How to Scale B2B sales in a Downturn

How to scale B2B sales in a recession

29th December 2022

With the end of ‘free central bank money’. The impact of rising interest rates is causing a liquidity crunch.  In B2B, budgets have shrunk. CROs / revenue leaders are taking a more sustainable, less aggressive approach to sales.

I’ll cover how your business can adapt and change the way it approaches Scaling B2B Sales. Unlocking the potential for your business hidden in plain sight. Sharing sales tips on how to survive during a downturn.  

Activating your business relationships to drive new sources of revenue. Creating a sense of urgency among buyers and decision-makers through usable tools. Enabling sales teams with new lead-generation tools that build value and improve buy-in.

Partner Sales Channels

Client Referrals

Every client or prospect is in the market to make money, especially during a downturn. Creating client referral programs is a straightforward way to deepen relationships. If the client is happy, and you reward them for talking about you, everyone’s a winner.


Got suppliers with high-value networks? Say you work in marketing, but a supplier you use is in videography. Forming high-value partnerships can become an integral part of a sales plan.

Unique Data Sets, ABM & Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing

Use smart technology to better understand your leads, to understand key buying signals.  When communicating with high-value prospects via personalised ABM tactics (account-based marketing). For low-value specific cached responses that you can customise to each engagement.

Track Unusual Data Sets

What data sets could you track that no one else is tracking? What data sets could set you apart from the competition? Talk with teams about how to understand what data matters to customers and talk about it.

Job Change Data –    In times of upheaval or risk, people want one thing security.  If budgets are being cut, bonuses are being slashed, and the word ‘transition’, is being used. Talent will look to move; tracking job changes is a great way to open a conversation.

Clients and prospects change jobs every 36 months on average (it’s even higher in SaaS. Customer job changes present a hidden churn risk, you can turn this risk into an opportunity.

Craig Maxwell – Founder @ Salesbolt & Sales Difference Maker

Scraping Job Spec Data –   Job specs are rich in data, vendor information and topline strategies.

If a company is hiring their first MySQL developer;

They are likely to be building a tool or creating a new product.

This could be a good opening for many businesses to sell solutions to that might be in the market.

Product Marketing

Photo by Sam 🐷 on Unsplash

Fill ‘Top Of Funnel’ Using Programmatic SEO

Sometimes, salespeople need a little help from marketing.

Many top-performing businesses are implementing programmatic SEO to:

  • Unlock the value of key data sets
  • Create top-of-funnel leads
  • Dominate search in specific sectors
  • Create products that form ecosystems

Programmatic SEO builds website presence across thousands of sector keywords. Generating more leads at the top of your funnel and creating hundreds or even thousands of pages.

Programmatic SEO assets aim to provide value to decision-makers, budget-holders and influencers. It can also encourage market adoption by offering free tools to vendors.

An approach that’s less intrusive than more traditional sales channels. Once you’ve deployed several programmatic tools you can look to build an ecosystem,

Create Personalised Rep Experiences in Sales
Photo by Li Wordson at

Create Individual Rep Funnels & Personalised Experiences

Since the COVID pandemic began, sales reps have been feeling the pain. Opportunities to open green conversations take time to come by. Leads are less available; any time they have, they guard with care.  

But when engagements do happen, every touchpoint is precious. Building sales funnels that take the lead from the first call to the start of a trial is complex.

Ask yourself:

  • When to message prospects?
  • How often to message prospects?
  • When is the lead considered dead?

Take a look at our recent blog – ‘What is ABE – account based everything?‘ for more info

Use Chat

In 2019, everyone talked about chatbots as if they would change the business world. Of course, they haven’t, but if kept short, snappy, and to the point, they work a dream.

My recommendation is if they’ve clicked to engage with a chatbot, they’re ready to talk to a human.

Giant chatbot funnels are out, and lean/targeted chat funnels are in.

  • Core Chatflow
  • Create Shorter Specific Products / Service Chatflows

How to Scale B2B Sales in a Recession

Sales is now more complex. SDRs, limited by the channels they can access, have to work for each lead. While sales leaders now have better visibility on rep performance. 

Marketing, sales and product teams now must collaborate to meet revenue leader expectations.

In B2B. the lines between product marketing and growth marketing are now blurred. Resulting in better products and tools for customers’ more engaged leads. 

Nurturing relationships during times of hardship gives confidence and builds a support buffer to help you weather the oncoming storm.

Take a look at our b2b scale program or our sales enablement services if you’re interested in collaborating.

Alex Lawford The DIfference Group

Alex Lawford

With a strategic entrepreneurial mindset, I collaborate with founders to take their businesses from pre-revenue to £5m+. Unlock your difference across strategy, marketing and revenue operations. I look forward to collaborating.