Summer is great for a lot of things, including long days at the pool or beach, boisterous backyard barbecues, and catching up on all the sunshine you missed over the winter months. What summer is not so great for, unfortunately, is sales.
The reasons for the summer sales slump vary but seem to boil down to the fact that people are more busy enjoying the weather than engaging with businesses. Likewise, your sales team may be equally eager to get out into the sun, and in turn, a bit less invested in their day-to-day tasks.
Maybe you’ve noticed the summer slump yourself. Or maybe you’re dealing with declining sales at a different time of year and for different reasons. Either way, if your sales are down, then you need to be taking specific steps to remedy the situation. There are also things that you should be doing to avoid slumps entirely and keep your sales on pace regardless of what’s going on around you.
Here are eight things that you can do to prevent declining sales and to help ensure you’re doing everything you can to meet or exceed your goals.
1. Understand Why Sales Slumps Happen
We’ve mentioned one type of dreaded sales slump, but summer trends aren’t the only thing that may be at play when you start to see your sales dip.
There are lots of different attributable reasons why your sales might be going down, and in order to remedy them, you need to be able to pinpoint what they are. Some possible explanations in addition to seasonal trends include poor team morale or a lack of team talent or incentives. It’s also possible that you’re not targeting the right customer base or that your sales and marketing objectives are too narrow — or too broad.
Whatever the reason, it’s imperative that you put on your detective hat and get to work identifying them. The sooner you can understand the roots of your declining sales problem, the sooner you’ll be able to take steps to fix them.
2. Create a Happier Workforce
Happy employees don’t just contribute to a more positive workplace culture — they also contribute to driving more sales.
A happy and engaged workforce just might be the single biggest advantage your business can get in today’s economy. A study out of Yale University found that happy salespeople make more sales, upsell more often, and lead to more satisfied customers.
So how do you create a happier workforce? It starts with ensuring that your team members feel valued, which includes everything from offering attractive compensation and benefits packages to promoting a better work-life balance. The more that you can improve sales team satisfaction, the more benefits that you should see in daily productivity and overall sales.
3. Set Clear and Achievable Goals
All businesses want to sell as much as possible, but that’s not a very clear directive to give your team. Instead of just telling everyone to aim for the stars and leaving it at that, make sure to lay out very clear and realistic goals that your sales reps can strive for.
What these goals look like will be unique to your company. Base them on past performance and actual data, keeping in mind that if a majority of your team is unable to meet your expectations, then it’s almost certainly the goals, and not the individuals themselves, that are to blame.
4. Set Out Incentives
Just as crucial as setting achievable goals is recognizing and rewarding team members when they reach them.
One way to do this is to offer a tiered commission structure where the further a rep exceeds their goal, the more their commission rate increases. Bonuses and perks for exceptional performance can also go a long way — as does actually calling out and recognizing those sales reps and teams that go above and beyond.
Incentives do more than just give your employees a carrot to chase after. By recognizing and celebrating hard work, you show that you value your team members and all that they do for you. This helps create that happier workforce we mentioned earlier and also goes a long way toward ensuring your staff feels valued.
5. Invest in Training
You can’t expect a poorly trained sales staff to be at their most effective.
The onus is on management to organize and encourage proper training protocols. Failure to do so means that you have a workforce that likely isn’t on the same page in terms of what you’re trying to achieve and how you intend to achieve it.
An employee handbook is not enough. Make sure that you’re facilitating impactful training practices starting with onboarding and continue to offer new ways for your team to learn and grow together. Not only does this keep everyone briefed on how to best do their jobs, but it also provides management with an opportunity to regularly take the pulse of their employees and hone in on any areas where dissatisfaction or a lack of guidance is standing in the way of optimal sales.
6. Optimize Your Marketing Strategy
Sales and marketing are inextricably linked, with failures in one department often speaking to failures in the other. And while it’s definitely unfair to put all of the blame on marketing if your sales are on a downhill trend, it is possible that the marketing tactics currently being used are missing the mark — and that fixing them could have a positive impact.
You don’t need to overhaul your marketing plan entirely to see better results, but you do need to focus on being more strategic with it. Look at your marketing data and analytics to see where the gaps might be, and undertake important tactics such as reworking your customer personas, organically growing your email contact list, and upping the ante of your re-engagement campaigns.
7. Re-evaluate Your Audience
It’s possible that declining sales are a result of a misunderstood audience pool.
While all companies have a desired customer base, the actual people who buy your product may or may not align with this vision. In order to maintain and increase sales, it’s essential that you know exactly who you’re selling to, including not just their demographics but their preferences and pain points.
Re-evaluating your audience is about research. You want to really dive into the details of what makes your core customer group so that you can be sure you’re not just reaching out to the right people but reaching out in a way that is going to be most effective for sales.
