With a potential recession lurking, businesses everywhere are looking to minimize any potential negative effects of an economic downturn. That includes sales strategy, which can be volatile when potential clients are more hesitant to spend their money on new products or services.

Fortunately, even in the worst-case scenario, there are steps your business can take to survive, and even thrive, during a recession. Even better, some of the steps to recession-proof your sales strategy will long term positively impact your business and sales pipeline regardless of the economic times.

So, let’s dive in. These five steps can help to recession-proof your sales strategy, ensuring that even in times when wallets are tight, your lead generation and sales pipeline will continue to thrive.

1. Leverage your existing customers

When revenue threatens to dry up, your most reliable revenue streams become your most important. That means focusing more intently on your current customer base who have already proven they believe in the value of your product or services.

Try leveraging social proof to recruit new clients using the voices of your existing customers. Collecting reviews, testimonials, and case studies can all help your product or service stand apart from the competition at a time when fewer people are willing to buy.

Alternatively, is there another offer that your current customers could be interested in during this time? Selling to someone that has already bought from you is significantly easier, so think about what other product or service your current customers could find beneficial.

2. Focus more on nurturing your sales funnel

Just like for existing customers, it pays to prioritize the prospects already in your sales pipeline. After all, increasing your prospect-to-customer conversion rate even by 1% can be significantly more impactful than increasing your total prospect pool by the same number.

That might mean more personalized outreach from sales reps or more targeted drip campaigns toward current prospects. Either way, lead nurturing is a vital part of the sales strategy.

3. Review your pricing models

One big consequence of a recession is that your buyers’ budgets tend to get tighter. That means a product that was previously appropriately priced may no longer be affordable for a company, regardless of how useful its features and benefits are.

Now is the time to review your pricing structure. Make sure you are still pricing competitively and that your target audience agrees. From a sales perspective, even if you cannot fundamentally change your prices, consider where you may be able to add more value to the product or service to offer certain features your ideal customer needs most and increase the value of the product instead of decreasing the price.

4. Turn to data-driven insights

As the economic situation changes both around and inside your company, every decision should be backed up by data. Simply operating on hunches is a luxury that may be affordable during a high-growth phase, but likely won’t work well once those budgets tighten and priorities shift.

Everyone on the sales team should be involved in gathering and analyzing the right data for decision-making. That ranges from the methods of prospecting (call vs text vs email vs webinar etc) to the types of pitches and how much time and touches each prospect receives before you move on. At its best, data should inform both daily sales calls and strategic decision-making.

5. Put the right tools in place to widen your prospecting search

In the wake of cost-cutting, putting the right tools in place now can help to ensure that in the event of a recession, your operation is well-prepared to make any necessary adjustments. For example, the right sales prospecting tool can help widen your prospecting search to potential customers you may not have previously considered. More than any other time, solid sales prospects are crucial during a recession, and having that pipeline already in place before it hits is the best decision you can make for your business.

That’s where BizLeads enters the equation. As a cloud-based prospecting tool specifically built for the B2B market, it offers easy access to more than 30 million companies and 90 million business professionals across the U.S. BizLeads first-party reported data can empower businesses to save time and money as they look to build a more successful prospecting pipeline for their sales process.