A client asks, “How do I motivate my staff during the slower summer season?"
Some sales managers and sales representatives regard low sales production during the summer as unavoidable. Others see it as a more challenging, but not impossible, time of the year to make sales. Those who fare well during the summer months do so by having a plan in place long before the hot weather arrives.
Do Your Homework
To create an effective summer sales plan for your staff, do a little homework first. Ask yourself the following:
- "What were the average monthly sales for June, July and August of last year?"
- "Of those three months, which had the lowest sales?"
- "How do sales during those months compare with average monthly sales during the year?"
- "Which customers bought during the summer?"
- "What did they typically buy?"
- "Which customers did not buy?"
- "Which products/services did not sell well during that time period?"
Set Goals and Share Your Findings
If your research tells you that sales in the summer are indeed significantly below the monthly average for the rest of the year, ask yourself what an acceptable level might be. Depending on what you find out about customer’s buying habits during this season, think about setting goals to increase sales for certain products and services as well. Whatever your research tells you, be sure and share this valuable information with your salespeople. They may not always know exactly why their sales are off during this time period and some of your findings could really help them.
Reward Extra Effort
Once you have determined what the increased sales goals for the summer will be, create a contest that rewards the salespeople for their extra efforts. Remember that not all rewards need to be monetary. With New England’s short summer season, your staff might value a little extra time off or some flexibility in their schedule. Find out what would motivate them and try your best to design a reward around it.
Don’t forget to find out when your sales staff is planning to take their vacations and post that information on a master calendar. Encourage them to find out when their customers will be taking vacations as well. That way they can more effectively manage the sales process during the summer months.
Start planning for summer now. It will pay off big dividends.