Beat the heat: How to hedge against the summer sales slump
When summer rolls around and it’s hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch, you’re going to wish you’d done some extra legwork to hedge against that inevitable summer sales slump. Lucky for you, we’ve come to the rescue with some tactics you can employ now to beat the heat and set yourself up for a successful summer.
Sun’s out, funnel’s...run out. This should go without saying but spring is critical funnel-building time. Once June hits, people aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to open sales dialogues with a rep they don’t even know when it’s 105° outside, no one is in the office, and they wish they hadn’t used their last week of vacation in April. So, it’s time to unleash a massive sales blitz while the tulips are just starting to pop up.
Tighten up your partnerships. Spring is a great time to revisit your partnerships. Reflect on how they’ve evolved and have an open dialogue with your partners as to how you can support each other during the coming summer.
Experiment with alternative lead sources. It’s easy to fall into the rut of doing things the same way you’ve always done them when a busy Q1 bleeds over into Q2. But spring is the time to start adding new lead sources to your funnel. The goal is to branch out with fresh sources for new business so that if one (or more) of your tried-and-true lead generation avenues runs dry, you’ll still have other skewers on the grill to keep you going through the summer. Have you tried outbound campaigns? PPC ads? Social selling? Now’s the time to diversify. A word of caution: be sensitive to the seasonality of trying new lead sources during this time of the year – experimenting with a new lead source in the spring means that summertime is when you’ll do the first round of analysis on the success of that new channel, and as we know, summer can be a much slower season for new business, so be careful about writing something off too soon.
Seize the opportunity for seasonal messaging. Use summer to your advantage as a point of urgency in your outreach messaging. Think about how you can motivate a prospect to start a sales discussion or even book a deal BEFORE summer so that you can frontload your pipeline with some closed-wons before summer, to help cushion the inevitable slowdown. Experiment with messaging that convinces the prospect of how doing a deal now means one less thing to worry about over the summer.
Plan a summer roadshow. Not every prospect or client will be on vacation at the exact same time, but everyone leans toward a slower pace during the summer. That means that summer is the perfect time for a roadshow of client and prospect visits because these folks are likely to be less tied up with meetings and projects when they ARE in the office over the summer. The key is to schedule these visits in advance, around your clients and prospects’ vacations. Chances are good that they’ll be happy to meet and get out of the quiet office.
Plan for persistence. It can be tempting to let your foot off of the gas when it seems that all of your colleagues, prospects (and maybe even yourself, who are we kidding?) are on vacation...that’s what many salespeople do, whether consciously or subconsciously. Take advantage of this and go extra hard while the competition is sunbathing and it’s easier to cut through the noise. Set a summer calendar for yourself, with each week (or day, if you’re a killer) has a new initiative or task designed to create movement in your funnel. That way, you’re hedging against your own summer slump and enforcing some accountability for yourself.
Speaking of hedging, summer is also the perfect time to revisit your proposal process. With a little extra time on your hands make sure your proposals are up to snuff to win you those early spring deals. Download our proposal eBook to learn more.