The Path to Profitable Sales in Turbulent Times
“To understand the future, we have to go back in time.” – Pitbull
In October 2008, four year’s after XANT’s inception, Dave Elkington faced a CEO’s worst nightmare.
He didn’t have the cash to meet payroll.
As the U.S. economy nosedived alongside the housing market, access to money quickly evaporated.
“Our line of credit was called in,” Elkington said. “One morning we looked at our bank account and all the funds were gone. We started giving hugs and saying our farewells, but our senior managers rallied. Some of our clients agreed to pay months in advance for our product and by December 2008, in the midst of the worst economy of our lifetimes, XANT started taking off.”
How is that possible? Why would companies pay in advance during a time of such economic uncertainty?
The rise of inside sales
The financial crisis forced a lot of companies to evaluate their sales and marketing expenses and make cutbacks.
With respect to sales in particular, that meant cutting back on more expensive traditional outside sales teams. Companies could no longer pay to fly their reps around the country and host fancy dinners and events.
But while they desperately needed to find efficiencies, they still couldn’t afford to miss their sales targets.
They had to figure out how to sell more with less.
This dramatic shift in thinking fueled the rapid rise of the inside sales model, which is a more efficient and effective way to sell.
Research done by infoUSA and Dr. James Oldroyd right after the 2008 crash showed inside sales as an industry grew 15 times faster than traditional sales.
What is inside sales?
The most sensible definition of inside sales is simple: inside sales is professional sales done remotely.
While traditional sales focuses on face-to-face selling, inside sales leverages telephony, video conferencing, email and other virtual sales technology to prospect and reach buyers.
Is history repeating itself?
The lessons of 2008 remain relevant today.
Once again, we’re facing tumultuous economic and socio-political conditions. In January and February 2016, a wide range of companies saw their valuations tumble as analysts called for a greater emphasis on profitable growth, forcing companies to rethink revenue models and restructure.
Just like in 2008, companies now find themselves slashing budgets and payrolls and asking their sales teams to do even more with less.
USA TODAY reported that while “2015 was about expansion, some companies are ushering in 2016 with cost-cutting and operational efficiency.”
Driving productivity with sales acceleration technology
How can you increase your sales team’s effectiveness and efficiency?
You need business process technology that:
- Eliminates time wasters, giving your reps more time to sell.
- Intelligently predicts the most profitable leads, accounts and opportunities to attack first.
- Prescribes the most effective sales activities at any given time.
- Delivers visibility into your sales activities and customer buying signals, so you can make better decisions in real time.
- Improves your forecast accuracy with advanced data science.
Early XANT customers understood the value of sales acceleration technology and were willing to pay in advance for it at a time when they were trying to dramatically reduce customer acquisition costs.
They knew it would help them fuel profitable growth even in a weak economy.
To learn how you, too, can sell more with less, download the free ebook below.