The summer ends, school buses return to the streets, and vacations wrap up. It’s time for sales teams to ‘get back in the saddle’ as they ramp-up their efforts for the fall and winter selling seasons.
The path to a successful sales flow begins with the first things you plan and do after you return from Labor Day weekend. Here are five steps you can use to supercharge your sales success this September and beyond:
Step 1: Reconnect with Current Customers
A great first step to take is to reconnect with current customers as soon as you return from the summer. This is for three reasons.
First, by spending time with current customers, you’ll be energized by their enthusiasm for your company and its products and services.
Second, the research shows that 80% or more of your customers often don’t realize that there are additional products or services you offer that could benefit them. In other words, current customers often make the best new prospects.
And third, current customers are great sources of referrals, testimonials and case studies you can use to sell your next deal.
Step 2: Recharge Referral Relationships
Over the year, you’ve likely met with many professionals who could potentially refer business to you (and who could also benefit from referrals you might send their way, too). We often think that referral relationships should need less time and attention than new-sales relationships.
After all, a good partner will refer business to you that meets your qualifying requirements when they come upon an opportunity, right? The reality is that it takes just as much time to establish the level of clarity and trust with referral partners than you are probably expecting. So, take the time now, while you have it, to purposely reconnect — and reap the rewards later this fall and winter. Step
3: Review and Revise Your CRM Contacts
Is your customer relationship management (CRM) database really up-to-date? How many inaccurate or outdated contacts do you have in the system? Have you accurately revised your opportunity stages, lead qualification steps and contact priorities? Now’s the time to dig in and clean it up, then begin working contacts based upon your fresh review.
Step 4: Run a Seminar, Workshop or Reception
What better way to jump-start sales in the fall than to bring your prospects, partners and customers together for an event? Perhaps you can run a seminar, or schedule a lunch-and-learn. Maybe the best approach is to hold a small reception for your best customers and key prospects, after hours? If your business is more geographically spread out, you could opt for a webinar series or online programs.
Step 5: Refocus on Target Opportunities
Take some time to really think about what makes an ideal sales opportunity. What are your key qualifiers? Some factors for a business-to-business sales environment might include company size, number of employees, annual revenues, industry vertical, markets served and locations.
For business-to-consumer sales, consider things such as household income, zip code, location, previous purchases, lead source and buyer priorities. Use this information to zero in on the best-fit opportunities you can identify and pursue.
What all five of these steps have in common is a focus on being strategic and engaging energetically with customers, partners and prospects. So, as you head into the fall selling season and start thinking about what to do next, keep these five steps in mind:
3. Review & Revise
Remember, the best way to achieve sales success is to make a plan and then work the plan. Commit to these steps and pursue them thoroughly over time, and you’ll achieve powerful results as you seek to meet and exceed quota now and the future.