This economy is tough for everyone but especially for salespeople.  Money is tight, companies are delaying decisions and jobs are on the line.  Yet, through it all sales must continue…and they do.

One, well, macabre thought through this time is that this economy is a tool that separates the order takers from the closers.  If you think about it, the salespeople who have rested on a strong territory, one large customer or golden leads are now having to face a prospecting situation.  For some this is a nightmare of slasher movie proportions.

I have seen a company’s perception of a “strong” salesperson change dramatically during similar economic times.  This downturn is no exception.  You may find that some of your strongest, most-skilled salespeople are not necessarily the ones at the very top of your revenue spreadsheet.

This is a good time to take an inventory of your current team and assess their strengths and weaknesses.  I would even go so far as to suggest assessments, but only if delivered in the right manner.  In this economy, assessments to salespeople spell trouble in their world.  If used correctly, they can provide the sales manager with a path for getting the most out of his or her team.

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