Does your company experience a drop in sales when summer arrives? If so, you're not alone. The out of office time between both your employees and your prospects makes it difficult to fully connect in a timely manner and close new deals, particularly in B2B sales. Here's how you can address this slump to ensure that your sales team either makes the most, or gets the most, from the downtime.
Change Your Expectations
There are a couple ways you can change the direction of your summer sales -- and it has to do with expectations. If you're like LinkedIn, you can issue a Summer Sales Guide that directs people to the best sales reading material to pass the time (in an educational way) throughout the slow summer months. Or, if you're like Lori Richardson, founder of Score More Sales, you can change your mindset about the summer months. Instead of expecting less and slowing down, commit to growing your sales.
If you do commit to growing your sales, consider offering a special summer bonus for sales reps that meet a certain quota for the summer months or bring in the most summer sales. This will add in that extra bit of motivation to help turn your summer sales slump trend around.
Offer Up Some Summer Sales
Because so many other companies expect summer to be a slow time, offering some summer sales is a great way to catch the attention of those customers and prospects without a lot of competition. Social media can play a big role in this strategy, as you'll be able to find out which customers and prospects are still working hard instead of vacationing based on their activity. Skip those who are tweeting beach pictures and go for those who are asking questions on LinkedIn.
Spend Time Prospecting
Venture Accelerator Partners suggest using the summer months as a time for prospecting. One great tip they offer is to use out of the office notifications to plan future connection opportunities with your ideal prospects. Your sales reps can set it in their calendars to contact prospects a few days after they are set to return. This gives prospects time to settle back in and clean out their inboxes -- making them ready for your sales rep to make contact.
Get Some Field Sales Experience
Summer is a great time for networking events and conferences. Find out which ones are happening in your industry and send your sales reps out into the field to get face time with potential customers. Make the option extra appealing by choosing events in popular vacation areas and allow them an extra day or two to soak up the sun.
Review Your Tools and Strategies
Summer can also be a great time to have your sales department review the sales tools and strategies your company uses. If anything is lacking, use the summer months to try new tools and develop new strategies so your sales reps can make a stronger impact once prospects are back from their summertime activities.
Ultimately, the summer is not a loss if you figure out how to use the time in the right way. If increasing your sales isn't an option, education, prospecting, and refining the company's sales prospects can lead to a profitable autumn.
Originally published Jul 11, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017