There’s been quite a bit of noise around the prospect of an economic downturn, if not a full-blown recession, based on forecasts from many economists.
While new projections indicate a recession may be further off than previously predicted, and likely different than those in the past, one thing is clear: we’ve seen one of the longest expansionary phases in recent history. This means that we’ve officially entered uncharted territory.
According to research from the Harvard Business Review, companies who weathered downturns successfully (and even prospered) had three things in common.
In this post we’ll review those three factors, and dive into each of them to show you how to take action and effectively recession-proof your sales team and business.
1. Act Early
Companies who proactively recognized the threat ahead of the 2008 recession achieved six percentage points better Total Shareholder Return in the downturn than companies that did not address the challenge early.
Now is the time to begin “building a moat” around your organization and safeguarding from uncertainty. Businesses that are prepared for a recession and view it as an opportunity will have the chance to put lasting distance between themselves and the competition.
2. Take a Long-Term Perspective
HBR found that companies with a longer-term perspective achieved 4 percentage points higher annual growth during the downturn as well as 2 percentage points higher total shareholder return.
The ultimate competitive advantage is your team’s selling skills. The truth is that sales enablement is not a once and done type of initiative. In order to improve your team’s selling skills – and keep them elevated on a consistent and long-term basis – you must intentionally plan and execute a sales enablement approach over time.
The key is to create a plan that aligns with your organization’s goals and consistently reinforce both the goals and the plan.
The Maximum IMPACT Sales Enablement approach will give you an action plan for achieving both your short and long-term goals. Click below to discover how.
3. Focus on Growth, Not Just Cost-Cutting
To prosper during economic uncertainty and gain a competitive advantage, your company must not only pursue efficiencies, but also focus on revenue growth.
If you’re being honest with yourself, the good sales results you’ve been experiencing in recent years may have been driven more by the uptick of the economy, and less by your sales team’s skills.
When the economy recedes, you cannot afford to have your sales team be anything less than excellent. They must make the most of their time by following a dedicated sales process, and they must have the skills necessary to consult with buyers, negotiate effectively, and close business even in a slowed economy.
The Bottom Line
Times of uncertainty can actually be a wonderful opportunity, for the prepared, to strengthen their long-term competitive advantage by “building a moat” around their sales organization.
As a key stakeholder in your organization, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your business is positioned as strong as possible for any sort of economic disruption. The first step of your preparation should be laying the foundation with exceptional selling skills.
The IMPACT Selling system will equip your sales team with a process to follow and the skills they need to outsell the competition when the stakes are high.
Are you ready?
Hear from one of our clients on his organization’s experience with IMPACT Selling
A successful sales enablement strategy requires intentional planning and direction from the top levels of an organization. Map out your strategy using this comprehensive guide and set your sales effectiveness initiative up for success.