With Christmas approaching, sales can become a little slow as prospects and customers turn their attention to the festivities and celebrations.
But if you’re keen to get a kick-start in 2014, this downtime could prove invaluable to getting ahead.
To help, here are five valuable sales-based activities that will give you a key advantage.
Which ones will you try?
#1 Revisit Your Buyer Persona
An effective sales management strategy starts with a robust understanding of who your target customer is.
After all, once you’ve defined your market, it makes sense that you’ll be in a much stronger position to determine your message and the media through which you’ll communicate your sales pitch.
And if your starting point is your target customer, this means you can’t look at your buyer persona as a ‘done and dusted’ job. Instead, it pays to revisit it, test it and continuously assess its relevance. That way you’ll have a robust tool to use to assess any sales campaign or sales tool before you go live.
What’s more, it’s inevitable that your buyer persona will need updating in time. For example:
- Perhaps you’ve got new information, which challenges the assumptions you based your initial description on
- Maybe you have fresh insider information that puts a different spin on that all-important description of who you want to target
- It’s possible you’ll need to add an entirely new buyer persona to best reflect a new product/service or a change in your buyers’ habit
Whatever the reasons, spending a quality hour enhancing one of your most powerful sales tools is going to bring you big benefits in the coming year.
#2 Check the Quality of the Data in Your CRM
A CRM is essential if you want to manage your sales pipeline professionally and efficiently.
However, the performance of your sales management CRM is only as good as the data you place into it.
When you’re super busy, it can be tempting to short cut your data entry. Perhaps you’ve left out some contact details, or maybe you’ve forgotten to record where the lead came from. Perhaps you know there are some entirely unsuitable leads in your system. Whatever the situation, it’s well worth taking a good look through the information contained in your CRM and cleaning it up. That way you can feel confident that when you hit 2014, you’ll have up to date information at your fingertips.
#3 Review Your Sales Process
A robust sales process can save you time and enhance your results by driving efficiency.
If your business has grown more than expected this year (or if your results were not as good as you hoped), taking a good look at your sales process will help you get clear on what you need to do differently during 2014.
If you exceeded your targets, can you pinpoint any crucial factors that led to this? For example:
- Did you incorporate a new sales strand such as direct marketing or telesales that delivered unexpected results?
- Are there any outstanding individuals in your sales force who are delivering above average results that you could replicate?
- Have you identified any new areas of best practice that you could roll-out?
And if you’ve underperformed, again can you pinpoint why? For example, does your sales process need tweaking? Are there any additional touch points you can introduce, to increase your conversion rates? Or is there a resource issue that you need to tackle?
#4 Create a New Lead Magnet
Content marketing is a highly effective tool for generating leads, building your “know, like, trust factor” and carving out your niche. Through the creation of quality content, you can attract more visitors to your website, influence the way prospects think about your business and lay the foundations which will make a future sale that much easier.
Google also rewards quality content creation, plus fresh information gives existing customers a reason to revisit your site and increases the likelihood of new prospects finding you.
Free eBooks, a video series or mini online courses are all highly effective ways to encourage people to join your list. In turn, you can stay in touch, establish a relationship and slowly nudge these prospects along your sales funnel and (hopefully) encourage them to become a customer. What could you create?
The easiest way to start is by identifying a key problem that your business solves for prospects. Next, create a freebie that addresses that issue. Ensure you include an insight into how your business can help and finish off with a strong call to action to entice subscribers to raise their hands. Once you’ve done this, you can kick-start 2014 with a fresh new lead magnet and start building your list. After all, they say that’s where the money is!
#5 Organise your files
A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind, so why not make the most of a free time slot by having a good digital and physical clear out?
Sort through your desk, shred and recycle anything you don’t need and organise your files and in-tray. That way, you can quickly and easily get your hands on anything that you need.
Do the same for your digital data. Sort through your Dropbox and Evernote files. Free up space by identifying what you no longer need and review your folders to ensure you can quickly access all the good stuff you decide to keep. You’ll feel so much better once it’s done!
What are your plans?
Now I’m not suggesting that Christmas should be all work and no play! For sure you must take some time out to relax, socialise and celebrate this year’s achievements. But in addition, if you’re feeling ambitious and confident about the year ahead, it’s a smart move to do some earlier preparation. That way you get yourself an advantage over your competitors.
How will you make the most of your Christmas downtime? Please leave a comment below.
Merry Christmas from all of the Pipeliner team!