How to Improve Your Sales Strategy to be Successful During a Recession [Webinar Included]

how to improve your sales during a recession

As Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” This statement couldn’t be more true for salespeople. 

Identifying and leveraging the opportunities during tough situations is key to staying on your feet and improving your sales strategy.  

In this article, you’ll find top tips to improve your sales strategy to be successful during a recession

Pro Resource: Watch the full webinar on these actionable steps to survive a poor economy on BrightTALK.

1. Understanding and Overcoming New Challenges

During hard times, desperate competitors will do desperate things. 

Many companies that are hurting are willing to do things they wouldn’t typically do such as handing out major discounts, liquidating their inventory, or giving away free consultations. 

Don’t fall into the trap of doing something you wouldn’t normally do in an attempt to succeed. 

Instead, focus your efforts on maintaining customer trust by being consistent and thinking of the long-term. It will pay off in the long run!

What to do during a recession vs what not to do

During a down economy, you will also be facing different challenges from customers that aren’t willing or simply can’t spend the money.  

Be prepared to stress the value of your product and how it makes your customer’s lives better.

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2. Utilizing the Right Tools to Increase Sales Productivity

The first step to increase your efficiency with sales tools is to find the areas that need improvement. 

Take a look at the key metrics and evaluate performance to find possible areas of improvement. The most important metric is always revenue, but forward-looking metrics are also a great place to look. 

After identifying areas of improvement, start researching sales tools on the market that have a great track record in increasing efficiency. Take advantage of all the sales apps that help increase productivity that will work for you.

The main takeaways? Work smarter, not harder- and maximize your resources. 

Badger Maps is a great example of a sales productivity app that optimizes your daily routes, manages your customer information and territories, and streamlines every aspect of your career. With Badger, you’ll spend less time doing busy work and more time closing deals.

Combine these great door to door sales tips with the best field sales app:

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3. Evaluating Your New Ideal Customer Base

During a down economy, you’re bound to run into trouble selling to the same group of target customers. 

If your prospects are not currently buying, it’s probably time to re-evaluate your target audience based on how the world is moving.  

In some cases, it won’t be the same buyer as before. But don’t be discouraged, this just means that the world is opening up to new opportunities.

4. Adapting Messages and Communication

When the economy is facing a decline, most prospects are likely facing challenges of their own.  

Adapting your message from “we’ll help you do better” to “we’ll help you do MORE with LESS” can have a great impact. Even though the two messages sound similar, the wording of the second message resonates more with prospects during periods of little to no growth.

Adapting communication during a recession

After modifying your message, it’s important to demonstrate exactly how your prospects can achieve more with less. Study their unique situation and show them in monetary terms that relate specifically to them

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5. Maintaining Relationships Online

With a slower income of sales, it’s a great time to invest in building and maintaining relationships online. Relationships with your prospects are more important than ever. 

Online prospecting and prospecting in person have a lot in common- you spend time finding new prospects and building relationships with them.  

Social selling is a great way to connect with prospects and customers in these times.

Pro resource: To get tips from a pro on social selling, check out this podcast episode with Matt Heinz and discover how to nurture and grow your network while building long-term relationships with prospects.

A key aspect to social selling and online communication is empathy. Even when showing empathy comes easy, building long-lasting relationships is now harder than ever.

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6. Altering Sales Strategies to Combat the Down Economy

There are two key strategies to fight the economy:

  • Prospecting and Qualifying Even More

Qualification is more important in a down economy than ever. If the deal truly can’t be done, there’s no time to waste on a sales cycle that won’t succeed. Many prospects won’t have the funds and will be searching for the cheapest product no matter what.

This involves asking the right questions to see if they want to move forward or stay still.

  • Getting in Front of Decision Makers

Given that there are many reasons for deals not to go through during a recession, it’s best to speak directly to the people who make the final decisions.  

Understanding the problems your prospects need to solve to be successful and communicating the value of your product is crucial. 

7. Bonus: Common Mistakes Salespeople Make (and How to Avoid Them)

When trying to combat a poor economy, salespeople sometimes get caught up in the trap of changing strategies too much and/or reducing quality for quantity. 

Sales reps often make the mistake of blindly increasing sales activity. This causes them to lose focus and their strategy to lose quality. It's key to make sure each change has a strategical approach that will get you the results you need.

The second mistake is related to the previous one. Quantity rarely makes up for quality- so, it’s very important to focus on qualified leads.  

Lowering standards can lead to a lot more work and little to show for it. Activity for the sake of activity is just a way of looking and feeling busy, but it won’t be worth the time, effort, and anxiety. Quality beats quantity any day.

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It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking, especially during a recession. But, there are more opportunities out there for salespeople than one might think

By adapting to your new environment, thinking positively, and using every situation as an opportunity to grow, you’re sure to find success by improving your sales strategies.

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