July 13, 2022
Enable Us Team

How to Recession-Proof Sales and Marketing Programs in 5 Steps

In a recession, buyers are much more hesitant to purchase. Learn how to overcome some of the most common B2B buying objections.

Anyone watching the news lately is likely concerned about the possibility of an impending recession — and they wouldn’t be alone. 81% of Americans believe a recession is likely to occur this year. This means that most organizations will start to ensure their tech stacks, sales and marketing tools, and people are set up for success amidst this imminent economic downturn. 

While a recession sounds scary, it provides a unique opportunity to make needed changes that will pull your team through to even greater success when the economy improves. This requires implementing the right tools and process evolutions today to position your organization for growth in the future. But how, exactly, does one recession-proof their sales and marketing programs? Let’s dig into the 5 steps.

1. Prioritize Buyer Enablement Solutions

To sell effectively during a recession, buyer enablement is key. In fact, 99% of B2B buyers report that they would purchase through a completely digital self-serve model (even for deals $50,000 or higher). Thus, sellers need to enable buyers with the digital-first resources and tools necessary to conduct their due diligence and research. Innovative buyer-centric technology allows sellers to give buyers just that. With the right platform, sellers can easily share all content and resources with buyers in one single location. This makes it extremely easy for buyers to research the product on their own time. 

But buyer-centric technology requires a reimagination of how the sales team approaches buyers. This starts with the sales playbook, which outlines a seller’s roles and responsibilities, how to accomplish this, and a defined process. In fact, companies with well-defined sales processes are 33% more likely to have high-performing sellers. 

A buyer-focused sales playbook has to take the complex buyer’s journey into consideration — what type of content do buyers seek, when, and how? For example, for buyers in the consideration phase, a sales rep can share an infographic, while a detailed ROI guide walks through the cost benefits of purchasing your solution over another during the decision stage. 

2. Enhance Transparency Throughout the Buyer’s Journey for all Stakeholders

Since every deal counts, it’s more critical to engage your buyers throughout the process. Digital mutual action plans (MAPs) help boost transparency, communication, and collaboration between the buyer and seller. 

MAPs outline the expectations of each party, what information is required, and the key milestones to progress the deal to closure. For example, tracking deadlines happens in real-time allowing email notifications to nudge owners to keep the deal on schedule. 

By using a digital MAP, a seller can identify potential blockers early in the process. The seller can define a solution with the buyer and stakeholders before the deal momentum slows down. For example, when customers use our MAPs module, sellers can instantly see which deals are on track or have overdue tasks.

Enable Us Mutual Action Plan offering
Enable Us - Mutual Action Plan module

The increased transparency fosters trust between sellers and buyers, which in turn speeds up the overall process. 

3. Use Buyer Insights to Increase Deal Velocity

Keeping an eye on deal velocity is key as buyers become more reticent. Understanding buyer behavior and harnessing this in your sales process is a game-changer. 

A buyer-centric enablement platform captures key data points on content shared with buyers, such as what content is viewed, how long it is viewed, how often, and if the content was shared with other stakeholders. This allows sellers to make data-driven decisions about which content should be shared next, providing buyers with the right information at the right time to move them further along their purchase journey. 

For example, a rep may notice that their buyer watched multiple product demo videos, but hasn’t viewed the sales decks. Based on these insights, the rep can share more product-related videos or content to engage the buyer throughout the rest of their purchase process.

Organizations that use buyer behavior data tend to outperform peers by 85% in sales growth. Hence, getting real-time, actionable insights into buyer behavior will boost your sales efforts and speed up deal velocity. 

4. Develop Content that Resonates

Oftentimes, marketing (or product marketing) develops sales collateral without knowing if it is being used by sales or resonating with buyers. In addition to providing sales with insights into buyer behavior, the right sales enablement software provides actionable insights for marketing. 

There are two types of data most useful for marketing: seller and buyer. 

  • Seller Insights — In addition to basic usage stats, such as what content piece is being accessed, by whom, and how often, advanced data on search trends, views, and internal shares, help uncover gaps in your sales enablement strategy. For example, there have been multiple searches for “pricing” with no results. This signals to marketing that pricing collateral is needed to support late-stage deals.  
  • Buyer Insights — With data on content views, engagement (e.g minutes watched or pages read), and shares, marketers get insight into how content is resonating with buyers during the mid to late sales process. For example, marketing notices a trend that buyers tend to share an ROI calculator with their stakeholders, which then spurs additional questions to sales. Based on this insight, marketing develops an FAQ document that is paired with the ROI Calculator. 

By marrying seller and buyer insights, marketing can develop a sales enablement strategy that resonates with buyers while equipping sales with the right content to support the deal. 

5. Ensure Deal Continuity When There is Turnover

Since companies downsize or employees explore new opportunities during a recession, deals can experience hiccups. New buyer contacts enter the deal and need to be caught up to speed. Documents or emails have to be resent. Meetings are held to catch everyone up on the deal status and next steps. So, how do you recession-proof against potential buyer churn? 

A digital sales room (DSR) provides a single source of truth for all decision-makers no matter when they step into the deal. Sellers upload key resources to the DSR, along with a MAP to track the deal tasks and milestones. Instead of digging through emails, new stakeholders can quickly review the DSR and keep the deal going. DSRs provide a seamless transition, ensuring everyone is up to speed.

Discover the benefits of digital sales rooms and the ROI they can bring to your organization. Get your copy of our essential guide, How to Measure and Assess the ROI of Digital Sales Rooms: 7 Key Metrics to Monitor and Track Success.

Final Thoughts

While we experience an economic downturn almost every 10 years, there are steps we can take to recession-proof our sales and marketing efforts. The right buyer-centric enablement platform helps your sellers and marketers perform at their best so your organization gets through the recession stronger than ever. 

Enable Us can help recession-proof your sales and marketing efforts. Book a demo and see for yourself.

Plus! Explore key tips and strategies to recession-proof your sales and marketing programs in our latest Ebook.