By Al Davidson
Depending on what you sell, the holiday season can be your busiest time of year or a slow season. For B2B sales teams, the holiday season can sometimes be challenging because key decision makers are out of the office, or budgets might have changed, or the prospects’ organizations might not be ready to move forward with new purchases until the new fiscal year. Conversely, the B2B sales game can also experience an uptick in activity during the holidays, in case your prospective buyers are facing a year-end deadline to make decisions about allocating the rest of their budgets.
No matter what you’re dealing with, whether it’s a last-minute sales rush or a slow time of year, here are a few tips to make your holiday sales season more robust.
Check in with “cold” prospects.
People you first contacted several months ago might be ready to talk. Things can change quickly and drastically. It’s possible that something has changed with a cold prospect’s supply chain: maybe one of your competitors raised the prices of their solution, or maybe they failed to fulfill orders in a timely fashion. Regardless of the exact reason, it’s possible that some of your longer-term “cold” prospects could be ready to make a deal with you. Your company might be ideally positioned to acquire some new accounts, but you will never know if you don’t ask. Make sure that you touch base with cold prospects during the holidays. They can be an overlooked source of additional revenue for your business. Even if they said “no” six months ago, they might be ready to say “yes” today.
Re-organize your sales lead management process if times are slow.
If the phone is not ringing and your prospects are out of the office, this could be a good occasion to reorganize your system of ranking and organizing your sales leads. Are some of your high priority “A”-rated sales leads really ready to buy? Are some of your lower-ranked sales leads perhaps closer to being ready to buy than you initially thought? Update your rankings with any recent developments, and try not to take anything for granted when you are assessing your potential clients. If some accounts have historically been big spenders but have recently gotten quiet, make sure you are taking note of that. There are no guarantees in the B2B sales world. You might have enjoyed brisk sales from a given client before, but it’s possible that your business relationship with them has changed over time, or that something has changed within the client’s organization. Make sure you’re not relying on outdated information or making any risky assumptions when you’re evaluating your sales leads. Stay flexible if your holiday sales are dragging, and try to embrace sales leads that are less of a “sure thing.” The holiday season can be a great time to make inroads with some unforeseen new customers.
Add extra holiday incentives.
If you’re in B2B sales, you probably don’t have the same pricing flexibility as a B2C discount retail …read more
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