What if you                                          Selling in a Downturnwere to decidethat a downturnin the economy     ...
IntroductionNewcomers to the sales environment may perceive the salesMost companies entering a period of slow growth or re...
Review current revenue streamsDo a thorough analysis of the past period’s revenue stream composition in terms of;   1.   N...
Refocus on segmentation      It a good idea to sit down with your sales teams and analyse the current market segments     ...
Re-Define Targets based on newly defined needsWhen you have been able to isolate sets of newly defined needs, how will you...
Re-activate OpportunitiesWhile sifting through the data base of potentially newopportunities, make sure that you also iden...
Re-define valueIn good times, companies strive to do business within a certain value range. Manycompanies would place a “d...
Re-cover lost groundPart of your evaluation should be to look out for areas where you have lost ground tocompetitors in th...
plenty of early warning systems (cancellation red flags – opportunity spotting – reductionrequests etc) so that you can re...
About Carpedia Consulting…Carpedia Consulting is an internationally relevant management consultancy firm, dedicatedto assi...
Carpedia Consulting (Pty) LtdPO Box 1701GALLO Manor2052Building 2Country Club EstatesWoodlands DriveWoodmeadSandtonSouth A...
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Selling in downturn

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Most companies entering a period of slow growth or recession run for cover. In other words, they make sure that they batten down the hatches and restrict cost intensive activities as far as possible. This also impacts how they run sales. Companies tend to downsize the sales force based on the argument that sales are bound to take a knock during the recession. All sounds good and logical. However, what if you were to take different approach? What if you were to decide that a recessionary period is in fact a good time to shift market share; a good time to expand contacts and a good time to redefine value in the face of what difficulties most companies will face in a downturn? Companies that make a firm decision to use the opportunity presented by the environment may want to follow a process to make sure that they can optimise what they do during the downturn, to capitalize on the opportunities that may still be out there.

