Staying positive during a recession is especially difficult for a sales team whose paycheques usually depend on whether or not customers are buying. But in order for a sales team to succeed at any time (but especially when things are rocky), maintaining calm - and teamwork - is essential.
The Negative Impacts of a Recession
There are reasons that the word recession is whispered in large crowds: it brings with it impacts that spread to a variety of aspects of our daily life.
- Financial: The financial impacts of a recession are extensive: unemployment, bankruptcy, lower wages and increased government spending.
- Health: Research conducted following the 2008-2009 recession showed that not only did the health decline of those directly impacted by the recession (job loss, bankruptcy, etc), but that the population as a whole showed evidence of declining health.
- Mental Health: If individuals experienced even one recession impact, they had a higher chance of all mental health outcomes, including panic, generalized anxiety, depression and problems with drug use, up to 3 years after the recession.
5 Ways For Your Sales Team to Survive a Recession
Although the impacts are vast and can feel bleak - giving your sales team the right tools and training can minimize the financial effect of these on your team and your customers.
- Build in Resilience: Sales is never an easy or constant path - constantly there are barriers and challenges to overcome. A recession is a very large challenge, but by building resiliency into your team, you will be able to face it head on. Resilient sales teams focus on training, customer service, and moving into new markets to get in front of whatever the future may bring.
- Use Effective Tools: In order to succeed during a recession, your sales team needs to leverage technology effectively. So, whether that looks like a mailing list or a CRM, these tools can help to streamline productivity.
- Promote Customer Retention Activities: Recessions remind us of the importance of solid customer connections - this is a time you want to be trusted. Introduce a customer loyalty program, or create a newsletter so that your customers can feel confident in your team.
- Increase Market Research: Instead of cutting the marketing budget, now more than ever it is essential to understand your customer and what their needs are. When customers are keeping their money close to the chest, they are going to be very strategic about where they spend it.
- Concentrate on Fewer Leads, but Contact Them More: It takes up to 20 touchpoints to make a sale, but that is even higher in a recession. During a recession, a sales team should focus on a smaller group of prospects and give them more attention.