“In a rapidly changing market, it’s important to monitor your sales strategy and offerings so that you connect with buyers without setting dangerous precedents for later interactions.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta ~
5 Strategies to Keep Your Sales Team on Track
Adapting to new market conditions is a fundamental principle of successful entrepreneurship and the very fact of a changing market creates opportunities for growth and transition. It also creates significant challenges for existing businesses especially large corporations which are often slow to adapt.
This is where entrepreneurs and small businesses have amazing advantages. They can often move into a large and profitable gap as it opens and not only create ‘survival’ products and packages but actually set the ground for market leadership.
First, however, you need to provide your sales team with the mindset and tools to cope with the changing conditions and the (frequently brutal) rejection that accompanies it.
Here are 5 strategies that you need:
#1 Leadership & Morale
I’ve been talking to a lot of sales managers and hearing the same story: my team are shattered, they’re getting rejected at every turn and there are 3 main narratives at play:
- We need it and we understand how it will provide an advantage, but we’re conserving cash and not investing in anything right now;
- We need it to survive but we can’t afford/won’t pay for your solution and we want the premium product at bargain-basement prices and we’re betting that you want the sale and will do anything to get it;
- We’re lucky to still be operating, go away and leave me alone.
None of these responses encourage your salespeople to genuinely try to sell your product… And it’s easy to see why!
Here’s what leaders can do:
- Work on your own mindset and share struggles and victories with your team (they know you’re not invulnerable, let them see it);
- Make sales calls yourself and share your results (when they see you taking action and copping flack it helps them);
- Have strategy meetings to share problems, solutions, and insights (several heads really are better than one);
- Demonstrate that you are actively looking for solutions from both product and sales perspectives;
- Offer hope… Spring always follows winter.
#2 Client Needs Assessment
If your sales team is already using authentic sales methods based on uncovering needs, then this is an easy place to start. Shift their sales targets from dollars to information is empowering. As you know, the assumption is the mother of misunderstanding, so your goal is to find out what clients really want, need, and are willing to pay for right now.
#3 Adapting Your Offer
Surprisingly, when you start by uncovering needs as in the above strategy, you often find that the decision-maker who was adamantly rejecting any purchase at the start of your conversation is now ready to sign a contract. It was never about the inability to purchase, it was about trust, certainty, and a glut of sales calls.
However, there are also people out there who don’t want your usual product, but who will tell you about their very specific needs. That’s the information you’ll take back to your sales team and leaders to work on because the thing you never want to do is to cut the price of your premium product to meet short term goals.
All that does is devalue your premium product and make it unprofitable and unsustainable.
#4 Providing New Sales Tools & Strategies
Once you have an alternate offer, your goal is to help the sales team sell that offer effectively. Some of your team members will have been extremely successful at selling your premium offers, but now you are asking them to sell life rafts instead so it’s important to give them the mindset, questions, tools, and other resources they need to do a great job under these new conditions.
Most sales teams have one member who already has a great track record selling lower-end offerings and this is their turn to shine and help other members adjust their strategy and learn the requisites tactics. When the leadership sets an example, others follow.
#5 Accountability and Resilience
Let your team know that you understand the challenges they are facing and that you are working hard to help them succeed. At the same time, they still need to be held accountable for their activity.
Most of your team wants to keep growing, working, earning, and taking responsibility for their career and this probably won’t be the only time they face an uncertain economy and you have the opportunity to help them develop resilience and unshakeable confidence.
Confident Conversion 90 days to More Clients, More Cash, and More Impact
In this 90-day program we cover essential strategies to increase your sales performance addressing mindset along with sales strategy and tactics. In addition to a public version that we run 2-3 times a year, we also offer an in-house version that is tailored to your specific team needs.