While it seems that summer starts after Memorial Day, it really officially became summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime last Friday. Longer days and more daylight mean more time to work!
Then how come it seems like less work gets done in the good ol’ summertime? Is it because of the many distractions, such as vacations, kids out of school, the beach, and golf? Or it is just too hot to get in and out of the car to make sales calls?
Maybe it’s due to the middle-of-the-year doldrums. We all started off the year gung-ho with great resolve to change behavior, but now we are half-way through, things are going ok, and we can relax a bit before we need to make the big push in the fall to finish the year strong.
Or, we can use this time to heat things up to be in a better position for the second half of the year.
- Clean up your account lists. When the weather’s fine, it is a great time to weed out those old accounts that are gathering dust, or that another seller might find to be a hotter prospect. Give your sellers a deadline, and perhaps even limit the number of accounts a seller can have on his or list, then move everything that is left to a House or Open list. Help your sellers gain more focus with uncluttered lists. A CRM made for media sales that includes strategic account management can make this a piece of cake.
- Re-evaluate your goals. If you blew away the first half of the year, raise the bar for your staff. If a seller or two are overachieving, show them a little summer lovin’ by offering an incentive if they can keep up the pace. If someone needs help, focus on them to get them back on track. Remember that some businesses are on a July-June fiscal year, so you can help them with placing their advertising budget early in their cycle.
- Get ready for the holiday. Think ahead now. You can have some hot fun in the summertime by having a Christmas in July sales meeting in which you brainstorm ideas for a holiday promotion or sales initiative. Use this time to prepare the materials, as you will be busy with budgets come fall. And don’t forget about your client relationships – consider a holiday client event. This is a great time to be sure all of your contacts are in your CRM system and are up-to-date with addresses and emails, for eMarketing or snail-mailing invitations and promotion opportunities.
- Prepare a sales contest. As the year has flown by, it has been easy to become complacent. If you had a great first half, you probably just want to keep on keepin’ on. If you had an uphill climb, the heat is on, and you have probably been too busy evaluating and managing your sellers while trying to find new business to be creative. Right now, for fall, or for that holiday sales initiative you just came up with, it’s time to motivate your media sellers with a sales contest. Next week, I will share some guidelines for how to create a great sales contest.
- Restate the rules. Your intentions were good at the start of the year when you wanted your sellers to more accurately forecast, use their CRM tools, raise their rates and prospect more new business. But in the lazy, hazy crazy days of summer, those “requests” might have fallen by the wayside. Dig out the email and sales meeting agenda in which you laid out those rules, and lay them out again. Don’t be judgmental about what has happened, but set expectations about what WILL happen for the second half of the year. Applaud the successes and re-set the expectations for the future. Then, hold them accountable.
It doesn’t have to be a cruel, cruel summer if you heat things up in the media sales department with a little fun and preparation for the latter half of the year!