COVID-19 Economic Impact on the Printing Industry
Among the recommendations in “Lead Your Sales Team Through Uncertain Times”:
- Don’t chase just any business. Cash is extraordinarily tight. Nevertheless, instead of increasing sales calls “rigorously drive your strategy through the sales organization. Make sure your sales team is going after your optimal target client, in terms of scope, budget, the value of your offerings, and other factors that define a successful client for your company … A bad prospect never makes for a good client, and under pressure, sales professionals can be loath to let go of any opportunity that reflects even a little interest.”
- Don’t increase reporting requirements. Focus on selling to optimal clients, not on completing spreadsheets and reports. “Maintain a strong dashboard of leading indicators that provide predictive measures of success at each stage of the sales process.” Examples include “new opportunities at each stage, the value of opportunities at each stage, and the volume of opportunities progressing from each stage to the next.”
- Don’t lose focus on the early stages of the pipeline. Sure, we need to close deals that are “close to cash.” But not at the expense of missing opportunities during the early stages of the sales process: “It’s here where you have the greatest potential for strengthening the business and minimizing the effects of a recession. During the early stages, additional needs are identified, and the scope of an opportunity can be expanded. It’s the front end of the sales process that allows you to create value and ultimately set yourself apart from the competition.”
In short, we can’t wait for another round of government stimulus. We have to act now. Go to hbr.org and downloaded the articles referenced. Pick one of the ideas they recommend and get started. You will also find a fourth article worth reading. Its title — “Don’t Let Uncertainty Paralyze You” — is among the best advice of all.
Andrew D. Paparozzi joined PRINTING United Alliance as Chief Economist in 2018. He analyzes and reports on economic, technological, social and demographic trends that will define the printing industry’s future. His most important responsibility, however, is being an observer of the industry by listening to the issues and concerns of company owners, executives and managers.
Previously, he worked 31 years at the National Association for Printing Leadership. He has also taught mathematics, statistics and economics at various colleges.
Andrew holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics f rom Boston College and a Master’s degree in economics — with concentrations in econometrics and public finance — from Columbia University.