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Driving Sales Efficiency During a Market Slowdown - Part 2

How to Leverage Your Best Assets


Market downturns and the resulting budget belt-tightening are painful for sales and marketing teams. Pipeline predictability goes out the window as deals take longer to close and desperate competitors drop prices. At the same time, investors and CFOs impose budget cuts and want sales to deliver more with less resources. What can sales and marketing leaders do to keep selling in these turbulent times?

someone placing the final block in a puzzle that makes a bullseye

This is the second article of a two-part series, in this piece we cover how to leverage the assets you already have to fill the top of the funnel, rising above the competition early in deals, and leveraging your best sales tool.


1. Bolster the Content Strategy to Fill the Top of the Funnel

When the pipeline takes longer to close, expanding the top of the funnel is necessary. One of the lowest cost ways to do this is to dramatically increase content production to drive more inbound leads. Product leaders, executives, and even professional services teams can be enlisted to generate original content that speaks to the needs (and fears) of prospects. Videos, high impact articles with concrete recommendations, use case highlights – are all examples of content that can be internally generated. Original content attracts more inbound leads while keeping Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) low.

2. Upend the Sales Cycle

Upend the traditional sales process and rise above the competition early in deals. The natural tendency of sales and marketing is to focus on product capabilities and compete on features and functions. Instead, place marketing emphasis on the complete solution – from the buyer’s perspective. Look for areas of the entire solution that don’t require any change to the product, and that impact the customer’s ability to derive value. Implementation, support, and integrations are a few examples. Implementation services typically have no marketing support – but from the customer’s point of view, a disciplined implementation project is the difference between the product being adopted successfully or the project cratering. Shift the focus towards what makes projects succeed, and emphasize how customers get more value faster. Help ideal prospects self-identify themselves and place your solution at the top of their list. The best part, - it requires zero investment in product R&D, just smart marketing and sales execution.

3. Customers Are the Best Sales Tool

Another way to disrupt the sales process and stand out from the crowd is to leverage customer references. The fastest, most cost-effective way to differentiate your company and give prospects confidence to buy is to provide credible customer references on demand. Instead of waiting for the end of the sales process, connect prospects with references early in the deal. People buy from people, and prospects gain trust in a new vendor when they hear their peers describe how a solution helped them reach their objectives. Automated tools that digitize reference interviews (and eliminate reference burnout) can help.


Interested in standing apart from the competition while eliminating customer reference burnout?

Reach out to the Verified team via the button below. We help organizations like yours accelerate your road to revenue.


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