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A Guide To Sales And Customer Success In A Downturn

June 16, 2020 6:56 AM | Dara Cormany (Administrator)

When the economy takes a hit, customer-facing teams often struggle the most. While COVID-19 has made it challenging to manage customer relationships, there are ways you can focus on them, even when the future looks uncertain.

Jordan Wan, founder and CEO of CloserIQ, says that strengthening your company’s customer success strategy is crucial during a downturn. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Wan’s suggestions for retaining customers and navigating new customer acquisition in an economic crisis.

Reevaluate your prospects. According to Wan, sales professionals should evaluate companies based on industry and financial health. Doing this allows them to tailor messaging according to the group they belong. For example, Wan recommends categorizing your prospects like this:

COVID strong, strong financials: Companies in industries such as ecommerce, telemedicine and virtual collaboration software likely won’t be as impacted by the economic decline. Wan recommends prioritizing these companies for prospecting.

COVID strong, poor financials: Companies that fall into this category are cautious about spending. Wan says you can still contact them by leading with free trials and price discounts.

COVID weak, strong financials: While these companies are strong financially, they belong to industries suffering the most during the downturn. Wan suggests leading with advice and free services. You could also try to complete deals by offering prepayment discounts.

COVID weak, poor financials: While Wan says it’s best to avoid prospecting to these companies since they don’t have a cash cushion and are experience the most difficulty in a downturn, you should still check in on personal relationships and offer support.

Align sales guidance appropriately. What separates you from the competition is your ability to emotionally connect with your customers and prospects. Make sure you focus your sales guidance on maintaining and growing relationships in the middle of a downturn. When you are reaching out to active customers, previous customers and prospects, learn what they are facing right now and aim to be helpful however you can.

Focus on growing revenue. Wan says growing your revenue in an economic downturn won’t be easy, but with planning and execution, you can succeed. He suggests using the crisis to offer thoughtful discounting. You could also pilot new features and MVP products. The goal is to lead with empathy and value.

Update sales plans. In these times, Wan recommends adjusting salespeople’s goals. Unchanged goals may incentivize behavior that hurt the brand and customer experience, he notes. Look for ways to introduce other types of interim metrics that align with your customer engagement and nurturing strategies.

The economic downturn poses new challenges to everyone in sales. For your business to survive, your sales team must be able to adapt in a COVID-19 world. Remember that while sales may be slow now, things will eventually change. In the meantime, you can succeed now by focusing on your customer success strategy.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jordan Wan is founder and CEO of CloserIQ.

Used with Permission From PPAI

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