In tough times buying power moves further up the purchasing organisation. Salespeople need to develop strategies to follow the money.
Price is becoming a huge issue. Salespeople need two things in their sales tool box. (1) The ability to sell a value based proposition. (2) The ability to negotiate.
Salespeople are emotional people. When times get stressful they can gravitate to focusing more on irrational factors over which they have no control, the Banking crises being an obvious issue at present. Keep them focused on what they can control, the number of high quality sales opportunities they have diarised for next week under their control, that’s the kind of thing they need to have front of mind.
For many customers, the balance of risk is against the salesperson. It is less risky for the buyer to procrastinate than to act. Until that changes salespeople have got to work harder at building need, creating sufficient dissonance in the buyers’ mind that to not decide to buy is much worse than giving out the order number.
Keep salespeople away from survivor guilt. Colleagues have lost their jobs and they haven’t. Make sure you bolster their confidence, tell them why they are valued, as people just as much as for the role contribution.
Seek out opportunities to meet and then exceed the customers’ expectations. For the prospective customer the sales experience is the pre-ownership experience, it’s a refection of their actual purchase. Doing small things here can tip sales in your favour when the purchasing decision is finely balanced.
In tough times activity – quantity and quality – is the thing. Recognise activity, reward results. It’s dangerous to reward activity you might not get the result to make the payout. By recognising the right activities with praise, recognition, awards etc., you focus behaviour on the things that deliver the results.