November 24, 2020

How to Accelerate Sales in the Midst of Uncertainty

Every downswing has an inevitable upswing. In some cases, losses may never be fully recouped or prior advantages may no longer exist.

On the positive side, economic or organizational uncertainty doesn’t have to spell complete disaster. A crisis, by nature, disturbs the playing field, opening up new opportunities, weeding out outdated practices and forcing executives to take a harder look at core competencies.

Accelerating sales is not only possible, but it’s a challenge the entire organization should accept, creating the sales equivalent of the “rally around the flag” effect.

Let’s examine how to accelerate sales even when prospects aren’t biting.

Conduct a thorough SWOT analysis

Regardless of the current circumstances — market dip, natural disaster, public health crisis, high turnover, etc. — unexpectedly poor sales performance is debilitating. It stops lofty goals in their tracks. It demoralizes employees. It triggers tough decisions.

Some companies embark on a “meeting of the minds” to assess the situation and establish a new path forward. But don’t just evaluate what went wrong in this specific instance. Use this time for a 360-degree review of your product offerings, value wedges, company culture, staff composition and other key drivers of performance (or underperformance).

Now’s the time to rip up old playbooks and either pivot aggressively or double down on existing differentiators.

A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis is a framework for measuring the vitals of your company and strategically planning for the future.

  • S: Quantitative and qualitative advantages you have over competitors, such as first-mover advantage, expertise or intellectual property.
  • W: Areas in which your competitors outperform you, like stronger branding, greater market penetration or sustainable financials.
  • O: Emerging markets to target, services to offer or value-adds to feature in the future.
  • T: Waning customer interest, evolving industry regulations or bad press.

As you get to the root of your SWOT analysis, you should walk away with a clearer picture of what needs to change and how quickly.

Map newfound goals to specific initiatives 

In the context of sales acceleration, a SWOT analysis should generate new sales goals, be it more realistic quotas, prospecting in new regions or enhanced lead qualification systems, for example.

Your sales agents should have achievable benchmarks, purposeful workflows and appropriate incentives to improve their own performance. In other words, sales managers and directors should have new protocols in place that are clearly different and objectively better than previous iterations.

Some of the mechanisms for accelerating sales in a new sales environment include:

  • Robust lead scoring and qualification. Some organizations dedicate staff solely to lead generation, which takes the load off sales reps but could potentially produce faulty handoffs or misattributed lead quality. A workflow that provides ultimate visibility into lead gen efforts sets sellers up for greater efficiency and better throughput.
  • Marketing alignment. Content creation, management and optimization is meant for a seller audience, yet sellers may not be equipped to easily locate and share marketing collateral. Break down those silos and embed sales teams into marketing processes (and vice versa). The faster and more strategically content can be distributed to target audiences, the shorter the sales cycle.
  • Access to intuitive tools. Email automation software, sales enablement platforms and predictive analytics tools can provide the data, intelligence and insights sellers need to work more efficiently.

Your organization’s goals should fully align with your sales tech stack so revenue is fast-tracked to the greatest degree possible.

Strengthen human capital

Sales acceleration tools automate some of the more tedious sales tasks, but sellers can still benefit from improved coaching and training too. After all, exceeding quotas in the face of shaky financial stability is no small feat.

Human capital management technology is an emerging component of high-performing companies that place a particular emphasis on culture, morale and engagement. An engaged employee is more likely to be productive, collaborative and motivated — all key qualities that contribute to sales acceleration.

Reinvest in your sales reps via the following channels:

  • Self-service training and learning modules
  • Recorded “game film” of sales conversations for peer review.
  • Transparent performance metrics across the entire team.
  • Bite-sized sales presentations in-browser or in-app
  • Shareable reports, analytics and wins

Sellers innately measure themselves against the performance of their peers so creating an internal system that promotes mass visibility into everyone’s metrics is important. They can work toward common goals, attain teamwide quotas and mentor younger peers — all in addition to the more traditional coaching they receive from direct managers.

Power your sales functions

Securing new revenue streams and customer relationships are some of the only ways to dig yourself out of a financial hole.

To set those goals into motion, a sophisticated sales enablement platform serves as your foundation. A sales enablement platform powers your entire sales process from beginning to end by:

  • Organically surfacing new opportunities for sales acceleration
  • Delivering customer insights and behavioral data to sellers
  • Improving audience personalization and engagement
  • Nurturing leads throughout the buyer journey
  • Optimizing every touchpoint and prospect interaction
  • Housing all marketing and sales content in a central hub
  • Generating real-time seller feedback
  • Integrating with CRMs, DAMs, CMS and many other mission-critical systems

Showpad’s best-in-class sales enablement platform is more than software — it’s a sales goldmine. With native sales acceleration functionality, scalable add-ons and AI-fueled analytics, selling has never been easier and more strategic. 

For more information on how to accelerate sales at your business, contact Showpad today.