A few best practices for Sales leaders to effectively navigate a recession…
There’s been a lot of talk about navigating another recession (again!) and now is the time for CMOs and CSOs as well as other sales-marketing leaders across the typical B2B hierarchy to prepare. The current B2B tech market, including the big tech/high tech marketplace has been witnessing a series of layoffs amid all of this, with leading brands like Oracle, HootSuite and many more announcing layoffs and internal optimizations.
In an uncertain economic period, stronger emphasis on a few basic fundamentals can actually help sales and marketing leaders navigate this time with reduced negative impact to a business.
Here are a few starting tips that could help:
Take a Deep Dive into Existing Sales/Marketing Outreach-Metrics
In a multi-channel sales/marketing environment, B2B teams need more team members to channelize efforts and try and focus on driving more output from each of those channels. But when hardships are around the corner, this is the time for sales and marketing leaders to take a deep dive into existing campaign metrics and even channel metrics to identify what has not really been giving the business enough ROI.
This is where sales/marketing leaders can step in to tighten purse strings and efforts, re-align tasks and team goals to optimize who does what, while also ensuring more effort is correctly placed into fewer channels and outreach methods/strategies that actually work better.
What can help:
- Revisiting budgets / tools allocated to running outreach and campaigns across platforms
- Rethink martech/sales/revtech budgets and adoption while also optimizing use of existing/fewer platforms
- Boosting certain areas like digital ads for very specific target audiences and using the data to feed sales-marketing outreach
Re-aligning Team Tasks to Optimize Efforts and Prevent Silos
This brings us to the next point, the importance of revisiting who does what or how they should do the tasks placed on their plate.
It is common for B2B sales/B2B marketing teams to suffer from internal silos, in fact, lack of inter team alignment and too many silos are some of the most common problems cited by industry leaders and participants in the marketplace.
When it’s time for brands to be careful with operating expenses while also trying to ensure enough revenue flow during a downtime, dipping in into team tasks and improving alignment is key to trying to create a safer way forward.
What can help:
- Revisiting which salestech/martech/revtech can be optimized or adopted to tighten internal processes/data and future campaigns
- Rethinking core sales-marketing strategies: For example: Focusing more on an ABM-heavy model or rearranging core strategies based on a study of sales-marketing metrics (ref: point 1 above).
- Improving data/intent data practices to optimize future outreach and efforts
- Reduction of repeat/duplicate and even superficial tasks among team members
Enhancing both, the Customer Experience and Employee Experience
In a recent news update, big tech leaders like Musk and Zuckerberg highlighted how they felt that a lot of employees in the industry seem to be chilling rather than working! A big flaw in processes that leads to future layoffs can actually be attributed to over hiring and aligning fewer tasks among too many people.
To prevent future layoffs, it is important for brands to understand who they should hire while demonstrating a near-term objective/work place for each team member before adding more hires to the team.
At a time when layoffs are again becoming rampant, what can help before a brand chooses to go down this route is (ref: point 2) realign goals and tasks to optimize internal work as well as output while trying to avoid letting people go.
Focusing on slightly simpler but effective employee programs during this time are also crucial to ensure that a brand can deliver projects as per existing client timelines to drive customer retention.
This is where both, an improved customer experience model (to help retain customers) and employee experience program can help prevent a lot of forthcoming issues.
While on the one hand the global marketplace seems to be prepping for a recessionary period, it is also crucial for business leaders to use this time to identify newer business models and methods that can save both, customer and brand interests. B2B buyers will still be active, there will still be a demand for certain kinds of products and services, now is as good a time as any to tighten product and service features while also trying to understand what your target market needs more of. Delivering on those needs and expectations can help create that difference.