While there might be a myriad of reasons which can contribute to a sales team experiencing slow business from seasonality, holidays, and even disruption and consumer trends. When the right tools and right strategy is used, sales can and will increase.
Consumer trends change based on generational attitudes, economic prosperity, current events, and more. Consumer trends may affect a single product or a whole industry. For example, there has suddenly been a spike in households purchasing efficient cooking tools such as gas stoves, solar heaters, and people purchasing water to drink.
Legal or legislative changes
Legal or legislative changes can force a business to shut down, change its entire operational model, or adjust the type or velocity of marketing that it does. New requirements for new houses being built to have a solar geyser are a clear example of going green, however, companies that manufacture electric geysers are also overnight expected to manage the shift in legislation to remain relevant.
Some of these factors can be weathered through, and some require more inventive solutions. If you can predict the periods of slow business, you can prepare accordingly. However, even if you can’t predict when you’ll experience slow business, you can use the list below to help scale your sales process.
- Analyse your CRM
During periods of slow business, you can analyse the contacts in your Customer Relationship Management System and examine the performance of your sales team.
For example, your sales teams can ensure their contact details are filled out. Do they have the company size, location, and vertical of all their prospects or clients? These details are important for closing deals.
As a sales manager, you can use data in your CRM to see how your team is performing. How long is the typical sales cycle for your representatives? How often do they close-win deals versus close-lose?
To help you monitor your team’s performance, you can create a dashboard and keep track of metrics including:
- Activity Sales Metrics
- Pipeline Sales Metrics
- Lead Generation Sales Metrics
- Sales Outreach Metrics
- Sales Process, Tool, and Training Adoption Metrics
These analytics will enable you to make decisions for your team. Furthermore will allow you to create reports and dashboards for your team’s performance.
- Gather new leads
As a sales manager, you’ll want to work with your marketing team to generate leads. The sales and marketing teams should work together to make sure you are top of mind with your audience.
Your marketing and sales teams need to be in tight alignment because your buyer needs to be communicated with, and sold to, wherever and whenever they want. To truly delight your customers, you must reduce friction by implementing a strategy to align your sales and marketing teams.
Other than working with your marketing team to document gaps in the buyer’s journey and create a buyer persona together, your sales reps can work on their prospecting skills. While prospecting most likely isn’t a sales rep’s favourite task, it is one of the most important. Your reps can send warm emails, use social media to build a relationship with prospects, and conduct research on potential buyers.
- Refine systems and processes
To sell successfully, your sales team should have a refined system and a process in place. How does your sales team keep track of their prospects? How do they monitor the deals in their pipeline?
During slow periods, you can take a step back and analyse your sales systems and processes. Putting into consideration what is and isn’t working for your reps and prospects and ability to tailor your new process to better fit customer needs, so more deals are closed and more customers are delighted.
You can analyse your sales process by observing your reps. Ask yourself questions like, “What do their deals look like from beginning to end?” or “How much time elapsed between each step?” Once you’ve looked at the process, consider what moves prospects from one stage to the next. With a complete understanding of your sales system, you can analyse what’s working and what isn’t.
- Strategise for the future
To prepare for the future, you need to create a sales plan. If you don’t already have one, your sales plan should lay out specific sales strategies for your team including objectives, tactics, target audience, and potential obstacles.
For instance, you might consider sales methods your team can use to close more deals. How will your team qualify leads? How does your product compare with competitors? Answer these questions and develop sales tactics and team structure that will set your sales team up for success.
When business is slow, it’s a good time to take a look at your sales strategies to plan deliberate growth.
Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Expert and Influencer. He writes in his capacity. Comments and views: [email protected]: follow us on twitter:Robert_Gonye. The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions and are not guaranteed to work in any particular way.