If there’s one department that will keep a company from sinking during rough economic times, it’s sales. "Whether we’re in a pandemic or not," Tom Pisello, Founder of the Evolved Selling Institute, points out that, "quotas don’t sleep." During his recent stint as our guest on our Manage Smarter podcast, he explained what sales managers can do to coach their teams on the fine points of selling when buyers don’t want to meet reps in person or open their wallets.
Help Your Reps Stand Out
Sales presentations typically given in person can be tough to replicate successfully online. Participants are missing the physical presence a good speaker can bring to a presentation. To hook online meeting participants, coach your reps on changing their visuals. Less text and mores images will make a big impact. Adding polls into the slide encourages engagement. When your reps work harder to make an online discovery session an interactive experience, the buyers will feel like they have more skin in the game.
With most buyers laser focused on the bottom line since the pandemic started, your reps will encounter more spending freezes. Pisello tells us the secret to selling in today’s environment is to understand the concept of ‘frugalnomics.’ Remind your reps who are managing existing accounts about the need to stay in touch. They may be hesitating to reach out because they fear bad news — being cut from the client’s budget. It’s far better to stay visible and work hard to offer something the client values. If the client does have to cut your solution from the budget, there’s always the chance that they’ll buy from you again when conditions improve.
To prevent that from happening and keeping in mind that quotas don't sleep, stay one step ahead of the client. Encourage your reps to share key data with the client “ahead of the quarterly business review.” When your reps can demonstrate, quantitatively, how they are adding value, such as reducing the number of calls their account’s customer service department must take, the client will notice.
Have your reps been able to get at least half of the target employees in your client’s organization to use your solution? If not, advise your reps to propose a training schedule to increase the adoption rate. When your client’s employees love what you offer, your organization will maintain perceived value. “Having real visibility into the account will let you forecast what the client is going to need to get through the rest of this recession,” says Pisello.
Now more than ever, it’s important to expand your contact base at the client’s site. Businesses will continue to downsize to maintain profitability. If you only have one contact at the client site and they leave the organization, you won’t have a strong base of support. Remind your reps to cultivate additional relationships at the client site, folks who understand the value you deliver and can speak to that value during a budget review.
Quotas Don’t Sleep
Nobody said selling during a recession is easy. The top brass probably won’t give you a break on your numbers. So, yeah, quotas don’t sleep, but if you actively manage your reps using Pisello’s advice along with a good automated coaching solution, you got this.