How to sell in a difficult environment

In the middle of a downturn, just how can you anticipate your customers’ needs?  Dean Munslow is a scaling sales expert and advisor. He’s scaled sales for Box to their IPO, Github to their Microsoft acquisition and Crowdstrike’s IPO.


Here are some top three takeaways from him that you can implement in your business and with your sales team tomorrow:

  1. As a seller, don’t be afraid to be challenging and ask what’s the cost of doing nothing?

  2. Make sure your sales approach takes a partnership approach first

  3. You should think about things that cost you nothing but is of big value to your customers

Does the current environment mean no sales at all?

A lot of people are pausing and they are being a little bit reactionary. There is currently a lot of nervousness in every business on how they're going to transact with their customers - and there is definitely a cut back on on the discretionary budgets. Companies in all sectors are having Board-level conversations where they'll start to look across a broad number of projects and assess their priority. So where does selling fit in here? Ultimately the highest return on investment business case will start to prevail. 


What’s different about the sales environment now compared to six months ago? 

People don't want the hard sell. People ARE buying but it’s going to take a lot longer to make a sale - think in terms of your sales pipeline having seven touches on average before you get somebody coming back to you. But how do you hit somebody seven times when, quite frankly, their minds on something far more important? It's difficult. But right now, the hard selling degrees is not the way to go.

So what should my sales approach be? 

The sales-person who asks the difficult questions, and who makes the customer think differently. Who challenges the status quo about how things are done. By doing this in a positive manner with your client, it shows you are thinking strategically and wanting them to succeed. It might be sensible to hold back right now and act as a support or thinking partner as opposed to a vendor. By doing this with customers, you’ll get a buy in from the customer and gain their trust when the market picks up again.


How can I support my customers?

Right now, perhaps it's about managing your champions and your relationships. Work as a partner. There'll be a lot of people worried about their jobs. Where am I going to be next year? Being able to work together, to demonstrate empathy and to understand their personal objectives is really powerful. How can you add value to your customers? 

  1. As a seller, don’t be afraid to be challenging and ask what’s the cost of doing nothing?

  2. Make sure your sales approach takes a partnership approach first

  3. You should think about things that cost you nothing but is of big value to your customers

To find out more about winning sales strategies and how you can speak directly to expert sales and partnership advisors, book an appointment here.

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