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EG80: Selling software during an economic downturn

Written by Emanuel Martonca
on December 19, 2022

You might be thinking of 2023 and start panicking because of all the negative news about the economy, probable recession, layoffs in tech, inflation worries, the war, high energy and commodity prices, plus many other localized crises.

Or you might find yourself in the enviable position of not being affected by any of these. 

Not operationally. Not financially. Not mentally. Lucky you.

Regardless of your current state of mind, 2023 is shaping up to be a difficult year for most of us.

Now is not the time to be an optimist.

What you don’t control

If you are selling software services and are looking at ways to better prepare for 2023, there are a few things you can’t easily change:

  • Your team’s skills
  • Your portfolio of projects
  • The quality you deliver

These are all aspects that need months or even years to change in a meaningful way. Even if you know exactly what you would like to do and where you want to get to, it will take a long time to get there.

Which means it cannot help you in any way with the current prospects and in convincing potential new clients next week or in January.

What you can control

However, there are many other aspects of your work that you can influence in a meaningful way.

Many of these have a direct, significant impact on your proposals win percentage and the prices you can get.

You have 100% control over these.

How you prioritize your time. How much of it is spent with customers, for customers or wasted on other types of activities.

Your speed. How quickly your team answers to project enquiries. How fast you follow-up. How long it takes to send the project proposal.

What you say. Every single conversation with a potential customer is a blank slate. You can start from scratch if something didn’t work in the past. Or you can reuse stories and examples that worked. It’s up to you.

The documents you use. 

The difficulty of selling software services is that you send different documents to each new potential customer and cannot rely on a public pricing page, for example, like many SaaS companies do. 

The beauty of selling software services is that you send different documents to each new potential customer and you can personalize and adapt them so that you increase your chances of getting the project.

The way you calculate your rates and project budgets. 

The prices you ask. How you present, justify and defend them.


Now is not the time to be an optimist.

It is the time to be a doer.

Happy Holidays!

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