Rahul Shah, CEO of Next Quarter.
Business uncertainty is rampant today, with market headwinds threatening economies worldwide. Your business needs to prepare, but how can you work on building a sales strategy that meets these challenges? With the right tools and training, I believe that your business can expand its presence, even during difficult-to-navigate times.
In this article, I will look at some tactics to help you build a sales strategy for this period of uncertainty.
Plan to meet goals with fewer resources.
A recession isn’t a time for reduced expectations. Your business is likely successful because you embraced sales goals that challenged your team. Pushing your team requires a sales strategy that better uses the resources at your disposal. In addition, this redoubled effort may mean you must consider changes to your current business operations.
Building a sales strategy in a recession means working smarter, not harder.
Automation and AI are, therefore, more impactful than ever. Consider how to automate your contacts, sales and quotas. This enables the sales team to spend more time speaking with customers, building account plans and identifying new prospects.
For example, has your team explored automation for data collection, input or tracking news about your customers? AI-based insights can provide more up-to-date intelligence about customers and prospects. AI can also point you in the right direction and ensure you have the data to give the most impactful pitch.
Follow the data to drive results.
Building a sales strategy that works in a down economy requires appropriate data access.
How is your team using data to drive revenue? What platforms do you use? What insights do you generate from the data? Are you using that data to identify whitespace, find new prospects and accelerate a customer’s journey through your sales pipeline?
These questions require well-thought-out answers. They also need appropriate technology that can access the necessary data.
Ensure up-to-the-second forecasting—and adjust accordingly.
The right forecast comes from realistic data. The right data enables you to achieve appropriate account growth. It also means you know who is pulling their weight on your team and who is not meeting expectations.
Your team must make the right investments, even if you have fewer resources. Getting the necessary tools to forecast—and learning how to use them—can guide investments, assist with team management and show you where to invest your limited marketing dollars. To do this, research what investments can help you get this data accuracy within your specific industry.
Get companywide buy-in.
When used correctly, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms can track contacts, enhance uniform account planning services and ensure data sharing. However, to effectively use these solutions means ensuring that your entire team—from your top sales professionals to their administrative support—takes full advantage.
Enter the data.
The data business has an old expression: Junk in, junk out. In other words, CRMs will only be useful when your team enters data.
One of the most significant challenges in the sales world is that too many salespeople rely on their systems. Business is too complicated and interconnected to rely on hand-written, siloed information. Your entire team must appropriately enter and track data to be better positioned to ultimately increase your revenue.
Demonstrate the value of technology.
In sales, time may be the most critical, and limited, resource. The leadership team’s challenge will be to show how training and using CRMs and other technologies will free up more time and make them more money.
You’ll have to show your team the benefits of embracing data and automation. To determine what training is most valuable, ask your sales team what they need assistance with and how you can invest in their success. It makes them part of the process and ensures buy-in on any training effort.
Appropriately manage CRM add-ons.
As powerful as Salesforce is, it’s often not enough. Salesforce’s platform may lack functions you need, and you may need to customize it to fit your needs.
Add-ons or integrated applications can enhance the program’s value. Using the right extension, you may be able to better serve your needs, de-silo data and ensure that your entire team has access to the same information when building a sales strategy.
Find the right partners by looking inward first.
Here’s the good news: You can prepare for marketing headwinds by building a sales strategy that works for your team.
This leads to a few final questions: What research have you done to find a sales strategy that properly utilizes CRMs and other appropriate tools? Have you spoken with marketing, sales and finance teams about their needs and where gaps exist? Do you know where your business is headed and if your data platforms are ready to meet this moment? Is your technology resilient enough to be flexible, innovative and prepared for a potential recession?
If you haven’t asked these questions yet or don’t know the answers, start now to find appropriate solutions that fit your needs.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
Read the full article here