The top 3 ways to cut sales risk in a recession

By Jodi Cachey | September 12, 2022

Between record-high inflation, a reeling stock market, and rampant recession predictions, many revenue leaders wonder how they’ll combat sales risk and continue to meet revenue and growth targets. And rightfully so. Even if we get the “soft landing” Goldman Sachs is hoping for, CEO confidence is down as 60% of Executives expect economic conditions to worsen before they get better.

That means the already difficult job of selling products and services will inevitably get harder. As CEOs and finance leaders tighten their purse strings, how will you reduce sales risk and ensure your revenue team can continue to perform?

Here are three tips to help safeguard your team during a recession.

1. Tell the story Executives need to hear

In a recession, numbers talk. While your buyers may be interested in what your product can do, their stakeholders need to understand what your product can do for their bottom line. If your reps can’t quantify and communicate the value your offer can bring to the business (think ROI, TCO, cost savings, etc.), it will be harder for buyers to take proposals up the chain and get approval to purchase. 

Avoid sales risk — in this case, stalled deals in your sales pipeline — by equipping your sellers with value-based sales stories and tools to communicate business value in the context of your buyer’s biggest challenge early and often. This guide can help.

Don’t buy it? Databricks launched a business value assessment to help its reps showcase value (not product functionality) in sales conversations. Within one year, the team saw its win rate jump 587%. You can read the full story here.

2. Maximize sales productivity

You can’t reduce your sales risk and grow your business during a recession without increasing sales productivity. And that starts with sales coaching. The most successful revenue teams understand the value of sales coaching programs and use them to close skill gaps and increase revenue generated per rep. 

According to Gartner, great sales coaching drives a 54% increase in revenue without adding sales headcount. 

As you develop and operationalize your sales coaching program, consider the following best practices: 

Need help getting started? Check out our Sales Coaching Playbook

3. Consolidate your revenue tech stack

According to industry analysts, companies spend over $10k per rep/year on sales tech. But the vast investment doesn’t translate to improved sales productivity or win rates. How many tools are in your revenue tech stack? How many of those tools are being used and creating value as expected? 

Consolidating your tech stack can help reduce cost per rep and sales risk while increasing profitability. Take inventory across your tech stack and identify redundancy, inefficiencies, or untapped potential. When your existing vendors add new capabilities, it often results in overlapping functionality that could make it easy to turn off existing solutions or limit the scope of new vendors, saving license fees and management time. Not sure where to start? Try a tech stack audit.

Step 1: Evaluate your revenue tech stack. Create a record of all the tools used in various revenue activities, including seat cost and personas that leverage each tool. Observe how siloed your data and operations are. Briefly summarize your Customer Lifecycle, identifying any tools that impede it and revenue operations and enablement motions that support it.

Step 2: Establish the impact criteria of all the tools in your revenue tech stack. Consider frontline sales productivity, deal insight, win rates, CRM license costs, adoption and usage rates, and cash flow.

Use your evaluation and impact criteria to begin mapping a consolidated tech stack to reduce costs by as much as 30% and drive more value for your business. We’ve created The Ultimate Guide to Sales Tech Stack Consolidation to help you along the way.

Now is the time to cut sales risk

These three best practices can help you cut sales risk in any economy but are especially critical in an economic downturn. Don’t wait for your reps to start missing sales quotas — get started implementing these tactics today to continue to grow revenue. 

Need help? Contact us to learn more about Mediafly Revenue360, the only platform on the market to connect sales enablement, value selling, customer engagement, and revenue intelligence for more deals won.

Jodi Cachey is the Vice President of Content Strategy & Growth Marketing at Mediafly, where she is responsible for the strategy and execution of all content marketing initiatives to drive traffic, demand, and growth. With over a decade of experience in the tech space, her previous roles include sales, business development, sales enablement, and product marketing. Jodi attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies.

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