Sales Tips

Looking for Ways to Do More with Less? We Asked Top Women in Sales to Share Their Strategies Ahead of the Downturn

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November 8, 2022

5 mins read

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Looking for Ways to Do More with Less? We Asked Top Women in Sales to Share Their Strategies Ahead of the Downturn

This is part 3 of our series about how the most powerful women in sales focus on different areas of their work and business management to win, even in an economic downturn. This post compiles their best practices and recommendations in the area of sales strategy and tactics.

Sales people often find themselves working hard doing things that don’t move the needle on sales outcomes. It’s not about just being busy, but about taking the ‘right’ actions that drive sales. 

Effective selling always has a clearly-defined strategy behind it and is done with tactics that align with (and drive) that strategy. How do successful women sales leaders think about strategy and tactics in uncertain times?

Strategies for Success During Economic Downturns

We asked few of our 100 Most Powerful Women in Sales (1-50 / 51-100) and they offered their thoughts:

“Prioritize deals that have the largest potential and execute well on them. Executing well means focusing on the fundamentals of enterprise selling, such as constant discovery, mutual action plans, executive sponsorship, and team selling. Optimize pilot processes and get the right executive sponsorship to balance the customers’ need to test for success while also ensuring your time is spent wisely.”  Reva Pellerin, Vidyard, Strategic Account Executive

“Figure out your business case. How will you help your customers achieve their specific goals in spite of the headwinds? How will you add value in a way that’s different? How can you eliminate obstacles that are going to be even more painful during a downturn? In terms of tactics, analyze the data to understand what’s working and what’s not, increase high-quality inputs, and put more effort into driving personalization and relevance.” Sarah Hicks, Predictable Revenue, Director of Coaching and Consulting

“Focus on doing more with less. This means optimizing for efficiency and effectiveness through being ultra-intentional about where you spend your resources of time, people, and budget to ensure the most return and value for every type of spend. Use your time to be a strategic thought partner helping your customers navigate through tough times. It will pay off through retention, and later, expansion.” Rosalyn Santa Elena, The RevOps Collective, Founder and Chief Revenue Operations Officer

“Regardless of the economy, value-focused selling with a clear thread to ROI is what our selling teams are consistently articulating to our prospects. We’ve found that meeting businesses where they are versus overselling creates stronger relationships and trust. Draw upon industry trends and market knowledge to create value-packed POVs and positioning that shows prospects you ‘get’ what they’re up against and are here to help them.” Jill Santos, Salesforce, Regional Vice-President, Marketing Cloud, Retail & Consumer Goods

“Focus on the actions that improve yield across your existing sales and marketing motions. For instance, we have a lot of A/B tests running on all our paid ads to make sure they perform well.” Alina Vandenberghe, Chili Piper, Co-Founder & Co-CEO

“Align across the entire revenue funnel from lead acquisition through the sale and continuing with customer support and retention, with a central focus on delivering value to customers. Our leadership is in the data every single day to make informed, next-best action decisions. There are still customers who need your solution – you just need to be agile in your approach and responsive when the data tells you to pivot or double down.” Rebecca Grimes, Ruby, Chief Revenue Officer

“The pandemic taught us there’s nothing to be gained by taking your foot off the gas when markets get soft. Rather, lean in and become a student of how your prospect’s pains have changed with the market conditions: 1.) Sharpen your messaging to meet your prospects with insights that can help their business in down economies, 2.) Work on getting necessary visibility into top of funnel conversion rates and drive efficiency where you can, and 3.) get your team ready for a lot of market listening and message iteration. Collect, analyze, and ship messaging rapidly until it aligns with your prospects’ current pains, fears, and problems. To be relevant in a tough market is your superpower.” Jessica Watts, Mud City, Co-Founder

“Bringing more women into sales and elevating them into leadership is a high priority of companies of all sizes. Over the course of the pandemic, the number of women in sales –– and many other fields –– dropped precipitously during the pandemic. While it might be tempting for companies to tighten their spending in this downturn, my approach is to help them understand that there is no better time for them to be investing in the professional development of the women on their team. Attrition costs average 1.5 to 2 times an employee’s annual salary. Spending on professional development is a fraction of that cost and women who participate in the Women in Sales Leadership Forum complete the program energized, engaged and ready for new challenges. That’s invaluable.”  Gina Stracuzzi, IES Women In Sales Leadership Forum, Co-Founder & Director

This is the third in a four-part blog series celebrating Women in Sales Month. We asked some of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Sales their thoughts on selling during an economic downturn. We gathered up all of their learnings and included them in our new eBook: Hard Times? Double Down! Top Women in Sales Reveal Their Secrets to Navigating a Downturn.

Series tracker: 

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Justin Levy

Former Senior Director, Influencer Marketing & Head of Community, Demandbase

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