The summer months can be some of the most challenging for a sales manager, company president or business owner. It’s the balance of vacations, the temptation of outdoor fun, and family commitments from both the selling team as well as the buying teams.
An all-too-common mistake is abandoning process. Help each team member stay focused and not lose ground during the summer months. The teams who see summer as a slow-down period lose ground in Q3.
When trying to keep your sales team on task, remind them of what has been successful in the past and add some of these behaviors to keep things fresh:
- Manage the behaviors, not the outcomes. Set monthly goals for the sales team and have a plan for accomplishing them. Revisit weekly as a team or individually to check on progress. Read “The Tactical Approach to Achieving Your Vision.”
- Work on goal time, not clock time. Focus on accomplishing tasks rather than simply filling the hours of 8 to 5.
- Have your team connect with referral partners. Use the summer to build relationships with existing clients or contacts in your network that can refer you all year long. Offer to do the same for them.
- Have each salesperson work on their 30-second commercial. Make sure it tells a prospect exactly what you do and answers the important question of “Who is this person and how are they relevant to my business.”
- Run a “summer motivation” contest. Your team will stay motivated by some “friendly” competition with the incentive of a weekend getaway or a meal at a favorite restaurant.
- Celebrate “Wins” with a team field trip. Celebrating together lets salespeople bond and share unifying experiences. Take an afternoon off and go mini-golfing as a team or treat them to a long Friday lunch at a nice restaurant.
- Reward rejection. Track how many “no’s” each person gets in a week and let them know that you’ve noticed their hard work, even when it hasn’t resulted in sales. See #1 - Manage the behavior, not the outcomes. (If this is hard for you as a sales manager, call me ASAP- 203-264-1197).
- Provide access to additional knowledge and tools. Look for conferences in destination locations or local speaking events. Extra tools include sales tracking systems and sales training webinars. Sandler training offers many options for providing resources to sales teams including online solutions.
Use any or all of these 8 suggestions to keep the summer months from becoming the summer slump. Comment below on what ways you find that helps your team to stay on track for the rest of the year.