Telemarketing Software Featured Article
Slow Summer Months Are Great for Sales Department Overhauls
Unless your sales organization sells air conditioners, sun products or pool loungers, chances are good that the summer months are slow for you. Family vacations are common, there are few trade shows, and product launches are usually held for the autumn.
The upside for many sales organization is that the months of July and August are good for the kind of “housekeeping” activities there simply isn’t time for during the busier months. A good sales manager should make use of these slow months to put the organization into tip-top shape for the rest of the year, according to a recent blog post by Acumen Management Group blogger Ken Thoreson.
“July works because it tends to be a slower month in most organizations, individuals take vacations and the summer weather makes thinking and planning better as your activity levels peak generating ‘fresh air’ and new thoughts,” he wrote.
Thoreson recommends that sales managers take the time to take stock, crunch some numbers (it helps to use a good analytics solution) and adjust some processes in order to meet the year’s goals. Some of the issues that could be best addressed during the summer months include.
A revaluation of where you are in your quota. Based on your sales plan, are you ahead or behind? Could some new hires pick up the pace?
A check on your sales enablement materials. Is the sales team using the resources you have? Which ones are heavily used, and which ones are ignored? Would it be worth it to sit down with marketing and create some new ones that will actually get used?
Try some remedial sales training. Summer is the perfect time to engage in training. Determine where your team’s weak spots are and fill them. If your team is comprised of inside sales personnel engaging in outbound calling or telemarketing, consider doing simulations, best- and worst-call scenarios and practice in overcoming objections to improve appointment setting and sales figures.
Check your incentive programs. Are the contests or incentive programs you built for the sales team working? Could they be improved?
CRM. We know customer relationship management solutions are vital to sales efforts, but they’re often underutilized by the sales team. Are your sales personnel adequately trained to use CRM and other solutions? Do they have the right features implemented? Are they using these solutions as collaboratively as you would wish?
Metrics. How are you monitoring and measuring sales? Does the formula for running the sales organization work? Have you tested new metrics to give you a better idea to pipeline velocity? What leading indicators are business drivers? Were your sales forecasts/commitments accurate? If not why not?
Thoreson notes that this checklist should be reviewed each month, but with a six month trend and measured results, the proactive sales leader can move the dials and alter the course if necessary. If you don’t have a great technology and process foundation built to effectively manage your sales team, now is the time to do it. It will make life easier the next time you get a chance to conduct an in-depth review.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi