Sales Coaching During an Economic Downturn

“You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.” – Gene Mauch

Four Critical Tasks for Sales Managers

1. Now, more than ever, sellers need to spend time on prospecting for new business. Sales managers need to set clear expectations with each seller about the need to do more prospecting. But, the manager needs to do more than just set expectations. A down economy is a great time to be more creative in your prospecting. Brainstorm with your sales team about the best products/markets/regions to target in your prospecting efforts.

2. Managers need to spend more time motivating the sales team. It is easy for sellers to get discouraged when customers are slowing down and reducing the frequency and quantity of their orders. Use positive feedback and reinforcement whenever possible. Celebrate a new piece of business. Congratulate a seller who retains a critical piece of business, because a business downturn is when you are most at risk of losing business.

3. Lead by example. Partner with your salespeople at current clients, especially key accounts. Now is the time to go on more joint sales calls, even if the purpose of the call is to simply thank a current customer for their business. Personally get involved in prospecting for new business. Spend some time each week calling or emailing new prospective customers. This will help to motivate the sellers, and shows them that you are willing and able to bring in new business yourself.

4. Influence other departments to get involved in the sales process. STAR has endorsed the concept of team selling for several years, but a down economy is a great time to communicate throughout your organization that everyone, not just the sales team, needs to work extra hard during difficult times. If every person at your company who interacts with current and new customers can do something extra to impress a customer, you will do a better job at customer retention than your competition.

by Bill McCormick

Sales Training And Results, Inc. (STAR) is a sales management training company, providing customized sales training workshops and one-on-one sales coaching and consulting. Visit our website at

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