I am sure you are excited to enjoy the Holiday season just like everyone else, but if you are like me, a sales manager, you fear the holidays. You are most likely nervous that your inside sales team will slow to a crawl. First, no matter what type of company you work for, you answer to someone, and they want a push to close out the end of the year with a bang.
Why do you think every car dealership has “A Season to Remember” or some other holiday event? For retail it is the biggest sales event of the year, but for inside sales managers in B2B and B2C, it is the kiss of death. Your salespeople are staring at their computer monitor right now, just waiting for something to happen, but it won’t. This is the time of year when you have to make things happen!
You are the inside sales manager and it’s your job to do one thing really well: lead your inside sales team when things are slow and get them out of their holiday funk. Here are some tips to get your team motivated – despite the distraction of the holidays.
- Create a Contest – I know, I know. Seriously, this is the time to do it. Create a fun contest around inside sales team achievement to push through the Holiday season. I have a suggestion though, instead of creating it around total revenue or sales, make it for activity generated from 8am to 2pm. Why? As the day drags on both sales and your prospects begin to check out, especially around the Holidays. Create a total outbound calls created and opportunities won contest from the hours of 8 to 2pm.
- Purchase holiday gifts – You can easily purchase a gift from a company like Positive Promotions. Use these gifts as a way for your inside sales team to check in with their existing customers. It’s the perfect time for them to connect with current customers, update them on new developments, specials, and ask for referrals. Why? Because you just sent them a really cool blue tooth speaker with your logo on it. Don’t be a jerk though and come right out of the box with a referral request.
- Send the above gifts to potential prospects as well. Don’t have a prospect’s address? Now you have the perfect excuse to give the person a call. Use gift giving as a way for your inside sales team to build rapport and improve their chances to win the contest at the same time. Whoever gets the most addresses for sending out Holiday gifts wins X. This is a great opportunity to call a potential customer and say “Hey (Joe, Sally), we want to send you a Holiday gift, can I get your address?” Follow it up with – “How have you been, any plans for the Holiday?” Do not ask for the business in this interaction!
Use this Playbook and Follow These Steps to help your Sales Team
- This is the time to check in and ask their prospects how their year was. Are they staying in state this year or visiting family? Easy enough right? Show some interest in the lives of your customers.
- Ask your customer if they perceive any new changes in the New Year. Are there any new challenges, competitors, or opportunities that your salesperson might help them with?
Remember, this is not the time to be a victim of circumstance. Use this as a time of year to spread goodwill with all current and potential customers. Even if you don’t get the sale, you have sowed the seeds of good fortune for 2017. There is no better way to earn goodwill with your customers.
Lastly, don’t buy lame gifts for your clients. Understand their needs a little and get a gift that actually excites them. Don’t worry – companies like Positive Promotions can help you out and even make suggestions. Last year we gave our customers the blue-tooth speakers they can take anywhere. I know they liked them because we asked them prior to ordering.