Maintaining Sales Productivity in a 2008 Economy Crash-​Like World

BY Kathy Crosett
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The global economy, which had been roaring along for several years since the 2008 economy crash ended, has slowed way down in the past few weeks. You will need to roll out new sales management tactics to rev up your sales team and keep their productivity and morale up. We all know that the COVID-​19 pandemic will seriously impact the economy, but you can keep your staff motivated and productive by getting creative.

New Sales Management Tactics for a 2008 Economy Crash-​Like World

In an old article for Selling Power magazine, Justin Shriber encourages managers to enhance their existing coaching programs. Now may not be the time to institute sweeping changes to the selling culture since there is already so much change that your team has to cope with. To optimize results, break down big sales goals into a series of small achievable steps.

Until a few weeks ago, your reps likely measured success by the number of signed contracts they brought to your desk. Unless they are selling medical supplies or another in-​demand product or service, your reps are probably encountering more rejection than they are accustomed to. 

You can boost your sales reps' spirits and energy levels by instituting a morning check-​in call, which Lisa Rigsby, vice president of sales at SalesFuel, strongly recommends. In 10 minutes, you can help identify two or three small objectives that each sales rep should try to accomplish before the end of the day.

Maybe these objectives will be identifying a key contact on a prospect’s site. Or your sales rep may get a prospect to agree to a phone chat. If they score a video chat, remind them that maintaining a sense of humor during virtual meetings is key. Everyone is dealing with slower than usual internet service or kids and pets creating a disturbance in the background. Staying positive when this happens allows your reps to connect with prospects on a new, personal and empathetic level.

Enhanced Customer Service

Businesses are also at risk of losing customers during a downturn, just like during the 2008 economy crash. This worry may be keeping you and your organization’s leadership team up at night. The best strategy in this case is to be proactive. Do not give anyone a reason to cancel their contract with you. Remind your customer service reps to do their best to quickly handle any issue that arises. These folks should know how to escalate a hot call to the next level in order to maximize customer service.

Updated Coaching Programs

The big shift in the marketplace may require you to review and update your coaching process. Do your reps need a refresher course on how to network virtually? Does everyone in the customer service organization understand the value proposition you’re offering? 

At this point, we don’t know how long the economic slowdown will last. However, you can tap into new sales management tactics to help your reps stay focused and help them prepare for when business activity rebounds.