How to Make the Most of Sales Downtime
No matter the industry, everyone will hit a period of sales downtime at some point during the year. Perhaps your sales slow down when the economy fluctuates, or your customers have more pressing concerns – like a natural disaster or, say, a global pandemic. Regardless, you will have downtime, and that’s okay. It’s no one’s favorite spot to be in, but we can turn these doldrums into opportunities for growth.
What do you usually do during a slow sales period? Are you using your time wisely, or are you shopping your favorite e-commerce sites for deals and reading too much Reddit?
In this article, we’ll share some of our favorite ideas for making the most of a slow sales period so you can become a better salesperson.
Teach yourself a new skill during your sales downtime
Have you wanted to learn how to write more effective emails? Would you like to discover how to better nurture your prospects at every part of the sales funnel? If so, you would probably benefit from some continuing education.
During a slow sales period, you’ll want to sign up for webinars and online courses, read relevant books, listen to informative podcasts, and talk with other experts in your field. By the time your sales pick up, you likely won’t have time to do these things – so take advantage of the break!
Depending on how much downtime you have, you may want to learn a new skill that colleagues could also benefit from. This way, you are being even more effective by teaching yourself something new and consequently training your team. It will undoubtedly improve operations during peak season and paint you as a team player.
Experiment with a new sales tech tool
Today’s salespeople have access to so many helpful tools, but they often don’t have time to test all of them. Have you been curious about a new tool and wondering if it’s worth implementing into your normal sales process? During a downtime, you can test a new sales tool and even take full advantage of free trial periods. As you will probably need to overcome a learning curve for a new tech tool, you’ll have the time to teach yourself how to use it.
A small time investment learning a new piece of technology or integrating something (like an app) into your pre-existing tech structure can have a huge impact on productivity. Plus, keeping up with recent advancements in your fields allows you to stay competitive.
If your competition has a more efficient, effective, or user-friendly way to do something that you have yet to incorporate, you could be missing out during the peak sales season.
Set new sales goals
When was the last time you set and evaluated your sales goals? Even if you started the year with strong sales goals, you may be due for a re-evaluation to see if you’re on track and how you can adjust your strategy.
In addition, you may want to take some time to help your team members set and reach their goals if you notice that they haven’t been performing to their full potential.
Data analysis is a great way to spend downtime because it allows you to reconstruct any or all parts of your process because you can see how effective your current approach is and where changes may be needed. If not a company-wide change, there are usually departments or individuals that could benefit from additional resources, training, or guidance during the downtime to make sure everyone is performing their best at peak sales season.
Setting specific goals will help you more quickly analyze data after peak sales season. It’s also a great sign of a company being proactive and looking to grow. This means the business is conscientious enough to always improve its product or customer service, a good sign for employees and clients. A business that doesn’t regularly reanalyze its data can indicate stagnant growth and is usually less proactive than a business with clear, reachable goals.
Reconnect with past clients
Have you mined for feedback and testimonials recently?
During a busy period, you’re too focused on prospects to worry as much about past or current clients. However, they may offer you keys that can help you improve. Always follow up with a request for a testimonial or survey, so you can use their feedback to help you better tailor your approach in the future. You may discover something new and interesting about your product or service that you hadn’t considered before.
If a previous client outlines a concern, or something they wish was handled differently, you have an opportunity to address the concern or change your methods prior to the busy sales season. If a previous client has a specific compliment, you can outline that strength to prospective clients or customers as part of your pitch when the new season begins.
Feedback from past clients can be a valuable resource, and downtime is the perfect time to utilize it.
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