So many things to blog about and so little time…
While I'm catching up on time, here's are some helpful tips from sales experts I came across in the latest Fortune magazine titled "How Can I Keep My Sales Team Productive in a Recession."
Let's face it – it's pretty crappy out there. Asteroids keep happening and you have to keep your marketing/PR visibility and website traffic up in order to be ready for the buyers when they're ready.
We're hearing from HR suppliers that outplacement (of course), leadership development, simulation/learning/assessment, succession planning, wellness coaching, workforce planning, compensation management and performance management still have traction. This also includes all sorts of efficiency opportunities for vendors to help HR reduce overhead.
Struggling with sales now though? Tell your struggling sales teams to stand tall and take initiative with these (we are):
- In normal times, what customers want to hear varies: Some are interested in growth or competitiveness (and better workforce management); some want next-generation product. Now all they want is to wring every inch of value out of their infrastructure. So make sure you have a message that addresses that (and every single pain point you can identify and help solve).
- This is the time when your CEO/President/Owner should be on the phone, on the airplane, and going out to visit your best customers. Any salesperson should be dragging the most senior person they can get their arm around out to show your commitment.
- Try adding extra services. Adding consulting services to your existing products and services can be a booster and differentiator.
- Make sure your selling to the right person. In a tight market, the buying power shifts up. The buyer who could spend $10,000 a year ago has no power. Salespeople need to build relationships with higher-level contacts.
- Don't cut prices. It will put you out of business faster than anything. Look at the auto industry and Circuit City. Cutting prices to maintain volume is a wonderful strategy if it's only going to last one season. It's suicide in a long recession.
If you get Fortune, you can read entire 3-minute manager page with these sales tips.
Post by Kevin Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)
Labels: Fortune magazine, marketing and PR activities, sales objections