Summer means a lot of things to a lot of people: beach, barbeques, vacations, a break from school. And for sales teams, it often means some time to slow down.
But before you kick back, there’s an important question you should ask yourself, and it’s not what to pack in your pool bag.
Are you on track to meet your sales goals for the year?
This is a question that’s on my mind at mid-year. People often think of summer as a quiet time for sales, but actually it’s the best time to ramp up and build your foundation, not slow down your efforts.
The outreach you conduct now lays the groundwork for a strong Q4. It may seem like thankless work, filled with out of office messages and very few replies. But as someone with years of sales experience, I can tell you that if you’re not constantly filling your sales pipeline, then it will dry up, fast. That means less business opportunities at the end of the year when you need them most.
To really capitalize on the summer months, both for our own business development efforts and those of our clients, we often emphasize the value of a 90-day sprint campaign. These campaigns help us and our clients get back on track to meet sales goals, or, better yet, blow them out of the water.
What challenges or gaps are standing in between you and meeting your sales objectives? What are some new campaigns or initiatives you can start to help surpass your goals? A 90-day sprint helps you take focused, strategic action to answer these questions and build your sales pipeline.
Each of these five tactics are a proven way to bring in more leads that convert to meetings and ultimately closed deals.
Audience development helps you reach your full audience and test new markets so you can get in front of the right decision makers. The broader your reach, the greater chance you’ll have to engage more leads.
A critical piece of audience development is guaranteeing that you have correct contact information. Turnover is a huge problem for sales lead development. With one of our clients, 20% of the people they’re trying to reach leave or move to a new department every 90 days.
You may have great content, great messaging, and know you’re doing outreach well, but if you’re working from poor information, none of that matters because it’s not going to the right people.
Use the summer months to make sure you have the right audience in your database by calling and verifying contacts. This builds up your relationship with a lead, gives you accurate data, and lets you focus your efforts on the people who matter.
The biggest struggle with inbound is that marketing leads often get stuck at the top of the sales funnel. Marketing brings in leads, but for one reason or another, they never actually make it to sales.
A good strategy for a 90-day sprint is to take a hard look at your inbound leads and think through how you can really work them. If leads come in but no one engages with them, that’s missed business. Launching an outbound marketing campaign to maximize your inbound efforts can start moving these leads closer to a sales meeting.
At MarketLauncher, we refer to our client alumni as FANs. These are people in your network who know you and think highly of your product or service. They may have moved on to another company or you’ve worked with them in the past and it could be time to re-engage.
You can start a purposeful outreach campaign to this audience to re-establish contact. Be prepared to share best practices and relevant content. Your FANs will begin to think of you as a trusted advisor and industry expert.
When your FANs have a need, they will be more likely to think of you if you’ve stayed top of mind with relative information. Your FANs are also a great source for referrals. Maybe they aren’t looking for your product or service now, but they have a colleague at another company who could benefit. Staying in front of FANs makes them likely to refer you, and referrals are some of the fastest closing business leads.
If people aren’t reacting to your content, updating your messaging may be the answer to more engagement. The number one rule of successful outreach is to make sure you’re contacting leads with a purpose.
You could focus your 90-day sprint on messaging that provides value to the leads in your pipeline. What topics matter to your audience? Are there interesting market trends on which you can offer expertise? As part of your campaign, create a relevant case study or blog post and share it. This approach increases touch points and gives people intel that can help them perform better.
In many cases, if a company is struggling to meet sales goals, the sales leaders don’t always have a handle on why. To understand what’s really happening, you need good data. Meaningful data analysis lets you track the stages of your leads so you can see where you’re gaining traction, and where leads are dropping off.
It’s important to develop your sales stages and monitor progress weekly, monthly and quarterly to meet your yearly goals. If you don’t have good analytics or the tools you need to monitor lead stages, adding them will significantly improve your sales potential.
You need access to data to help you better understand the market. What type of buyer personas are reacting to your message? What content is most successful in engaging a certain audience? Good data analysis lets you replicate success and identify problems to solve.
Keeping up with new and existing leads takes focus and organization. To make sure I’m doing the most I can to move leads further down funnel, I prioritize leads into three categories. This gives me a balance between prospecting and progressing leads. It’s important to have leads in all your buckets; from early stage to late stage engagement.
First, I take a look at what sales opportunities are currently in our pipeline and what we can do to move them forward. Who do we think will close in the next 30 days? The next 60? By the end of quarter? By knowing where our leads are in the pipeline, I can think through the best strategies to help them progress further.
My second priority is to look for leads we’ve met with but haven’t progressed further down the pipeline. What can we do to turn them into opportunities and get them to the proposal stage? This is also a good time to enlist your cross-functional leaders to collaborate on best practice strategies that will benefit your prospects.
Finally, I’m always working to fuel our sales pipeline. Every week, I look at what leads have come in from our campaigns and who has most recently reacted to our content. These leads are exciting new opportunities that need personalized, 1-on-1 outreach.
Though it’s summer, your sales lead development plan shouldn’t go on vacation. It may be a slower time of year for scheduling meetings, but if you lay the groundwork now, responses will start to roll in for a busy and fruitful Q3 and Q4.
Are you on track to meet your sales goals? Do you want to discuss how to accelerate or exceed them? We can help you with a mid-year check up and executing a 90-day sprint campaign. Let’s talk.