How to Increase Sales Now Without Adding Headcount
Are you being asked to do more with less?
Today’s economic reality has companies looking carefully at budgets, especially regarding staffing. For many organizations, this means implementing hiring freezes or layoffs. Yet, these same organizations are asking their sales leaders to drive increased revenue despite the challenging headwinds. So how can you increase sales without adding headcount?
Sales managers can do more with less by keeping their sales team laser-focused on activities that have the biggest potential to generate results. Start with these three strategies:
#1 Focus on Your Current Customers
Existing customer relationships typically offer significant growth potential with shorter sales cycles since sales reps are not starting from scratch.
In most accounts, there are opportunities to grow and expand your sales presence. This includes growth through the sale of additional products or service offerings and expanding your presence into other business lines, departments, and divisions.
Mapping accounts helps sales reps identify the key decision-makers and stakeholders to create a more targeted and effective growth strategy. This includes developing customer coaches who can share insights on corporate priorities and provide referrals to the stakeholders you identified.
#2 Target Accounts that Meet Your ICP
Another way for your team to be more effective with limited resources is to focus on customers that meet your ideal client profile. This helps avoid wasting time on opportunities with a low probability of closing and often serve as a distraction.
As a starting point, focus on accounts in industries where you have been successful and personas that represent key influencer or decision-making roles. Narrowing the lens helps reps become more purposeful about whom they talk to and how they plan for these conversations.
In a recession, this is extremely important since scrutiny over new investments is much higher. So, reps must engage with the right clients to develop compelling solutions that address real business needs.
#3 Qualify Opportunities in Your Pipeline
When sales professionals spend too much time working on unqualified opportunities, it takes valuable time away from the ones with better solution alignment. That’s why conducting an opportunity analysis is important before investing even more time and energy on deals that aren’t likely to close.
As a starting point, think about BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing) to qualify opportunities with an emphasis on “Need” first. If the Need isn’t compelling, the opportunity is not likely to close, especially in a challenging economy.
Removing unqualified leads from the pipeline helps your team use their time more effectively by focusing on higher-quality opportunities. Unfortunately, many opportunities tend to stall or lie dormant, so tracking velocity is important to help avoid a bloated pipeline.
Doing More with Less
If you want to do more with less, keep your sales team focused on adopting strategies to leverage existing customer relationships, target new customers that fit your ideal client profile, and carefully qualify opportunities in your sales pipeline.
Remember, tough economic times and recessions eventually end. These steps will help you better weather the storm and emerge with a stronger, more focused sales team.
About Norman Behar
Norman Behar is Chairman and Managing Director of the Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He has over 25 years of senior sales management experience, and is recognized as a thought leader in the sales training industry. His blog posts and whitepapers are frequently featured in leading sales enablement publications including ATD, TrainingIndustry.com, and Selling Power.