To start, take a look at your current customers and their similarities. And while you’re at it, make a point of monitoring common sales hurdles. Chances are that there are pretty standard reasons across the board the deals aren’t closing and that the opposite is true of the deals that do go through.
8. Stay Positive
Sometimes it can be your outlook standing in the way of making a less than desirable situation better. Perhaps the best tip that we can give if you’re facing declining sales is to stay positive and keep your head in the game. Giving up and assuming that things can’t get any better than they are is a surefire way to guarantee that that’s the case. Meanwhile, if you continue chugging along with what you’re doing while also looking for specific problems and resolutions, there’s a huge likelihood you’ll overcome the downward trend.
Success isn’t a passive endeavor. Nor is it always promised to you. By accepting that slumps happen — and working through them when they do — you give your business the best chance at rebounding your sales and seeing brighter days ahead.
Take Action on Declining Sales
If you start to see your sales drop, it’s a warning sign that something is amiss. Be sure to keep a close eye on the data so that you’re always well apprised of dips as soon as they happen and so that you can take action right away. In many cases, your sales are due to outside forces and will bounce back on their own. And if that’s not the case, immediate action means that you can avoid the worst — and get your sales back on track as soon as possible.
Best Email Marketing Practices to Generate Leads
Have you implemented email marketing in your digital strategy? If you answered no, now is the time to do so.
There are many new and innovative ways to market to your target audience, however, email marketing remains one of the most reliable and effective ways to generate leads. With the right strategy in place, you will be able to convert prospects into paying customers who truly value your brand.
In this guide, our expert digital team at Bold x Collective discusses everything you need to know about email marketing, as well as some of the best practices that will help your business generate leads!
To preface, you always need to ensure that you do not buy into email lists. Doing so will result in prospects moving your content into the trash or ending up in their spam folders.
This also eliminates prospects’ free will of being able to opt in to emails. This starts the brand-to-customer relationship on a bad note and will result in a higher rate of opt-outs for emails. And not to mention… it is illegal!
Once you have a curated list of prospects that were gained organically through website traffic and membership sign up’s, you can move on to the next step of optimizing your email list by lead scoring. This tactic will filter which prospects are opening your emails, and which ones are worth putting more effort into.
By putting together this new refined list of prospects, your brand will be able to obtain higher conversion rates and a greater return on investment as your efforts are being focused on where it matters most.
Now that you’ve organized an optimized list of prospects, it’s time to create the actual email. There are many tactics you can use when drafting an email, but these are some of my favorites that will really allow your email to stand out in your prospect’s inbox.
- Name the offer in the subject line, in a fun, intriguing way that will make your viewer interested!
- Keep the main message and call to action above the fold.
- Include a personalized touch by adding your name and having a sign-off; viewers love it.
- Have a clean and concise email – no one likes too much content at one time!
First off, having your offer, promotion or main announcement in the subject line is more likely to grab the attention of the reader as it gets straight to the point and gives them an immediate reason to look for more details. For example, when the subject line states “25% off the ENTIRE site”.
This line introduces an incentive that will be received if you choose to purchase with them, ultimately decreasing their opportunity cost. This will create the feeling of “FOMO”. Fear of missing out and entice readers to browse your website and shop.
Along with this strategy, it is also beneficial to keep the main message of the email and call to action so that readers can see it at first glance. This means the information they first receive upon viewing the email and upon opening it without having to scroll down.
Not everyone opens every email they get and will often only view the text that shows above the fold. If that text is intriguing enough, they will seek to learn more. So now you have your readers’ attention, the contents of the email above the fold are what is going to keep their attention and be the driving source of whether they become paying customers.
This study was done on users’ scrolling and attention spans tell them that nearly 57% of users’ page-viewing time is above the fold (information that is visible without scrolling).
Therefore, they can use this information to their advantage by making sure the most important details are included above this fold.
Now that you’ve figured out where to put the most relevant information, let’s get into elements to include in your email content that makes it effective. My personal recommendation would be to include personalized touches such as a personalized greeting and signature sign-off.
A greeting with the contact’s name helps to grab their attention right away as they are being addressed personally. In addition to a personalized greeting, having a signature sign-off that shows the reader that there is a real person on the other end, adds to the level of authenticity that it comes across.
The more of a connection the customer creates with the brand, the more purchasing power they will have. How do they create a connection? With authenticity!
My last tip, a very simple one, but crucial… is to keep your email clean and concise. No one wants to spend longer than they must, to read an email.
It’s important to keep things looking visually appealing, straight to the point, and summarized in an intriguing and digestible way.
By doing this, you are allowing prospects to gather just what they need to move forward with the buying process. So don’t overthink it, quality is always better than quantity!
To start your journey with email marketing, here are some of their favorite email marketing apps at Bold x Collective:
- Active campaign
And while you’re at it, check out Bold x Collective’s blog on how you can get email marketing started for your business! Need some extra guidance and assistance with your email marketing channels? Contact their team to receive a complimentary consultation!
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