Published on July 22nd, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
7 Tips To Avoid The Dreaded Summer Sales Slump
Since we were children, we have been programmed that summer means time off. The quandary for CEO’s in the sales industry is that this often leads to the dreaded summer sales slump.
As we head into the second half of summer, many senior executives nationwide may be paying the price for lenient policies such as Summer Friday’s in the form of decreased productivity. Couple this with the fact that many customers are on vacation and thus not available to take sales calls or emails, profits might be dwindling. What is the solution?
Eliot Burdett, CEO of Peak Sales Recruiting, a leading B2B sales recruiting company, and author of Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Peforming Sales People, Fast, identifies 7 tips for senior executives to avoid the dreaded summer sales slump.
1) DO NOT CONCEDE, SET THE TONE: It is not written in stone that summer is a time for decreased sales. In fact, many companies do very well during the summer. Company leaders must set the tone and convey that success is expected and motivate reps for the best sales period of their careers.
2) CONDUCT A SUMMER SALES CONTEST: Run a contest through Labor Day that rewards the top sales rep. Perhaps they can earn an extra week off or a monetary bonus that will kick in to help them plan their winter vacation. Create a range of rewards and give the big prize going to the rep that made the most money but include smaller prizes for accomplishments such as acquiring a new prospect. This will engage the entire sales force.
3) NETWORK IN NICE WEATHER: The last thing anyone wants to do is brave the snow and 10 degree weather to go network. Summer is the ideal time to identify industry events and have sales reps attend to increase their circle of contacts and learn industry trends. Many events are held at vacation destinations and this is another opportunity to encourage them to take an extra day or two to relax following the conference to recharge their batteries.
4) ENCOURAGE VACATIONS: Vacations lead to increased sales productivity. Employees return rejuvenated and with the cost of vacations these days, they likely have a new appreciation for the need to make more money. By encouraging time off you will not only see increased profits, but will engender good will from the staff which will have a positive long term effect on company morale.
5) RECONNECT WITH FORMER CLIENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Summer is an ideal time to reach out to former clients and see how they are doing. Go on social media to avoid those posting beach pictures with their family, and reach out to those hard at work to schedule a lunch. It could be time to re-engage with them directly or get some referrals.
6) IMPLEMENT NEW SALES TOOLS: Giving sales reps the tools they need to be successful is half the battle. Take this time to offer education and to implement new tools. Especially given the speed at which technology is changing the industry, use this period to make sure your sales department is state-of-the-art. Once the troops know they have the right tools they will feel confident and ready for battle.
7) USE “DOWN” TIME FOR LONG TERM PLANNING: In the event prospecting is impossible, don’t throw in the towel. Use this slower period to plan the next six months. Encourage the head of the sales department, and each individual sales rep, to map out their goals and path to success for the remainder of the year. By investing in long term planning the results will roll in come the fall and winter.