How to sell when purchasing power decreases  

As major powerhouses in the likes of Apple, Meta and Google are freezing new hires – it’s evident that all companies are affected in one way or another by the recent economic downturn. The aftermath of the pandemic, Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine and a rising global inflation has caused major insecurities across global economies – leaving companies with less money to spend.

While budgets are being cut across the board, how does your sales strategy adapt and is it realistic to keep your initial targets? We’ve listed a few pointers which might help you out in the coming months. 

Come prepared and show clear ROI

An economic downturn doesn’t necessarily mean that decision makers aren’t willing to pay for your product or service anymore, it does however mean that they will be reviewing each potential purchase in more detail. Now, more than ever, it will be crucial for sales people to be able to prove their value and showcase a clear path to a customer’s ROI. 

“Study your client, identify their needs and come prepared to your meeting” might sound like Sales 101 to many, but you’d be surprised by how many sales people walk into a potential client session with no previous homework done. In good times, sales people have been able to get away with a persuasive pitch and a good knowledge of what they’re selling. As time will tell, the market expectations will be higher and more demanding – sales will require (and should) more research and preparation. 

So how do you adapt to the new market conditions? There’s a ton of company and industry data online that can inform your sales team. By enforcing weekly sales meetings you can set expectations and create a knowledge share to further educate your team. When speaking to potential clients, showcase your knowledge and communicate their pain points. Most importantly, make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to demonstrating a clear ROI calculation – this will be crucial when convincing a client to proceed with their investment. 

It might also be that you need to rethink your offering (depending on what you sell). A free trial or sample might be what the market demands in order to feel comfortable to proceed. 

Patience, patience, patience 

As I previously mentioned in How to build a winning sales enablement strategy in 2022, we were able to see a clear change in consumer behavior by the beginning of the year. The constant threats to business survival (note that this is prior to global inflation & war) caused longer sales cycles and involved more decision makers in wider business decisions. As you can imagine, this has only gotten worse. 

By nature, people tend to reject change – especially when it comes to changing a sales strategy that has proven to give you value in the past. However, in order to thrive in tomorrow’s market, you will need to adapt and embrace change as we know it. As a first step, identify what your recent blockers have been while pushing a sale through. Did you push the deal through too fast? Were you missing relevant resources from your team that should’ve been on the call? Did you not have all their decision makers on the call? Were you able to identify their pain points? Understanding these questions will help you sharpen your strategies and make sure that you come prepared for your next client meeting.

It might also be worth revisiting your sales targets. It’s common to see sales cycles increase dramatically during rough market conditions. As opposed to having monthly targets, a yearly target might be more appropriate – this doesn’t necessarily mean that your total sales number changes, it just means that you have more leeway and less time pressured when pushing a deal through. 

Take advantage of technology

Improving relationships with current clients and improving the processes of finding qualified prospects will be crucial for any company that wants to successfully grow during these times. There are a ton of tools on the market that can help your sales team access relevant information, save time, improve learning techniques, reduce costs and improve communication. 

We’ve seen many of our clients increase their sales while reducing their headcount by introducing efficient tools within their tech stack. If your business is considering moving into automations, we’d love to speak to you and understand how we can help. 

Best of luck,

Josh.