Ah, summertime. This season brings warm weather...and a new set of challenges for sales leaders. Between vacation schedules and sales slow down, driving productivity during summer is not easy.
As your competitors take the foot off the accelerator, however, this is a great time for your salespeople to uncover new opportunities. You can help your team stay productive and get ahead of the competition in three practical ways:
1. Leverage connectors to drive new leads
As most organizations experience a slow down, prospects are likely more receptive to reach outs right now. Support your team in creating a plan to work their prospect lists and hold them accountable to specific goals, such as number of reach outs per week.
If your salespeople need to research new prospects, try this activity: Have them devise a list of up to 100 people in their network, including clients, friends and family. Then, ask them reduce their list to ten people who are true 'connectors'. These are people who have a large network of acquaintances, and they would be willing to make an introduction. From there, your salespeople can ask for referrals, which is always more impactful than a cold reach out.
2. Have strategic review conversations
As sales leaders and salespeople, we are often in action mode and looking for the next opportunity, so this tip is about reflection. Take a look at the most important accounts at your organization, and review them with your salespeople.
In your review conversations, ask targeted questions that uncover areas of opportunities. They can share 'green flags' of what’s working, and 'red flags' of key areas where they can better address their clients' challenges. You may be surprised at what this reflection can do to help create new opportunities.
3. Prospect as a team
As we all know, staying motivated to send emails and make calls is tough. Our third productivity tip is team prospecting. Instead of viewing prospecting as an individual activity, turn it into a team sport.
Gather your sales team once a week over the summer months, and block two to three hours when their only focus is reaching out to prospects. Ask each salesperson to set clear activity goals for that time. Here, you can leverage marketing collateral and message templates to make reach outs easier. And try out a few prospecting tips that have worked for our own team at DoubleDigit Sales.
While sales usually slow down for many organizations in the summer, you can still enable your team to stay motivated and productive. These are practical ways that help uncover opportunities for when business picks up again. When you and your salespeople leverage connectors, have strategic conversations, and prospect as a team, you will see the difference.