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Tip: Use the Early Weeks of January to Buff the Sales Process

January 06, 2016
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor


The December holidays are the time of year most people wind down for some relaxation, vacation or days off from work that must be used before they’re lost. While this is great for workers, the time it takes for most companies to “ramp up” after the holidays often puts a serious crimp in January sales figures for most companies. Workers, with their heads still in the holiday cloud, return to work with their enthusiasm meters set on level four. It often takes weeks to finish work that went undone during the holidays, and most companies aren’t ready with their budgets yet to start placing big orders.


For sales teams, this means the first few weeks of the year can be painful, according to John Ludwig writing for Business2Community. This may be particularly true in some industry sectors.

“If you specialize in B2B sales, the holiday season through December and leading into the first half of January are traditionally a tricky time,” wrote Ludwig. “These are the doldrums of many sales professionals. Leads put sales calls off until after Thanksgiving. Then Christmas sneaks in and you’re told ‘Let’s talk after the holidays.’”

“After the holidays,” unfortunately, can mean any time before the spring crocuses show up. But with some preplanning and some creativity, sales professionals can get their pipeline flowing again and use their time wisely to ensure that the post-holiday winter isn’t wasted. For starters, sales professionals should make sure they stay in touch with prospects, even if it’s just to wish them a happy holiday or remind them that 2016 is a year that old challenges should be tackled.

The quiet time early in the new year can also be used wisely for training sessions that get skipped during busier times of the year. Sharpen your sales enablement tools, teach the sales team new skills or refresh their project knowledge, and set new goals for finding leads, qualifying them and pursuing them. It’s also a great time to improve your qualifications as a sales person.

“This slow period is the perfect chance to get that certification you’ve been considering,” wrote Ludwig. “Expand your knowledge and tackle that MOOC you’ve been thinking of. Hit up Lynda.com and find sales training that will help you and your team. At the time of this writing, Lynda.com has 1,395 listings for business and/or sales-related classes and certifications.”

With some new skills, certifications or training, sales people are in a better position to improve their leads and their lead-sharing and qualification process, or shore up their sales tools. Is the sales database a mess? Could it use some maintenance to eliminate old or duplicate information? Do sales team members have the right collaboration tools to work as teams? Once the year truly takes off, it’s unlikely there will be time to do all these “housekeeping” chores. Use the quiet early weeks of January to improve the processes that will serve you the rest of the year. 

 



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