Today we’re going to be talking about recession resilience. It’s a theme similar to what I’ve been talking about the last several videos. What do we, as business leaders and sales leaders, need to be thinking about to combat these macro headwinds we’re facing and really these rapidly changing times?
This idea of recession resilience came out of a Vistage meeting I was in yesterday. In fact, I think I’m a part of the world’s best Vistage group, our chairperson, Sam Turner really does a nice job of creating a structured environment for us to talk about the challenges that we’re going through.
This term, recession resilience, was one that was used quite a bit yesterday. In parallel, I also read an article from McKinsey called “Bubbles pop, downturns stop”, and I think that the article actually lays out some interesting things for us to be thinking about, and some very tactical opportunities for business leaders right now to ensure their businesses are prepared to not only survive, but thrive through the recession, and really emerge on the other side as a big winner.
There are a few very specific things that I believe we need to be working on, that will help ensure that you as a sales leader, and you, as a company leader, instill these basic practices inside of your organization.
- The first of these is to focus on revenue, not just sales. Again, in the Vistage meeting, I had a really interesting a-ha, as a number of the manufacturing members talked about how their top line sales are up, but the number of units they’re shipping is down. So, really, what they’re seeing is the result of price increases, while the fundamental business is not as healthy as the top line might have indicated it would be. And so, they’re really starting now to focus on revenue, they’re starting to think about their pricing model. They’re trying to understand what the long-term implications of the price increase is, inflation is, etc., but focus on revenue, not pricing.
- Now is actually the time for you to be investing in your business in ways that will buttress you against the economic headwinds that you’re facing.
- Third is a bias towards action, understanding what kind of cause and effects are going on inside the marketplace, and course correcting in real time. There’s a sense for agility, our need for agility right now, around course corrections based on gaps you see in your business versus the needs of the marketplace.
- Setting effective KPIs, and measuring and coaching back to those KPIs. We talk a lot about this in our Sales Leadership Accelerator, which is our sales management program. With the ability to coach back to KPIs to identify where there are gaps in performance, and to measure effectively against KPIs that makes sense in the marketplace today, are all critical components to really making sure that as a sales leader, you’re directing your sales team in an effective way.
- Investing in skills. You need to be able to select or identify top performers. You need to be able to help them continue to be top performers. Investing in skills right now is absolutely critical, as it allows people to really gain confidence, gain competence, and become much more effective in their role.
These are ideas that really have come from a combination of sources with the McKinsey article, what I’m experiencing at Vistage, what I, as a sales leader and as a business leader, am experiencing and trying to do in our business. I’d be happy to discuss, to debate, always happy to provide additional information. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.