Weakening economic indicators are triggering business owners, marketers and sales managers to take a second look at their sales and marketing strategies for the remainder of Q4 and for 2020. Analyzing two years’ worth of data from the Business Confidence Index, it indicates that it has consistently trended downward month after month.
Often companies respond to economic uncertainty by cutting programs, reducing marketing headcount while putting pressure on sales to perform or outperform. This type of action can be in direct conflict with trying to achieve bottom-line revenue.
When times seem uncertain, there are two approaches to consider:
This is a perfect time to reinforce the commitment you have to your customers and they have to you.
1. Have marketing and sales identify top performing customers (frequency in purchases or usage), and a middle tier performing customers (those that buy, but have the potential to purchase even more).
2. Send personalized communications, calling efforts, and on-site visits to show a consultative approach. How can you help improve their business with what you know and with your products and services?
3. Are there other divisions, departments or areas that can use your products and services? Do you know who they are? You can certainly ask your customer, but many times they won’t know as they have different areas, they are responsible for. However, they will refer you if they know who the right person is.
Be sure to use the Target Account Sales Intelligence to help you look up their contact names, phone number and emails. Once you get their names, titles and contact information, go to the customer and ask if you can use their name as an internal reference, and if they’d be willing to make a call on your behalf.
This should help get things started so your Q4 and 2020 year can be profitable.
Acquiring New Customers
It seems impossible to acquire new customers with the threat of an economic downturn. There are some very critical strategies you can use to help keep the new customer funnel at profitable levels.
1. Review the sales funnel for each rep and get a true understanding of each potential new customer. Identify weak areas, strategize how to approach it and include marketing to help reinforce the message with various channels. This will help bring new customers further down the sales cycle to a close.
2. Remember to use your Project Reports. The identified projects are exactly what you need to begin the sales cycle. Again, work in conjunction with marketing to create a strategy to keep in front of them especially if it’s a long(er) sales cycle.
3. Keep your efforts going with multi-channel communications to your prospects, However, if you are emailing or mailing, execute the campaign in small batches. Personalize the communications and allow sales to follow up on some or all of those that were sent. It’ll make for a multi-touch scenario, which will help drive a conversation with the prospect.