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Selling in downturn

  1. 1. What if you Selling in a Downturnwere to decidethat a downturnin the economy Werner Hessis in fact a greatopportunity togrow marketshare? Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  2. 2. IntroductionNewcomers to the sales environment may perceive the salesMost companies entering a period of slow growth or recession run for cover. In otherwords, they make sure that they batten down the hatches and restrict cost intensiveactivities as far as possible. This also impacts how they run sales. Companies tend todownsize the sales force based on the argument that sales are bound to take a knock duringthe recession. All sounds good and logical. However, what if you were to take differentapproach? What if you were to decide that a recessionary period is in fact a good time toshift market share; a good time to expand contacts and a good time to redefine value in theface of what difficulties most companies will face in a downturn? Companies that make afirm decision to use the opportunity presented by the environment may want to follow aprocess to make sure that they can optimise what they do during the downturn, tocapitalize on the opportunities that may still be out there. Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  3. 3. Review current revenue streamsDo a thorough analysis of the past period’s revenue stream composition in terms of; 1. New business (Acquisition) 2. Cross Selling ( Penetration) 3. Keeping existing revenue streams flowing ( Retention) 4. New product introductions (NPI)An analysis may reveal shifts in your revenue generation patterns thatmay just expose opportunities you weren’t expecting to be there. Theopportunities defined as acquisition, may present itself whencompetitors are struggling to stay afloat in the current market. A quick A Revenueanalysis of competitors and their relative positions in the market may Streamthrow out some opportunities that you may want to target in the eventof a competitor cutting service levels or going out of business. analysis mayCross selling always presents opportunities. With the sales team lead to someperhaps now entering a phase of relatively low activity levels, theopportunities for cross selling and selling more product to existing unexpectedcustomers may deliver better results than when the sales funnels are in opportunitiesfull swing and all the focus is on new business.It may also be the right time to revisit the new product introductionpipeline to evaluate whether there are opportunities to introduce moreproductive products and solutions (less input for more output) to themarket. The market may show its readiness for your specificproductivity focused solutions, in a market where cost and performanceare paramount.Finally, you need to build walls around your current customer base, to make sure thatsomeone else hasn’t read this article and goes on the prowl for new business within yourcustomer base. Customer retention is paramount in a downturn. Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  4. 4. Refocus on segmentation It a good idea to sit down with your sales teams and analyse the current market segments that you are operating in and whether there are market segments that could be attractive to you in a downturn scenario. Think of those segments that were out of reach because of brand and image preferences, where now in a tight economy, companies may be looking for better value. Many segments may be downsizing and this presents opportunities for differentiated products. Re-visit your market segments served and identify segments that may now be more attractive to you, given the economic climate.Reviewsegmentationin line with thecurrenteconomy Refocus on and re-evaluate needs segments As a result of the downturn, your existing segments may also provide new opportunities for a different approach and tailored offerings. Make sure that when you redefine needs in particular segments that you re-think the entire segment. What will companies in specific segments be doing differently in a down turn? What new needs sets may arise as a result of the poor economy? How could we define the needs and tailor offerings that are aligned with the newly discovered needs sets? Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  5. 5. Re-Define Targets based on newly defined needsWhen you have been able to isolate sets of newly defined needs, how will your markettargeting change? Will there be additional companies that you should betalking to in regard to newly defined needs? You need to re-define yourtarget market (target customers) and go out into the market to validate thepossible new needs structures emerging. New companies that you will be You maytalking to automatically become new prospects. New prospects will opennew opportunities. surprise yourself… Having defined new targets based on newly defined needs sets, you may revise targetsRe-focus your value propositions UPWARDS!Value in a growing economy is defined differently to when times are tough.People are looking for different, higher value, higher productivity solutions that will helpthem survive the slowdown. Once you have defined new offerings, make sure that yourvalue propositions are re-aligned and that they address the issues of the day. This may evenapply to existing business, where you want to be seen as being responsive to customerneeds. Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  6. 6. Re-activate OpportunitiesWhile sifting through the data base of potentially newopportunities, make sure that you also identify past It’s a great timeopportunities and past contacts that nevermaterialised in any business and revisit the reasons to re-visit somefor loosing those deals. The lost opportunities (if youmaintained the contact) are still “open doors” and of your oldyou may want to make use of the opportunity ofpaying those contacts a visit to re-evaluate connectionsopportunities within that base. Entry should be easy,as you already have the contacts. Trawl your data base for some new opportunities within older contacts Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  7. 7. Re-define valueIn good times, companies strive to do business within a certain value range. Manycompanies would place a “deal-size” qualifier in place to qualify potential new deals, inorder to maximize sales in a buoyant market. In a down economy, you may want to revisitall the limits that you have set-up from a value point of view and enable your sales people togo after more, perhaps smaller deals, to keep the deal flow positive.Re-think your sales strategyMost companies in the current down-economy will be re-jigging their sales forcedeployment numbers and re-evaluate marginal territories. While this is something that youneed to do as well, you may also want to consider beefing up your sales force and enteropportunities that were unattractive in the past. Re-thinking your go to market model, yourcompetitive landscape and your competitive position may open up doors that were shut inthe past.Re-energise your sales forceSales people very quickly fall into the “economic downturn” trap and they start believingthat sales will suffer. They can talk themselves into a downward spiral. Truth is sales peoplewho are out there taking more of the less that is available in the market place reallysucceeded against all odds. Your sales team should be in predatory mode, looking for andchasing down new opportunities, while your competitors waste their time lamenting thenegative state of affairs Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  8. 8. Re-cover lost groundPart of your evaluation should be to look out for areas where you have lost ground tocompetitors in the past. This often happens when companies are successful and they don’treally notice that that are losing ground in specific geographic areas or within certainproduct categories or with specific customers. What you need to be doing is to brain stormlost ground with your sales teams and decide whether you need to up your activities inareas where you have lost out to competitors.Re-engineer your sales processWith a recession at hand, buying patterns and buying behaviours would change to suit themood of the economy. Make sure that your sales process mirrors the reality and seeks outopportunities in new and innovative ways. You may have to adjust the amount of empathyyou use to find common ground or you may need to be much more consultative in terms ofunderstanding needs, opportunities and value perceptions. Also make sure that you use Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  9. 9. plenty of early warning systems (cancellation red flags – opportunity spotting – reductionrequests etc) so that you can react and renegotiate, rather than loose the business.Finally….A downturn in economic activity should bring out the best in your sales teams. Sales peopleare at the ready to try new ideas and approaches and companies should turn adversity intoopportunity! It’s a winning strategy in a down economy! Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  10. 10. About Carpedia Consulting…Carpedia Consulting is an internationally relevant management consultancy firm, dedicatedto assisting clients to improve sales and profits through the implementation of improvementprograms. Our approach is what makes us unique. The way we design, develop and executeour programs is hands-on, solutions-based and excellence driven.Our programs are customized to the needs of your organisation and are designed to ensuresignificant and sustainable improvements are made both internally and externally – by thesales team, for the customer.www.carpedia.co.zaAbout Werner Hess…Werner Hess has spent 20 years of his career in various sales, marketing and leadershippositions with Bayer, Triad Electronics, GE and GE Plastics before serving as managingdirector of GE Plastics and Polymerland. Werner’s first experience in the world of consultingcame about when he joined Proudfoot Consulting as Director of Business Development,which included several international assignments in Europe and the USA, leading saleseffectiveness projects for global clients. Werner’s current company, Carpedia Consulting isa specialist niche consultancy focused on sales and profit improvement.Werner’s latest book, The Science of Selling has just been published and revealsapproaches, systems and processes that can be implemented to create a successful salesplatform.Werner can be reached on: whess@carpedia.co.za Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn
  11. 11. Carpedia Consulting (Pty) LtdPO Box 1701GALLO Manor2052Building 2Country Club EstatesWoodlands DriveWoodmeadSandtonSouth AfricaTel: 27-11 – 258-8813Fax: 27-11- 258-8511Mob: 27-82-888-0228Email: info@carpedia.co.zawww.carpedia.co.za Carpedia Consulting (Pty) Ltd – www.carpedia.co.za – Selling in Downturn

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