Over the last month, I’ve been having conversations with CEOs of companies that we work with and our Board advisors—and we’re hearing from them that a headwind is upon us. One of the advisors is on the Board of a ball-bearings company that goes into ocean liner freight ships. The long and short of it is that the shipping industry is one of the leading indicators to the health of the global economy. The Canadian economy is already slowing down, and the US economy is soon to follow.
How does this affect you?
As a sales leader, you’re ultimately going to be crafting business plans today without full visibility of what the CFO and your customers are thinking. You might be in for a rude awakening from your CFO because customers are going to slow themselves down as well.
You may not have the big coffers to hire every big talent, or to roll out every tool and ambition you want. This means you have to do more with the sales reps already on staff. So how do you get more with what you have?
If you use a military analogy, there are “times of war” and “times of peace.” Sales leaders: this blog is an early warning sign to you that we’re now entering a “time of war,” economically speaking.
Great sales leaders find ways of creating more yield and throughput with the teams they have during “times of war.” You need to put on the armor and fight harder than you’ve been doing over the last 10 years.
What can you do?
1. Start having more in-depth conversations with your CFO and customers.
Don’t get caught off guard when your budgets aren’t approved.
2. You really have to start analyzing your team.
Identify your A players, B players, C players, and so on. Think about what you can do from the skills and capabilities perspective to improve their performance.
3. Find partners who can help you achieve more.
I’ve written so many articles about this, but working with a consulting or training firm that can create more pipeline with your team is exponentially cheaper and more effective than hiring one or two new sellers for the same cost. Think about it: you’re compounding that yield across 50, 100, or 500 sellers. And with the economy predicted to be heading downward, you’ve got to find ways to achieve more productivity with what you have.