Sales Disruptors: How Sales Can Weather an Economic Downturn and Stay Agile Amid Uncertainty

PODCAST

Senior Sales Performance Manager at Accenture Edward Lang suggests changes and adaptations for sales departments to enact in order to survive pandemic uncertainty

The coronavirus global pandemic has fundamentally reshaped business, but one sector is feeling the tug in particular – sales.

Today, the Sales Disruptors podcast takes a look at how sales departments can change and adapt in light of a shifting economy. Guest Edward Lang, Senior Manager of Sales Performance at Accenture, reveals his insights into how to move forward with confident footing in uncertain territory.

Like businesses big and small, sales operations are struggling through similar challenges: the uncertainty of the future, retaining clients, retaining talent, and managing costs. But after weathering the 2008 economic downturn, Lang has some insight that can carry over to the current crisis.

“The more we can help our clients weather this storm, the better we will be in the position for long term relationships,” he said.

Helping clients can also mean helping yourself by taking the opportunity to streamline tools, implementation, and processes. Drive intent, drive meaning, and steer clear of gimmicks. Seize the opportunity to recruit top talent from competitors, recommended Lang. Shift payment streams and reward employees for tool sharpening. All of these tips trim the fat. Upon return, businesses should be “lean and hungry,” not starved and weak.

Lang’s final words, however, are perhaps the best encouragement for uncertain times — “It’s going to be okay.”

Markets will open up, albeit tentatively. Upon reopening there will certainly be a “new normal,” but sales will adapt and stay agile in an ever-changing market.

© 2020 Xactly Corporation

KEY POINTS

  • Uncertainty, retention, cost control are the top trials of the economic fallout.

  • Take care of clients above all else.

  • Leaders need to be clear about plans, actions, and mission.

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