A recession brings one thought to mind – fear. Again and again I see companies make decisions that exacerbate the problem rather than helping their financial viability. Smart companies remain confident and realistic in their pursuit to survive (and even thrive) during a recession. They avoid these three common mistakes:
Cutting Your Sales Development Budget.
Hiring and developing successful salespeople is paramount to staying afloat in a recession. Too many senior executives cut payroll, though, so they can “keep the doors open.” If salespeople aren’t selling, no budget cut will save the organization. Instead, sell your way through a recession. Use this opportunity to train or retrain your sales team, focus on identifying high probability sales opportunities and streamline your sales processes. In addition, take advantage of the rich unemployment field to hire good salespeople who are looking for a more stable company that is able to remain calm and focused during tough economic conditions. Professional sales training and a proven sales assessment for hiring are invaluable at this time. Leave the panicking to your competitors and invest in your salespeople. They are the ones who will keep your doors open.
Cutting prices attracts the wrong kinds of buyers. It also adds additional stress to your operations, administration and technical folks with less and less return. Smart organizations maintain their price points, retain margin and actually gain market share during economic downturns as their competitors go out of business after dropping prices and shaving so much off their margins that they can’t stay solvent. Train your salespeople to hold the line on price.
Cut Your Marketing Budget.
To sell your company out of a recession, your salespeople need marketing support. Instead of chopping your budget for marketing, retool your message, promote your differential value and use testimonials to paint a picture of success. Technology affords you a cost effective means to remain close to your customers and keep in touch with prospects so you’ll be the first to know when they are ready to buy.
You have a choice to make. Will you give in to conventional price slashing and cut your sales and marketing budgets? Or will your confidently invest in your sales and marketing team to sell your way through troubled times? I recommend taking the smart approach and avoiding these three common mistakes that failing companies make during a recession.