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How to grow sales in a recession
Thursday, June 2, 2022

How to grow sales in a recession

Bowen Moody

CEO and Co-Founder, Wonderway
How to grow sales in a recession

Worried about the recession?

Many CEOs and VP sales have found themselves in a conundrum these last weeks. On one hand, they are being told to freeze hiring and cut costs but on the other, they are still expected to hit the same targets they had at the start of the year.

The first thing you need to understand is that you can’t just cut your way to growth. You can cut your way to solvency. You can cut to fight another day. But if you start cutting your sales team blindly, there is no way that you’re going to hit your targets.

So what are you supposed to do?

Sales = Quantity x Quality

Over the past few years, quantity has been the defining strategy for  high-growth companies. Fuelled by gigantic venture rounds and grow-at-all-costs mentality, companies have been frantically hiring sales people and throwing them in the deep-end. Companies didn’t have time to provide proper training. Instead, the prevailing wisdom has been to boil everything down to a process that transforms sales people into robots.

More people, more activities, more sequences, more calls, more emails, more automation… less thinking.

But the world has changed.

We have reached the limit of what can be achieved through quantity.  Companies that never provided their reps with training have been accumulating technical debt which needs to be addressed. There are only so many more cold calls and emails you can squeeze out of people in a day. But there is a HUGE amount of room for improvement when it comes to the effectiveness of people in our sales teams.

In difficult times, quality is king.

Priorities have shifted. It’s going to be harder to sell than ever. Buyers will scrutinise costs, markets will shrink and competition will increase as sellers fight for the attention of those few companies doing well in the recession. When things were good, companies could get away with a bad sales process. But in tough times, it will be the sales teams that are able to build close relationships with their customers and do more with less that will win.

Three steps to increase sales quality in the next 30 days:

1. Let go of your bottom 20% of sales reps and concentrate leads in the top performers

This almost always give you a top-line boost as top reps close more per lead. Furthermore, its usually very difficult to transform a bottom performer into a top-performer. In most cases, you are better off letting them go to free up budget for better people. There are thousands of people that have let been let go from top tech companies recently. It’s very likely that you will be able to find much higher quality talent on the market now than you could 6-12 months ago.

2. Understand what separates your top performers

Do you really know what separates your top performers? Most sales leaders have an opinion but there is rarely any data being used to back this up. And who can blame them? Most CRM systems are great at tracking the quantity of activities but they are horrible at giving you insights into the quality. And to make things worse, data is spread across a myriad of tools which makes it extremely difficult to get a single source of truth. This is where we can help. Wonderway helps sales managers break through the noise by analysing the conversion rates of every rep at each stage of the funnel. We can help you quickly identify the winning behaviours that separate the top performers so that you are quickly able to replicate these actions across your team.

3. Prioritise skills that will increase revenue fastest

Now that you know what to do, how do you apply it? Our training programs are designed to increase conversion rates in the first 30 days. Each rep gets their own personalised plan. But we recommend managers spend the majority of their time with the mid-performers, as this is where you will see the biggest gains. In case managers don’t have time, Wonderway also matches mid-performers with top-performers who can share best practices so they don’t become a bottleneck to their teams development.

Using this approach, we have helped mid performers close 40% more deals within a quarter. Please get in touch if you want to work smarter (not harder) and get more revenue from your existing team during the recession.

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