It is easy for salespeople to lose hope when the sales pipeline looks bare, especially when hard economic times make every sale seem that much more difficult from open to close. However, effective sales practices are all about creating a solid system and sticking to it, no matter what the general economic climate is like. If your sales team can stay positive and stay focused, then they will be able to make the best of any situation, regardless of how bad it may seem.
Segment Your Customer Base
All effective sales teams practice strict territory management of their customers, and make the regular effort to update their territory management system. By dividing your customers up based on defining characteristics, it becomes easy to ensure that the right amount of time and effort is applied to each one. Without clear guidelines, salespeople will often find that they have uncertain and irregular outcomes from prospecting and customer management efforts. Segment your customer base to ensure that your salespeople have the best framework from which to make the most of all your company’s current and potential customers.
Create a Culture of Positive Work Habits
The falling performance that comes with tough economic times is often a killer to employee morale. When morale suffers, employees make more mistakes and put in less than their full ability, and then their productivity suffers. By creating and promoting a culture of positive work habits, employees will be able to maintain their normal routine and level of productivity in tough economic times. Skills like time management are straightforward to teach and instill in employees, and they create a system of workplace habits that can weather any storm.
Keep the Focus on the Customers
Sales metrics are useful for tracking efficiency and identifying areas of weakness, but they often distract salespeople from the main goal of customer retention and satisfaction. Sales will rise and fall according to many factors that are outside the control of the sales team, so the focus should be on maximizing customer satisfaction and retention in any situation, and accepting that the sales team can only make the best of the situation that they are presented with. A sales system that is focused on providing the best possible customer experience through relationship building and rapport development will keep salespeople from getting disheartened and distracted by falling numbers. A sales team that is always laser focused on the present moment and providing the highest level of service will always be making the best of any economic climate.
Solid Systems Keep the Sales Pipeline Half Full During Downturns
With solid systems in place, a sales team will be able to maintain their focus and level of productivity no matter what is going on in the world around them. These positive habits ensure that your company is always making the most of whatever situation it is faced with, and not letting employees become discouraged or disheartened by the inevitable downturns.