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Do Your Sales Team Have the Necessary Skills to Succeed If the Going Gets Tougher?

By Dave Shannon on November 11, 2021
Est. Reading: 4 minutes

I’m not an economist, but I am concerned about the global signs of economic uncertainty.

Reading through the news lately, I feel a touch of ‘déjà vu’. There’s something not quite right with the current global economy boom; there are tell-tale signs of huge economic uncertainty - you just need to look more closely.

“What does this have to do with sales in Ireland though?”, I hear you ask.

Well sure, your sales force may be doing alright now (especially if you measure just the revenue), but are you sure your team have the necessary skillsets to win against your competitors when the pickings are slim? Like during a global downturn?

Looking at the ‘Big Picture’

If there is a global downturn, how will Ireland fare? As a very open economy, we’ll likely be one of the first to feel the impact - especially as we’re hugely dependent on large U.S. Multi-Nationals. The so-called ‘Butterfly Effect’.

Where are the tell-tale signs though?


Looking at the big picture, whether you’d like to admit it or not, the US is one of the biggest drivers for global economic growth across the board. And, as it stands, things are starting to look increasingly uneasy across the pond.

Trading Economics recently reported that the annual inflation rate in the US stands near the 13-year high of 5.3%. When also coupled with the fact that the US federal debt is currently around $28.5 trillion (more than four times what it was 20 years ago), taxes and interest rates in the US seem to be heading higher. In short, American B2B is about to feel the squeeze.


China is also a key player in the world’s economy, as shown by the recent ‘Evergrande effect’ on global markets. The failure of China’s second-biggest property company could have enormous effects on their economy - possibly even signalling the end of their building boom. This would then also bleed into global markets through a weakening in the Chinese imports market - as well as a slowing of demand for all sorts of raw materials across the board (with a subsequent knock-on effect to sales).


Back here at home, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe stated recently that there are signs of a “very strong rebound” in the Irish economy. This came with growth forecasts of over 5% for this year and 6% for 2022. The recent Irish Budget 2022 also seems to back this up with a strong “something for everybody in the audience” message.

To the casual observer, things look great at the moment: cheap money, investors making decent returns (even amateurs), and the ‘giveaway’ Budget. Behind the scenes though, problems in the global supply chain, a spike in energy prices, and the challenges related to Irish housing, are pointing to a slightly different story. The ESRI expect an increase in the inflation rate of 2.3% in 2021 and 2.5% in 2022. When inflation goes up though, prices do too.

These price increases, especially in oil, home heating, and electricity bills over the coming months, will likely put more pressure on individuals, families, and businesses across Ireland.

So, if this happens, do your sales team have the necessary skills to weather the storm?

I guess the more direct questions to business owners, company MDs, and sales leaders are these:

  • Do your team currently have the ability to sell value over price?
  • Can your team get their prospects past “nice-to-have” and create more urgency in the sale?
  • Are your reps differentiating themselves and you from your competition?
  • Are they talking to the actual decision makers?
  • Are they qualifying their opportunities well enough?
  • Is there enough new business activity taking place?
  • Will your reps close enough business? More importantly, do they have the skillsets in a more competitive environment to beat your competitors?
  • Is your sales process ready to support a consultative, value-based approach? Rather than a transactional approach?
  • Do your sales managers have the necessary skills to coach and motivate their team, hold them accountable to the right activities, and recruit sales superstars?

There are so many questions we need to ask. However, if the answer is no to some or all of above, and you need the right answers, maybe it’s time to start doing something about it…

The single most important thing you can do right now, is to have your sales team professionally evaluated to find out where those gaps are.

The Grow Sales Way

At Grow Sales, we can help you answer these 4 key questions:

  1. Can your Sales Team be more effective?
  2. How much more effective can they be?
  3. What will it take to achieve this?
  4. How long will it take to see results?

To cope with economic uncertainty, you need a more scientific approach to sales. You need data and insights. Sales training on its own doesn’t work. Research indicates that there is no long-term benefit to once off sales training because only 7-10% of the content is remembered after 90 days.

Many sales training companies assume everyone in the room is the same. At Grow Sales, we instead start by assuming everyone is different. We understand that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses - these can either support or hinder them in executing effectively in their primary roles.

If your sales team are not at the right level, and you want to know why, what to do, and need a roadmap, this is where Grow Sales can help.

To gain some insight into how Grow Sales can prepare your sales teams to be able to deal with any uncertainty – why not try our free trial today?

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