I have come across many articles recently that promote selling tips in this recession.  One common thread runs through all of them – chase smaller deals.  Here is an example from Inc.com – 5 Tips for Selling a Service Now:

“The big change for us in 2009 is that we are more flexible on minimum amount of an engagement that we’ll pursue,” says Gay Gaddis, the founder and CEO of T3, an Austin-based advertising and marketing agency that specializes in digital media. In years past, her firm only went after client engagements that were worth between $1.5 million and $2 million. Now, “some larger clients are breaking RFPs into smaller amounts,” Gaddis says, prompting T3 to pursue accounts in the $500,000-to-$1 million range. The company, which had $300 million in capitalized billings in 2008, is still selective, however: “We won’t take just any piece of business,” Gaddis says. “We really want to work with large and midsize companies that are making digital marketing really central to what they do.”

As a sales manager, this approach is counter-intuitive during booming economic times.  I could launch on RFP-based selling (really is quote writing), but I will refrain for the purpose of this post.

Right now we are seeing most companies pursue smaller deals as a means to survive the present economy.  It is a wise pursuit in that it will help keep people working, some cash flowing and new business developing.

However, the caveat in the pull quote is this – don’t pursue every piece of business.  Some deals, no matter how desperate, are not worth pursuing.  Many salespeople will chase a bad deal in a recession for the simple purpose of looking busy.  Forecasts are the means for monitoring effort and focus.  Each prospect should be discussed in detail to ensure that the salespeople are targeting the proper small deals.

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