As fears of a coming recession grip the world, businesses everywhere are making cuts and reassessing budgets. For sales teams, this economic constriction can be especially concerning. How can sales professionals stay proactive in closing deals and driving revenue when they have less to work with? How can they access the budgets that are available and keep things going?
Today’s economic climate may seem dire, but it’s not unprecedented. Throughout history, periods of tightened finances have impacted the working capital of businesses and decreased company spending. Funds are diverted to business-critical purchases and services or saved for emergencies and paying off debts.
Clients behave differently in a recession, too. Purchasing managers or buyers previously interested in a product or service are now likely to seek more cost-effective options. This also applies to buyers with whom team members have already built strong relationships. In an unstable economy, loyalty becomes a luxury many can’t afford.
What Happens to Sales Strategies During Recessions?
Sales professionals can’t rely on the relationships they’ve already built. In good times, sales teams get used to repeat purchases and expect certain buyers to keep buying. As a result, they tend to focus on acquiring new business. In times of crisis, even the most frequent buyers must prioritize their own financial well-being over loyalty. They will take their business to whoever offers them the best deal.
For this reason, it’s imperative that sales teams understand what’s most valuable about their product or service to potential buyers. They must clearly articulate their alignment with clients’ new priorities. Regardless of the circumstances, selling to a new buyer will always cost more than looking after an existing one.
When a sales team doesn’t have access to the funds or freedom of more prosperous times, it tends to take a reactive approach to selling. In a match of reactive sales versus proactive sales, reactive strategies tend to neglect existing and loyal buyers. They can make downturns even worse.
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