins
Quota is probably not the best way to motivate your reps right now if things are tight. So what can you do to keep culture motivated and morale high? Rethink your incentive structures! Shift from focusing on closed business to most leads, highest number of calls, or celebrate the smaller wins that might have previously been overlooked. When employees feel successful, they’ll also feel good about going back to work.
Remember: the economy is cyclical, so this downward turn isn’t forever. If you’re having a tough time adjusting to the new normal, take a deep breath and remind yourself this is a great opportunity to invest time into your personal training, building pipeline, and preparing for when business is back to booming. You’ll be ready!
Struggling to maintain your schedule? Do you want to take your team to the next level? Contact us today to learn about our available sales manager training programs.