5 Ways to Optimize your SaaS Sales Team in a Downturn

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During a market downturn, selling may be difficult, and setting up calls even harder. Not only are companies getting ready to operate with a lean staff, but there seems to be budget freezes from your buyers. People start ghosting. 

Deals will start to take longer to close and meetings will be harder to book. Yet, there are ways to still generate revenue and keep your sales org going. As the Stoics say, focus on what you can control. 

Below, we’ve compiled some methods to help you get ready to conquer the time ahead.

  • Stay Focused

It all comes down to this. The entire company should be on the same page. This is the time to be relentless with your team goal. If you have projects that are not serving your core competency, now is the time to cut them.

Communication will be the life blood of the company during this time. Each department, from sales to marketing, to customer support, must focus on one singular goal. If the team wasn’t already on the page and working towards the same KPIs, then now is the time to do that.

There is no time for wasted effort, chasing after goals or new initiatives that won’t directly serve the company.

  • Upsell & Cross-sell

Now is also the time to be diligent with your current customer base.

Most SaaS companies put far too much emphasis on acquiring new logos in a downturn — instead of focusing on their existing customer base. Instead, concentrate on optimizing your renewal rates and expanding your customer base to additional services.

Start where you already are. Build deeper relationships with your existing customers. Work on getting into other line of businesses. Push to get 2-3 year deals. These are just some of the things that you can do to ensure that you grow your existing customer base.

  • Create the best customer experience

We’ve seen the trend over the last 5 years of the focus being on creating a buying process that aligns with how your customer buys.This is perfect time to think through areas that need improvement in your over customer experience.

Consider offering different payment options so you can tailor the experience to each customer’s specific needs. You may also want to explore providing additional discount options.  At the end of the day, customization should always be made with the user experience in mind. 

You’ll want to provide your users with the best possible experience when purchasing your product. This starts from the moment your Sales Development Representative reachees out to them to the time the deal is closed and handed off to the the CSM team. 

Focus on providing the best experience possible for that customer.

  • Level up your team

Resilient sales teams are able to quickly adjust to changing markets as long as you invest in training and skills development. This way, your employees can handle any role or responsibility that arises.

Even though you may  not be pursuing as many opportunities in the next year, this is the right moment to invest more heavily in training and coaching your sales reps. Take advantage of every chance to review calls together as a team and get everyone focused on growing their business. 

Investing in your team ensures that you build loyalty. Sales reps will stick around longer if they know that they are being invested into.

  • Automation – Doing more with less

More often than not, you’ll have less resources than you when it isn’t a downturn. You’ll want to assess your sales process to see which process could be automated to help your team out.

Not only will it save time, but automation can lower risks for salespeople by reducing errors and helping them focus their attention on high-value interactions instead of mundane minutiae.

At the end of the day, we never want to automate in a vacuum. The goal is make your team as efficient as possible.

 

If there are two things you remember from these tips, let it be this:

  • Focus on what you already have – reps and revenues
  • Create the best customer experience possible

 

If an economic crisis occurs, you may witness some fluctuations in revenue. Therefore, companies want to be ready for an upturn, they need to invest in their products and their customer service. And they must be able to demonstrate that their products and services offer genuine benefits to their customers.

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