of the organisations are facing imminent
recession. Rising interest rates have put
pressure on individual consumers forcing
them to delay the buying decision. For organisations
recession means, that they don't have sufficient
quality enquiries OR Enquiry to order cycle
is getting longer,OR Orders in hand don't'
get billed/invoiced within reasonable time
as they were earlier,OR Payments get delayed
for already billed goods/services OR could
be that recently installed product / service
capacity is not fully utilised.
a head of Sales - Marketing, here are four
sales-marketing strategies you could deploy
to survive this difficult period & come
out stronger than ever. As most of the front-end
sales-marketing personnel have not experienced
recession, it is important that the seniors
& 'C' level management need to explain
& deploy these strategies.
Know more about customers' business processes.
Its time to reinvest in customer research.
You need to know more than ever, how customers
are redefining value & responding to
the recession. Customers will take more
time searching for value and will negotiate
harder than ever. They are going to postpone
purchases &/ or buy less. The must-have
product features of yesterday will become
today's luxuries. Identify customers' business
processes & his pain areas where you
can offer your experience & capability.
Help him to outsource non-core activities.
Make smarter decisions on marketing spend.
This is not the time to cut advertising
or exhibitions. Instead, make smart spending
(investment) on these important publicity
activities. E.g. Spend more on in-house
seminars & demonstrations, targeting
potential buyers. Conduct customised presentations
/ private exhibitions specific to the customer
segment rather than having a template approach.
Many sales professionals have experienced,
at exhibitions your absence is felt more
than your presence. Hence, invest in promotional
activities which are more focused &
give better results. Similarly, identify
Review product mix.
Look at your product mix, scope of supply,
bill of material, of the product range you
have been offering. Tough market conditions
will demand multipurpose products over specialised
products. May be you can think of offering
up-gradation /refurbishment of present installations.
Industrial customers would like to see products
and services unbundled and priced separately.
Gimmicks are out; reliability, durability,
safety and performance are in. Look at your
customer population & look afresh at
that neglected after sales business opportunity.
With smart internal focus (& may be
restructuring), I am sure you can substantially
improve the after sales business share of
your total business.
Relook at the total cost of ownership.
Your customers are facing price & performance
pressure from their customers. Think of
different ways you can price your product
/ service. Customers may prefer to pay for
performance instead of owning your product.
Why not offer on rentals, or as in software
industry, SaaS (software as a Service),
BOO (Build-Own-Operate & charge for
results) etc. Offer to own the asset in
variable costs rather fixed cost.