The second quarter of the financial year has begun but have you started to make the most of it? Now’s a great time to build on the performance of the first quarter.
Many sales teams write the end of this quarter (and the start of Q3) off as a bad time for sales, but this is not true, and it hands those who persist in sales more opportunities to make an impact in the market. The sales function never stops, even in traditionally quiet months. There are always people at work, so the key is to maintain your sales activity and momentum as you continue through Q2 and look ahead beyond the Christmas period to Q3.
Here’s how to make the most of the time left for a strong second quarter.
January is a great time for sales teams – we see a 51% uplift in results in the first month of the year so it represents a huge opportunity for your sales team, by keeping your sales activity strong during this period, you will make sure your sales team starts the year with a full pipeline.
While many people are out of the office over the holidays, those who remain often have a lighter workload. They’ve set their New Year’s resolutions and are thinking strategically about the future. It’s the perfect time to talk to or meet with these prospects.
You can’t just jump into conversations with prospects in January though. The groundwork for this needs to happen throughout Q2. Use lead generation marketing to build your pipeline now for a strong start to the next quarter. You’ll also be able to gain an advantage over your competitors. Many of them will be less active during Q2 and early Q3, giving you the market to yourself for much of January. Take advantage of this gift by laying the foundations in Q2 and continuing your sales activity straight after the new year for the most impact when your teams return in January.
Every business has busy and quiet periods. Knowing your market and understanding your sales cycle means you can adapt your sales strategy to be more effective. Remember that success during the “quiet” periods of your year, will have the biggest impact on your annual performance.
Most companies have customers that require services, products or support before Christmas. Some companies and prospects will want to defer making decisions until after Christmas. December and January are a busy time for retail and food and drink businesses, who are more focused on service than talking with new suppliers. Your activity shouldn’t stop just because there’s a major holiday around the corner, but it should match the rhythm of your prospects or customers.
If you have end of year offers, use these to your advantage to bring business in throughout the end of Q2. However, this needs to bring in new business, not just shift full-priced sales from January/February into December. A strong sales pipeline of opportunities for January is still essential.
Start each quarter off the right way with a performance review. Evaluate your performance against targets and goals and look for trends and opportunities. Do this at both a business and individual level—this way you get a full picture of the previous quarter.
A quarterly review gives you the perfect opportunity to improve and innovate. If you find a weakness you can work on a fix to turn your fortunes around in the next quarter. It’s important to focus on the good too. Celebrate your wins and look at what’s working. You may find there’s a winning strategy you can replicate for even more success in Q3.
As you review your performance, another area to focus on is your targets. There’s no harm in making changes to them based on how your year is progressing. In fact, it makes good business sense and can act as a strong motivator to the team.
If you met or exceeded your targets in Q1, think about setting a more challenging target for the remainder of Q2. If you struggled to meet your Q1 target, make sure you adjust your Q2 targets to take this into account and keep targets “real”. This can also help to relieve some of the pressure, so you’re more focused on activity than chasing an unachievable goal.
If you are thinking about running an outsourced lead generation campaign, don’t think about putting it off till February next year, get up and running now – we’re coming into our peak performance period and you’ll get really great results. If you would like help implementing and conducting a successful outsourced lead generation campaign, get in touch. Our expert team have years of experience across a broad range of industries and will be able to help you reach your business and sales goals.
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