How to Recession-Proof Your Sales Strategy


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Experts aren’t sure whether 2023 will mark the start of a recession. Some claim that the record-low labor market is too strong for the economy to tank, while others believe that it depends on what the government does over the next few months. Regardless, people everywhere are beginning to react to the ominous clouds of economic uncertainty.

How are buyers’ behaviors changing? To start, people are saving less and spending more. As a result, 72% of Americans have less money stashed away now than they did a year ago, and 29% have tapped out their reserves completely. This leads to another unfortunate trend: people’s inability to cover the cost of basic needs. Even high-income earners are reporting a dip in their spending power because salaries haven’t risen to match inflation.

These money-related habits matter a lot in the world of sales. If you don’t have a plan, then it’ll be tough to keep making sales during a recession period. People struggle to justify unnecessary expenses during economic downturns, and decreased sales affect sales teams’ motivation. But by developing a recession sales strategy, you can continue growing your business, even in the face of adversity.

Providing Value to Prospects

If you’re leading a sales team, your employees are probably concerned about the uncertainty ahead. Though they likely have a solid toolkit that you created for the pandemic, they might not have what they need moving into an economic recession. After all, the key to selling even during difficult times is providing value, and what people consider valuable has changed drastically over the past few years.

If your sales team can’t show prospects how your product or service meets their current needs, then it will be difficult to convert. Buyers are focused on paying for necessities. How can something be a necessity if it’s not valuable?

As an organization, you should be focused on creating a recession sales strategy that highlights the value of your product or service to prospects. Once you develop this, then you can better equip your team and motivate them during the impending recession. Here’s how to increase sales during a recession:

1. Revisit or create your unique value proposition.

Your sales team can’t promote the value of your company if you don’t have a unique, compelling, and easily digestible value proposition. As a rule, your value proposition should clearly show what value you bring to the table. Do you help customers save time? Money? Be sure your sales team knows how your product or service helps as well as how to clearly communicate that value to prospects.

Consider Slack’s value proposition: “Slack is a collaboration hub, where the right people and the right information come together, helping everyone get work done.” It’s a thorough and concise answer to the question “What’s the value of Slack?” Once you’re satisfied with your value proposition, make sure your sales team uses it to grab attention and break through the noise.

2. Make sure you’re selling to the right audience.

One of the most common sales mistakes is targeting a prospect who doesn’t fall within your target audience. Your team needs to know who your ideal customers are. If they don’t, they’ll waste their efforts on people who will never convert.

This is especially true in the world of B2B sales. You don’t want someone else trying to retell your business’ value proposition. So, insist that your team identifies and meets with decision-makers. This is a great question to ask when you make contact with someone in the organization. By talking with the right people, you can ensure that the value of your product or service is properly communicated.

It can be overwhelming to figure out how to increase sales during a recession. Moving toward a value-driven sales strategy gives your team what they need to hear “yes.”

Maura Kautsky
Maura Kautsky is the president of Sales Xceleration. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry and has helped companies build and grow their brands, created meaningful customer relationships, and implemented practices that have resulted in increased client retention.


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