Some industries are more suited to a steady stream of sales than others. While some businesses are seasonal, others are evergreen. Those that cannot rely on a constant flow of customers 12 months of the year are forced to get creative when figuring out how to hit sales goals when customer numbers change.
Changing how we work
The problem is; the standardised way we work out how to set sales targets and quotas can cease to be fit for purpose from month to month. Compare December to January, for example. One is slow due to holiday festivities while another represents a new year and new goals. Yet they are only a month apart. Previous targets and KPIs may be unrealistic, if not completely unachievable, so penalising our salesforce is never the answer.
We may not be able to control the shifting sands of time, but we can influence buying habits through marketing, and we can control what we do as a business. It’s important to keep in mind that this is the industry we choose, and such seasonal occurrences should always have been factored into our strategy.
What businesses can do
Every industry needs to prepare for a ‘sales boom’ as well as potentially quieter times. People go through boom and bust as well as businesses, and those living frugally are going to be keen to make up for the lost time when they can. We need to be ready when they do!
One method is to refocus on our salesforce. This is a great opportunity to provide training. Feedback and coaching are essential aspects of performance sales management. Do you do this enough? Your salesforce is the lifeblood of your business, so take this time to sharpen their skills and knowledge of your industry. Up-skill where you can and dig into each sales person’s strengths and limitations.
Finally, always maintain consistent but sensible levels of marketing. While it’s tempting to cut budgets during off-peak times, this risks becoming irrelevant. Customers need to know we still exist. They need to miss you, to know that you’re still open for business. Be seen and continue your marketing efforts as usual, particularly around your social channels. If you don’t, your competitors will, and they’ll also reap the rewards.
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