Sales Best Practices
Heat up Your Sales: How to Keep Deals Alive over the Summer
Ahh summer: the season of BBQs, vacations, and… a slump in sales.
Salespeople know that summertime is the most challenging season of the year to book meetings with prospects. One out of every five decision-makers will be out of the office during various, sometimes unpredictable, times.
But summer is also one of the most important seasons for sales because companies tend to do their budgeting in September or October. In order to triumph over your competitors for that coveted spot in the annual budget, you need to be at the top of your game while everyone else is checking out.
How do you keep your deals moving forward and crush your quota while your prospects are going away on vacay?
We’ve got a simple four-step process from three Account Executive extraordinaires: Brian Wagner from Amplitude, Cassidy Keeland from Iterable, and Lindsay Melo from Intricately!
Let’s dive in.
Step One: Prepare Yourself (And Your Prospect)
From now on, after you cover next steps with a prospect, ask about vacations and travel plans. Is the champion and buyer going to be in town during the summer months? Is the signatory going to be around? Also, know if the buyers are going to be off-the-grid during their vacation or still checking email.
“Get a calendar together so you know which parts of a deal to work on (i.e. business or technical) at which times,” Brian recommends, especially if you are selling to EMEA-based companies as sometimes the people you need the most will leave during July or even all of August. You’ll look and feel better prepared when you know who is going to be in town when.
Step Two: Be Proactive
If your champion is going out of town, ask to be connected with another champion who will be in the office to help keep the deal moving forward. “Time is the biggest killer of deals,” says Lindsay. She recommends a consultative approach by asking your prospect if there’s anything you can help with while they’re out. Make sure you align your priorities and goals with your champion and offer to be hands-on with things like team training or coordinating between departments. Lindsay uses Outreach Meetings to automatically schedule multiple meetings at once — without any double-bookings — so she can focus on selling. Stay proactive and consultative to keep the deal alive while your contact is unplugging in the Bahamas.
Become a meetings machine
Step Three: Capitalize on Your Extra Time
The slower pace of summer means sales reps have more time in their week. Cassidy uses this time to travel to his prospects and fill his calendar with in-person meetings at as many nearby companies as possible. “Close rates go up if you can get face time,” Cassidy states “Be direct and say, ‘I’m going to your city, would you be open to meeting?’” If you’re already at your prospect’s doorstep, you’re more likely to get the meeting that could seal the deal.
Sourcing new deals over the summer is also tricky, but thankfully you have more time to research contacts. Brian goes the extra mile to find the best contacts and create hyper-personalized sequences in Outreach, but schedules them to send during the first week of September to avoid OOO messages. That way, he has a strong pipeline for Q4.
Step Four: Don’t Panic
Despite your best efforts, you'll probably still bump into a couple OOO replies. No need to panic! Outreach has a way to identify OOO emails, automatically pause the sequence, and reengage when they return. It can also extract new contact information from the reply and notify you on actions to take.
Even if you do everything right, some deals still may need extra time and TLC. “When people come back from vacation, things are hectic and they are behind on everything,” Lindsay says. Build transparency and trust with your prospect and they’ll come back to you when the dust settles. Thankfully, August is not the end of the quarter for most companies, so if some deals slip into September, you can still crush your Q3 quota.
Follow these four steps and you’ll be organized, keep your current deals alive, and hit your quota every summer.