My first month with a sales quota was September 2008 — not the best month for a 21-year-old to start his career by cold calling strangers and convincing them to buy a $10,000 piece of software. The economy was in free fall, companies were slashing workforces nationwide and all budgets were frozen.
Against all odds, I ended up doing well. Well enough to be the best salesperson globally (out of nearly 1,000) and breaking the 10-year record for most sales in a single year. How? After working on the first Obama presidential campaign from 2006-2008, I had a fresh perspective on how to sell. One that works regardless of whether we’re in a bear or bull market.
There’s tremendous opportunity in a recession for growing revenue. But first, you have to fundamentally change the way you approach sales.
In a downturn, money saved is worth even more than money earned.
Here are some quick tips for founders and salespeople to help keep SAAS revenue growing during these tougher times.
Adapt your sales pitch to the current market
When capital is cheap, growth is the primary metric all executives and investors target. For the last decade, capital has literally never been cheaper.
All that has changed, though. Today, companies are unable to spend more than they make. That means that your old sales pitch of “We can help you grow faster than ever!” must change, too. The new message that will resonate is, “Let’s get more out of your existing resources!”