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Surviving 2024: Doing more with less

Have you read the news lately? Recession, war, and crisis after crisis. Pretty depressing headlines. It’s time to start doing more with less. That’s why Oneflow and Cloudity opened the doors to the Surviving 2024 Summit – an event filled with insights from business experts on surviving and thriving in a recession.

The venue was packed with curious people when the one-day summit Surviving 2024, took place in Stockholm. And they were all dying to know the answer to the million-dollar question: how do you survive and thrive in a recession? After listening to interesting talks and panel discussions with sales, finance, and leadership experts, they could hopefully leave feeling inspired and optimistic. At least that’s what we did!

We’ve gathered the key takeaways for you. Starting with Sales.

Doing more with less in sales

Doing more with less

It’s time to get creative with what we have. Christopher Engman and Danijela Hagblom from Megadeals gave their best tips on how sales can do more with less.

Stakeholder map

According to Christopher, the most common mistake, especially from junior and medium senior salespeople, is that they underestimate how many stakeholders they need to engage. That’s why it’s important to identify all the stakeholders of the customer you’re approaching. Otherwise, there’s a risk that you won’t get the sign even in the final meeting when it should be a done deal.

Stakeholder mapping is a great way to know which people you should engage from the beginning. And so that you can adjust your pitch accordingly to not end up in an endless loop of being redirected back and forth. Stakeholder mapping will make sure the right message reaches all the way to the top of the decision-makers.

The rainmaker dependency

This is one of the biggest bottlenecks for growth. But what does it mean? If you have a rainmaker dependency, you’re dependent on only a few of your salespeople (the rainmakers) to close the really big deals, and it can be identified when:

  • Decisions need to be anchored cross-functionally
  • Decisions need to be anchored cross hierarchy
  • What you are selling is complex
  • The environment on the customer side is a blend of processes, KPIs, and interfacing technologies

This is not something hiring more sales reps can solve. So how do you get rid of this enemy for growth? Christopher explains how in three steps:

  1. Take away all unnecessary tasks from the rainmakers
  2. Scale the rainmakers with short and long videos and marketing coverage for the specific top-priority accounts
  3. Train the marketing and sales teams on a mutual commercial go-to-market model

How marketing can help salespeople perform better

This is one of the biggest bottlenecks for growth. But what does it mean? If you have a rainmaker dependency, you’re dependent on only a few of your salespeople (the rainmakers) to close the really big deals, and it can be identified when:

There’s a trick salespeople can steal from the media. And it’s called the Hollywood effect.

Imagine you hear a heart-ripping story about a divorce between two people you’ve never met. You probably wouldn’t care in the same way as if they had been a friend, brother, or colleague.

Now imagine if the story had been about a celebrity. You have never met them and probably never will, but you would still care. Thanks to media exposure, your brain is tricked into something called the familiarity principle. You subconsciously believe you know them, and that’s why you pay attention and care about them. It’s the same in business.

If you use media in an efficient way, you can create this Hollywood effect around your rainmakers. This will open the doors to important stakeholders and decision-makers much easier. You can do this using paid media and organic media.

Paid media in sales

Christopher brought up an example of how you can use paid media to create the Hollywood effect around the rainmakers. If you’re able to target the stakeholders in the company you’re approaching with customized content and messaging, you won’t have to spend a second on outreach. They will eventually approach you. 

And by the time you get to your meeting, they will already know your name, and all stakeholders will be present. Because they already “know” you. By now, you’ve practically signed with them.

Organic media in sales

When resources are tighter, you need to focus more on organic spread. And more precisely, on enterprise social selling. According to Danijela, recent statistics from LinkedIn show that 78 percent of businesses that use social selling outperform those that don’t. But still, not enough salespeople leverages the possibilities with social selling.

One reason for this could be the mental barriers of creating a post on a blank page. But luckily, there’s an easy fix. With AI tools, Taplio for example, you can generate ideas for posts in seconds. Using a tool like this will give you the foundation of your post, which you then can tweak and add your personal touch to.

You can even create lists of people important for signing a deal and use AI to engage with them on LinkedIn, another important factor in social selling.

Read also: 10 Best AI writing tools in 2024

To sum it up

Doing more with less is at the top of the agenda for salespeople these days. Here are three points you should consider:

  • Create a stakeholder map to know exactly who you need to engage and how to adapt your pitch 
  • Explore if you have rainmaker dependency in your organization. If so, take away all unnecessary tasks from the rainmakers, scale them with content and marketing coverage, and train the marketing and sales teams on a mutual commercial go-to-market model
  • Be creative with organic media. Focus on social selling and use AI to generate ideas and engage with your audience

Learn How to be a recession-beating salesperson!

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