As temperatures warm up and employees start daydreaming about vacation, it's easy to lose focus on sales, resulting in low numbers for the quarter. To make matters worse, many of the decision makers are on vacation and the leads are drying up. Rather than chalk it up to a couple of months of lost productivity, you can use this time of year to your advantage by putting in the extra work while your competitors are snoozing.
However, in order to do this, you're going to need buy-in from your sales teams. Here's how to get it.
1. Be flexible with the goals
Everyone knows that you're not likely to hit the same numbers in July and August as you do the rest of the year, so scale it back just a bit. It doesn't have to be much, but showing the team that you recognize the difficulty of getting decision makers on the phone, booking meetings and closing deals in the summer months, it will go a long way in earning your employees' respect. Manageable summer goals will create sales teams that are more likely to stay on target, thus boosting confidence and momentum. Of course, many of your reps may still exceed their summer targets and this should be recognized accordingly.
2. Run more sales contests
Nothing boosts morale like a good sales contest. So, if you want your reps crushing quota all summer long, a great way to keep them driving forward is to run several sales contests on the most important activity drives (phone calls, meetings booked, offers sent, deals closed, etc). This will keep them focused on driving in activity on the most important KPIs while also bringing a little extra excitement into the office.
If you're looking for some ideas, check out our sales library for a free download on how to run 5 Amazing Summer Sales Contests. In addition, you can check out this blog on 12 Summer Prize Ideas for Sales Reps if you're looking for some brilliant, hilarious, and fun ways to spark new life into your sales teams this summer.
3. Up the summer advertising and marketing
If leads generally tend to drop during the summer, perhaps it's time to fish with dynamite? Double your ad spend and have your marketing team get creative. Those bored souls who are still in the offices daydreaming about vacation may be more likely to click on your links and follow through with meetings. If your ad spend remains the same throughout summer and you don't come up with new special promotions, offers and downloads, then of course your inbound will suffer while everyone is away on holiday.
However, if you can get your sales and marketing team to brainstorm together on a plan to release more creatives, visually stimulating ads, summer themed downloads and videos, then you can benefit greatly from this season. Last year, we released several new summer-themed blogs, a download on running Summer Sales Contests, and a variety of videos and ads. As a result of working extra hard, we managed to pull in a record number of leads over the summer.
4. Support remote work
Flexibility is a huge reason that many salespeople choose the profession. So, if your salespeople are hitting their numbers, consider letting them work from home one day per week. This will show them that you care about them, you're invested in their happiness and you trust them. Trust and flexibility go a loooooooong way in employee satisfaction and performance. According to Stanford University researchers, working remotely can help increase productivity and reduce costs.
Plus, if you use a sales management platform like SalesScreen, then you can get all of the sales activity updates in real-time on TVs, web, and mobile app anyways… so you'll have a very good understanding of how much your reps are completing regardless of where they are working from. So, why not give it a shot? SalesScreen tracks all of your company data in real-time, making remote work a breeze.
5. Use this opportunity to coach
If summer slows down the leads and if most of your decision makers are away on vacation, then why not use this opportunity to conduct some mid-year performance reviews and coaching? It's the perfect time of year to look at data, analytics, metrics and trends over the first half of the year and use those to make assessments on what's working, what's not, and how you'd like to steer the ship for the next half of the year.
Coaching is, of course, perhaps the single most effective way to increase productivity and performance. So, be sure you're doing it right. Here are some important things to cover during summer coaching sessions:
- Review demo films, phone calls and customer surveys.
- Spend time with your reps in the field to understand their perspective.
- Build an individualized growth plan for each rep by sitting down, getting to know them, and learning their inner goals.
- Make time for professional development and education through courses, seminars, etc.
- Understand each person's individual talents and strengths.
- Listen more, to understand their view of the product and its main benefits. How are they approaching customer conversations based on personal beliefs?
- Focus on the most important things: Activity level, close ratio, and average deal size.
- Set clear goals, expectations, resources available and state that you are always available for more follow-up questions or anything else they need.
- Ensure continuity: Measure progress constantly and discuss performance weekly.