As we face tougher business and economic times, I see too many organizations implementing frenzied strategies of doing more–more prospecting, more outreaches, more activities, more deals. And along with that, more meetings discussing why things aren’t working and trying to figure out what more to do.
There are the endless management mantras focused on belt tightening, and “doing more with less.”
But these strategies are doomed to failure. First, we are probably executing this in the face of fewer resources. Perhaps we have fewer people to execute our strategies. Perhaps we’ve had to reduce programs, support, eliminate tools. So the things we needed to do in good times, we are now challenged to do more of those things with fewer resources in bad times. Insanity!
Even, if nothing has changed, we are asking our people to spread themselves more thinly. We spend less time on each thing, trying to do more of them. We fool ourselves, confusing our busyness and activity with creating results. Spending less time on more things always results in less.
All the time, but particularly in tough times, it’s critical to go deeper with our customers. They may be struggling to produce the results they are accountable for (they may be doing more with less). We can help them understand why they should change. They will struggle getting support for the change, justifying the investment when fewer funds may be available for change projects.
Without a doubt, selling in tough times is much more difficult. To be successful, we need to tighten our focus. Even narrowing our ICP, thinking, “What is our ICP when times are tough for our customers? Who is likely to have the biggest need? Who is likely to be compelled to change and do things differently?” In tough times, our ICP is smaller, as a result we have to win more from fewer prospects.
In tough times, our customers concern about whether they are doing the right thing is heightened. They can’t afford to make a mistake–both because of the risk to their organization and the personal risk. We have to work more closely helping them become confident in what they are doing.
In tough times, probably more people will be involved in the decision. The need for high collective confidence is critical. As a result, we have to work with more people, helping them align around the need and confidence to change is critical to both their and our success.
Every resource, in tough times, is critical–whether it’s the resources our prospect and customers invest or those we invest. We must optimize what each is doing. We must help our customers and our people do less, focusing on the most critical, and doing those things better.
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