So is it worth training your sales teams during a recession? Good question; let‘s dive in and find the answer. After two years of magic in the logistics sector, the winds of change started blowing. After more than ten years of steady growth and two years of pandemic-stipulated growth (and challenges), the economy has finally reached its peak and started slowing. Is it a tragedy? For some, it is, but some will survive and thrive. The decision which side you or your business choose depends on the decisions you will make during this time. Some companies will cut sales training budgets during a recession. Some will take the opposite way increasing sales and marketing budgets during a recession.
What‘s the best way?
Suppose your organization provides excellent transportation, warehousing, 3PL, and other logistics-related services and products. In such cases, the recession may be the best time to speed up new business development because many others will panic and press the stop button. And here you can come in and collect all the fruits that lazy and weaker companies will leave.
Will it be easy?
No, of course. For this plan to work, you must have a well-prepared sales team. And the best way to prepare your team is to train them.
So the answer to the topic’s question is yes, and I will provide you with a few statements about why constant sales training during a recession is one of the best investments you can make in yourself or your organization.
1st. Training allows you to find out where the money is.
A recession or other disasters (like war or high energy prices) often rearrange the flow of money. Therefore, there is a good chance that the shipper which whom you worked previously and who brought immense revenues during a recession will slow down.
A good sales trainer can help you or your team discover where the money is and show you how to build prospecting lists.
2nd. Sales process basics become super important during a recession
Sales process basics or best practices are essential during any economic cycle. But during the recession, basics become crucial. Because during good times, even if you do not have a sales process or if you do not follow the sales process, you still can get some customers. Because you can bump into those who need your services more often. During a recession, this changes. So one needs to return to basics, and those who are better at basics will get more customers than those who aren’t. Common sense, as this is true, never mind the economic cycle. However, as mentioned earlier, recession sharpens this situation and quickly separates the great ones from the average or bad ones.
Again, sales training can help you or your team remember the basics or train the basics in case they need to gain the knowledge required.
3rd. Most sales managers haven‘t seen a recession in their lifetime.
Most logistics services sales managers haven‘t seen a recession in their lifetime. The last one was in 2008. So those who witnessed the recession need to be in the industry for 15 years, and sales managers with 15 years plus of experience in logistics are a rarity. Those who witnessed the recession understand that selling in good and bad times is an entirely different story.
An experienced sales trainer can tell you or your team what to expect, how to stay motivated, and what mistakes to avoid.
4th. Standard sales messaging are less effective in a recession.
Standard sales messaging (Hi, It‘s Thomas from the best transport company, we provide transportation services from the UK to Europe, do you have some open shipments and need quotes for today?) doesn’t work well during any time but during a recession in will generate a far bigger count of hanged phones, unanswered emails, social messages, etc.
A good sales trainer can help you create scripts and find unique value propositions and reasons which will lead to the next steps.
5th. You will get new types of objections during a recession.
Usually, during a recession, the typical objections like send me more information over email, we have partners whom we work with, will be added with others like, we are in saving mode, our shipping volumes have decreased, we do not need new partners, etc. Moreover, during a recession, you will hear objections more often, and you will get more rude objections as well.
A good sales trainer will prepare you for what it‘s coming and how to deal with it.
6th. During a recession, decision-makers tend to guard themselves against sales managers even harsher.
Decision makers guarding time is not new, but it reaches different levels during a recession. The spray-and-pray communication will not work during a recession. To arrange more meetings with decision-makers, you must create messages that have clear points about why it’s a good thing to talk with you.
A sales trainer that understands the logistics industry, its pain points, and the newest tendencies can help you to craft such messages.
7th. Sales cycles tend to become longer
Increased sales cycles are a close companion of a recession. Therefore, the nurturing phase becomes critical to get new customers. Persistence and long-term follow-up plan are crucial to success during a recession.
A good sales trainer will show you how to distribute touches over an extended period. How to follow up with quality and not be seen as spam, and how to find ways to come back in case of no.
8th. It’s all about time management during a recession.
Sales managers must do much more during a recession to get the same results. Moreover, in a downturn, existing customers tend to bring in lesser shipments. Therefore finding time for prospecting is essential.
A sales trainer can teach your sales team or you how to manage time effectively.
9th. Discovery is the most sales process part during a recession.
Discovery is the most complicated sales process part. Yet, this is precisely where your deals are won or lost. During the recession, logistics organizations need to change their discovery questions, as earlier important things like capacity or availability may not be the issue anymore.
Sales trainers who know what is changing in the market can help you change questions and build winning discovery structures.
10th. Buying psychology becomes critical during a recession.
We all buy from those who we like and trust. Of course, during a bull market, we can make exceptions, but when the recession comes, there will be no more expectations, as we will cut out those we don’t like or trust.
Trainers with knowledge of the market and buying psychology can show you how to build trust faster. Moreover, they can build business acumen, as trust and business acumen in logistics go side by side.
11th. Closing is more difficult during a recession.
Close deals are always challenging, but it becomes difficult during a recession. Therefore, those who will be better at each step of the sale process and prove to be more valuable within the buying process will be those who will win deals.
A sales trainer can help your team connect all the needed dots to help you oversell your competitors in a downturn market.
To sum up, recessions and growth cycles come and go. The best way to thrive during uncertain times is to implement needed changes when the times are good already. By changes, I mean investing in your sales team, creating a sales process, and looking for ways to make your sales process more efficient. Now is the best time to start if you still need to do this. Do not wait, do not hesitate, make the necessary improvements and go further for a win.
If you want to prepare your sales team for the tender season and recession-proof them, please contact us, and we will create dedicated sales training for you.
Subscribers from Lithuania can grab our live sales ninja training, which will be done in Vilnius on 23/24 NOV.
And companies that want to perform their sales processes audit or create one, please arrange a time with us; together, we will make a recession-proof, killer sales process. You can book your time by clicking here if you like.
About the Author:
Thomas Ananjevas is a supply chain professional with 15 years of experience purchasing and selling Logistic services and building a supply chain from scratch. He founded a consulting, training, and staffing company that works exclusively with the logistics industry. Tomas is helping logistics companies implement the necessary changes to ensure business growth and continuity. You can set up a time to talk with Thomas about possible synergies by clicking here.