The end of the year is approaching but many businesses have yet to meet their end-of-year revenue goals. If you’re like many business owners or sales leaders, you may be sweating. Sales tend to slow down in the summer for many businesses and the impact lasts well into the last quarter, and with the holidays fast approaching, that doesn’t leave much time to make an impact.
If you’re suffering from a sales slump, check out these sales and marketing tips to jump-start your efforts to ensure you hit your 2017 goals.
1. Revisit every proposal you’ve sent so far this year.
Starting with the most recent, conduct an inventory of your sent proposals. Chances are, quite a few simply went cold due to indecision. If your proposal did not get the thumbs up you were hoping for, now is a great time to rewrite it. Did it get declined due to timeline, costs associated, lack of testimonials. Often times tweaking a proposal helps to strengthen it. Many times, proposals also get overlooked due to simply sending an estimate rather than taking the time to tailor it to the business on hand. Now, is the time to add that detail and a great time to check back in with them and re-ignite the fire.
2. Talk to your past clients.
If someone spent money with you before, they are much more likely to do it again. Maybe they switched providers and are unhappy with the decision by now. Reach out to see how they are, and share any improvements you’ve made to your product or service. Touching base with them a few months prior to the end of the year before things get busy is smart business.
3. Ask your current customers for “introductions,” not “referrals.”
In sales and marketing, words matter. Asking for an introduction is much less intimidating than asking for a referral, even though the two words essentially mean the same thing. This process gets even easier if you’ve done your homework and can approach the person with a name or two in mind that they may recognize. (Hint: use LinkedIn to browse connections and gather names of people you’d like to meet.)
4. Create an upsell strategy for current customers.
Your customers are already spending money with you, so now we just need to increase the amount. First conduct some research into your customer base to segment out who is buying what, then work on specific campaigns to cross-sell and upsell. One strategy is to set up mid-year assessments with your customers to evaluate what they might need.
5. Get ahead on tasks before traveling.
We always seem most productive right before leaving for a vacation, so why not treat business travel the same way? Looking ahead in your calendar and crossing things off your upcoming to-do list will help you stress less. This is also a great time to plan with your team and delegate where you can. Besides, the more you can focus on your travel’s purpose, the more successful you will be at achieving that purpose. Reducing distractions before takeoff will help direct your energy toward your conference, event or meeting.
6. Set a daily time to check in.
While you may be scheduled back-to-back while traveling, having a little bit of time blocked off each day to check in will help reduce that overwhelming feeling. Try to plan a 30-minute session in the morning and another in the afternoon or evening to review emails, respond to requests from staff, and update to-do lists and your calendar. Having this time blocked off your calendar will most likely mean you are more likely to do the task.
7. Select a niche market where you excel and “go deep.”
We live in an era of specialization, so if you’ve had success in a certain niche market, put more eggs in that basket. Consider developing content and offers specific to the niche, attending and speaking at its events and conferences, and conducting highly targeted advertising campaigns. End of the year is a great time to apply for those speaking engagements for 2018.
Bonus tip: All of these action items are made easier if you have a marketing automation tool in place. This tool will allow you to tag your customers and prospects to your liking (size, industry, products bought, products interested in, etc.), and then run automated campaigns according to the tags. It takes some time to set up, but the investment pays for itself in dividends.
If you’re needing a sales boost to end the year strong, the key is to work harder and smarter. By implementing these strategies, you should expect to find some undiscovered gold.