Our 4 Step Guide To Creating A Recession-Proof Business Sales Strategy
How does a small to medium business achieve sales in uncertain times? It’s definitely possible but preparation is key. Without a carefully constructed sales plan, including battle-proven business development strategies, it can be hard to get a growth plan off the ground. In this article, we introduce four straightforward steps that can be followed by almost any business, regardless of sector, to create a custom sales strategy. Each step will help you focus on a different aspect of your sales proposition, to focus your efforts, help close more deals and bring in more revenue.
1) Start with your goals
When you begin to work out your plan, you'll want to have the end point clear in your mind. Set yourself an ambitious but achievable revenue target. There’s no need to pare down your pre-covid objectives – it might just take some more creative thinking and organisation to reach them. Think about how many customers you'll need and how much volume of product you need to sell. Then you can work backwards: to get your desired number of customers, how many leads will you need, and so on? Calculate how much resource you need for each stage – in terms of cost per lead and cost per sale? As sales can cost more and take longer during a downturn, you may need to increase your lead volumes at the lower end of the pyramid, in order to sustain the same number of sales and keep your ROI high.
Your goals should be totally clear at all times; this will help ensure your sales and marketing efforts stay on the right track as you work towards them.
2) Keep measuring progress
It's no good laying your goals out clearly if you don't follow them up. You'll want to track, measure and analyse every step your company takes, with regular performance reviews. When you have concrete objectives in place you should know how many leads you expect to reach, and sales you expect to make, each month, how much it will cost and what actions are required to do so.
Ongoing measurements allow you to nip problems in the bud, rather than letting them fester and spread. You should be able to see easily if your current strategies are working, or if they need to be revised and tweaked. Regular monitoring and analysis is also a good way of identifying inefficiencies, and of targeting improvements to reduce costs and boost productivity – all essential if you’re going to keep the cost of sales down.
3) Give your customers what they need
You're used to looking at your products and services from your point of view - but your potential clients may see it quite differently. They have problems that need to be solved; it's your job to identify those problems, and market your business accordingly.
A fresh perspective on your product or service can be invaluable. You will need to consider it from a lead's point of view, and stratify your prospects into different buyer profiles so their needs are addressed. Ask yourself why each prospect group needs your products and services, what they are prepared to pay and why they should choose your business, as opposed to someone else. Your marketing strategy should be based on the answers to these questions.
4) Target the right audience
One of the major reasons why outbound, ‘cold’ marketing and sales tactics frequently fail is simple: companies waste their time talking to the wrong people, sending content to people who are never likely to buy. More nuanced inbound tactics, using social media, Google Ads, and SEO, will ensure that your message is seen by its intended audience. Inbound marketing is a long term strategy that encourages prospects to approach you, then provides them with the information they need to make informed sales decisions.
During a downturn, business decision makers become more resistant to aggressive sales messages and pushy approaches – but they still require products and services to keep their business running. Inbound marketing puts your prospects in the driver’s seat, actually making it more likely you’ll convert them into customers, and securing better sustainable growth for your business.
An agency can help you explore the best ways of establishing leads, converting prospects and increasing profits, whether during a recession or at any other time.
Get started on your sales plan today
With effective sales strategies in place, you can look forward to greater sales success for your business. If you're not sure of how to get started, contact a business development specialist like JDR Group. JDR was founded in 2004, so we’ve already helped a varied range of businesses grow and expand during the 2008-2009 recession. We can do the same for you during this period of uncertainty – because there are proven ways to sell during a downturn and recessions always eventually pass. Call 01332 343281 to find out more.
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