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Recession-Proof Growth: Strategies for Business Survival During a Recession


Get all your revenue teams on the same page
Get all your revenue teams on the same page
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Customer SuccessMarketing
Published 07/14/22
5 minutes read

Business Strategy During a Recession

We’ve seen a lot of handwringing about an impending downturn, and revenue teams across industries are starting to see the signs. Discretionary spending is being cut, headcount is frozen or even rightsized, pipeline is down, sales cycles are elongating, and a sharp increase in churn is on the horizon.

But all the predictions in the world won’t help you hit your revenue numbers. It’s time for some action. If you prepare your team now, you can still achieve growth regardless of the ups and downs.

Part 1: Do More With Less

Our first three business strategies for a recession focus on making the most of your existing resources—whether they’re stagnant or shrinking.

  • Prioritize tech that directly generates revenue.
    If you’re preparing for fewer resources down the road, make sure you’re being strategic. As you evaluate what to keep, prioritize technology directly tied to earning revenue. If you want to grow revenue despite the recession (and who doesn’t?), you’ll need solutions like Conversation Automation from Conversica to help you uncover and make the most of every opportunity.
  • Re-tool your workforce model to make the most of limited resources.
    We’ve all seen the spiral before—companies start slashing budgets and revenue teams lose resources. Opportunities get missed, and suddenly the team is underperforming, leading to missed revenue targets and another round of budget cuts. It’s a vicious cycle. To keep your revenue engine firing on all cylinders, at all times, you need to incorporate Artificial Intelligence into your workforce. Integrating a digital assistant into your Marketing, Sales, and CS teams now will exponentially increase the capacity of your existing workforce, create continuity regardless of turnover, and give employees more time to focus on strategic priorities.
  • Lighten the load for your employees.
    Burnout has been on the rise through the pandemic, and economic anxiety definitely isn’t going to help. You can’t hire a human assistant for every employee, but you can give them AI Assistants. Automating parts of your team’s workload like event follow-up, lead qualification, and QBR scheduling allows them to focus on meaningful work that adds to their job satisfaction without letting important tasks fall through the cracks.

Part 2: Improving the Experience

When the market is in flux, focus on optimizing the experience your contacts have with your brand to increase revenue—even if your team’s capacity is reduced.

  • Conversations are $$$, so don’t leave any on the table.
    Every missed conversation is a potential sale, expansion, or renewal falling through the cracks. Now is the time to make sure you have 100% coverage of your leads, prospects, and customers. With stress running high, teams overburdened, and potential reductions in headcount, you can’t rely on humans to touch every contact. AI-powered Conversation Automation engages all your leads and customers in two-way, humanlike dialog, so you can unearth revenue you would have otherwise missed.
  • Focus on top-tier customer experience to stand out—or be prepared to lose.
    When capacity’s an issue, it’s tempting to offload low-priority accounts to tech-touch engagement programs. But with budgets shrinking, you need to go the extra mile to attract, acquire, and grow all your prospects and customers. More than ever, winning and keeping customers requires you to make it clear you know them and their business. Companies see 3.7x the revenue opportunities when they upgrade from standard, one-way message automation to the hyper-personalized, back-and-forth conversations a digital assistant provides.
  • Keep the whole journey in mind.
    We all know a customer in the hand is worth 10 in the funnel (is that the saying?). Resources for your revenue teams should bring value to every point in the customer lifecycle to keep contacts moving seamlessly from each step to the next. You’re not only getting more bang for your buck with tools and technology built for your full funnel, you’re also building a more effective and efficient lead-to-advocacy journey.

Part 3: Retaining and Growing Customers

New customer acquisition is always more expensive than keeping and growing existing customers, but the difference becomes even more lopsided in a recession. Net retention is the new top dog in revenue KPIs—you gotta keep and grow your current accounts to have any hope of growing revenue overall.

Here are three ways to get in front of churn and expand contracts, downturn or no.

  • Customer onboarding has never been more important.
    You simply can’t afford to give your new customers a less-than-stellar experience on the other side of a sale. Invest in your customer onboarding program now to make sure every deal sticks or you could be looking at a steep cliff come renewal time—when the market might be in much worse shape. An AI Assistant can autonomously keep new users on track with the onboarding process and monitor their product adoption so your customers get the most value from your offering.
  • Don’t wait until renewal time to check in with your customers.
    Unexpected churn can really cut your growth efforts off at the knees. And when everyone is trying to rightsize their budgets, your product is really under a microscope. More than ever, you need to proactively connect with all your customers to keep tabs on usage, identify issues before they become problems, and maintain those all-important personal relationships. Conversica AI Assistants cover your entire customer base, delivering outstanding experiences and freeing your CSMs to focus on higher-level, strategic work. More conversations = greater retention and expansion, and a better overall customer experience.
  • Let your customers work for you.
    Customer advocates are some of your most effective salespeople, but developing those contacts and jumping on opportunities to gather testimonials and reviews can be time-consuming. By automating the process of reaching out to contacts with high NPS scores and developing them into effective advocates, you can essentially create a free marketing channel that speaks to leads and other existing customers alike. Digital assistants can handle the job of collecting feedback, picking out the top promoters, and requesting referrals and online reviews from your best accounts.

These 9 tips will help your revenue team set themselves up for success in a downturn. Now is your window of opportunity to set up your AI-powered growth workforce—before a downturn hits your business.

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