Received an Out of Office? Keep your summer sales pipeline moving

Summer, especially during August when buyers and decision makers go on holiday can be a slow month for sales teams. Decisions get delayed. Momentum is lost. Deals can even evaporate in the heat.

Even if you go on holiday during July or August, the last thing you want is your pipeline to run dry before September. Rebuilding that momentum can be hard work when prospects are busy, or they’ve started work on another project and shelved what you have been talking about for months.

It can be frustrating when buyers go off the radar. It can give sales managers cause for concern, particularly if one or more of the sales team is at risk of missing target. Time is money in sales. As every sales professional knows, you’ve got to keep deals moving forward.

Here are a few ways you can do that during Summer.

Keep sales moving during Summer

#1: Have multiple contact points

Depending on the size of the deal and chain of decision making, you often need more than one point of contact in a prospect organisation. This way, you are safeguarding the deal against a single point of failure and can maintain the momentum when one of your contacts goes on holiday.

Another way to keep a deal moving is to leverage Out of Office (OOO) reply information. Chances are, there will be another contact provided in that email. See where they sit in the decision-making process; who do they report to, try and work out what influence they have? Will they already know about what has been discussed?

If they are already or could be involved in the decision-making process, then reach out to them and leverage the value of an additional contact in the prospect organisation.

#2: Work your whole pipeline

It can be easy to get tunnel vision in sales. Focusing on your top five or ten prospects/accounts, instead of spending time working on every single account.

Use the opportunity during quieter Summer months to reach out to contacts you’ve not spoken to in a while. Start generating opportunities from those who’ve not spent much recently, or could be at risk of moving to a competitor. Spend time renewing old contacts and refreshing the pipeline so that come September you’re busier than ever. 

Someone you’ve not spoken to in a while may need a quick reminder about your product/service. With instant online demos, you can jump on a screen sharing call, even if the client or prospect isn’t in the office and just wants a quick refresh. You never know whether it could result in a quick win, or a larger deal down the road.

#3: Respond quickly to new opportunities

An overwhelming amount of research shows that those who respond first have a much higher chance of converting than those that don’t. If you or a sales manager is going on holiday, make sure there is a way for new inbound leads to keep receiving responses quickly.

Don’t risk losing leads to competitors with slow responses. Make sure one member of the team is able to respond to new inbound leads, either setting up a call/meeting or jumping on an instant online demo. Show a new prospect they made the right choice when they got in contact or were referred to your company.

Are you ready for the end of 2018?

Although it is Summer now, not far down the road is the ramp up to the end of 2018 and start of 2019. For many companies in a B2B sales environment, September is when it starts to get busy again. Now is the time to put new strategies in place, use what you’ve learned from the first half of the year, and get more sales prospects in the pipeline.

Sales teams taking proactive measures now are going to enjoy a more successful summer and will generate more leads as the year goes on.