The technology industry has been hit hard by the economic downturn in 2021-22, with over 150,000 workers losing their jobs since June 2022. This presents a formidable challenge for companies in the technology sector. With proper guidance and focus, tech companies may avoid making costly mistakes that could harm their business in the long term. The projection is that the economic downturn will likely continue into 2023, and technology companies must be prepared.
Nevertheless, technology companies can still make it through this challenging period with the right strategies and focus. According to Daugherty, Bolumole & Grawe (2019), one area that can offer a formidable edge in this regard is mastering sales and marketing. This article will examine sales and marketing tips that tech companies should consider in 2023.
Related: 6 Recession-Proof Business Marketing Strategies
1. Keep pricing and quotas reasonable
Many companies try to raise their prices or sales quotas when they hit challenging times, but this is usually unwise. Companies need to recognize that customers feel the pinch just as much as they do, so they will expect lower prices and more reasonable quotas. Selling at a discount may be the only way to get customers to bite, so pricing should be adjusted accordingly. While low prices may hurt profits in the short term, it could be the difference between staying afloat and shutting down. Therefore, pricing must be reasonable to keep up with the game in 2023 (Holmlund et al., 2020).
2. Put existing customers first
When trying to bring in business during tough times, it is crucial to prioritize existing customers. These people already trust you and have done business with you. Make sure to nurture your relationships with them by offering discounts or even free upgrades or services. Additionally, focus on any unresolved issues they may have, and do your best to fix them. Smeeding, Romich & Strain (2021) propose that taking care of the existing customers could be one way to come out of the recession, as it will not only help keep existing customers happy but will also allow you to upsell or cross-sell solutions that meet their needs and ultimately help to strengthen your bond and ensure they keep coming back.
3. Focus on solutions-oriented sales
In a downturn, it is essential to focus on solutions that can help companies. Instead of just making a sales pitch and leaving it at that, listen to your customer’s challenges and pain points. This will allow you to offer solutions that are tailored specifically for them. It also allows for more strategic selling and an opportunity to ask questions to uncover clients’ challenges and pain points and craft solutions that will help them. This requires a more strategic approach to sales, so ensure you are well-prepared with the necessary data and insights.
Related: How to Prepare Your Business For Economic Downturn
4. Increase touchpoints for deeper relationships
Sales processes now require more touchpoints to build trust and foster relationships. This means that companies must be proactive in reaching out and providing customers with the necessary information to make a decision. It also helps to follow up after each touchpoint so that customers know you are there for them and ready to help whenever needed. This means doing everything possible to offer world-class customer service, where a substantial difference is made.
5. Leverage digital channels
Digital platforms can help you reach a wider audience quickly, but it also pays to invest in more targeted campaigns. Social media, email and other online marketing tactics can all be used to connect with potential customers and build relationships with them. “The digital era has changed the way B2B businesses interact with customers, and leveraging digital channels is now essential for sales success,” says Sara Franklin, CMO at Salesforce. This lays bare the importance of leveraging digital channels to build relationships with customers, inform the product in the market and how it helps positively impact clients out there.
6. Evaluate your processes
When times are tough, you need to be able to measure and optimize the effectiveness of your sales process. Investing in a CRM system is a great way to do this, as it gives you visibility into the performance of each stage of the sales cycle. With a clear understanding of where leads are dropping off or not responding, you can make adjustments to improve the process. This will allow you to identify any inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement and ensure that your sales team is performing at its highest level. It will also give you a clearer picture of the ROI of your sales activities so that you can make more informed decisions about future investments.
Related: 5 Entrepreneurs Share How They’re Hedging for an Economic Downturn
Navigating the challenging times of a recession is not easy, but it can be done with the right strategies and tactics. Usually, sales teams endure most of the impact, and it is essential to be prepared and have plans in place so that you can weather the storm. First, there is a need to focus on providing solutions that meet customer needs. It is crucial to prioritize existing customers by nurturing the relationship, offering discounts or free services when possible and leveraging digital channels to reach a wider audience. By focusing on customer experience and understanding their challenges, sales teams can stay on top of the game and ensure their companies remain successful.