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Quiet summer? 6 tasks to boost quick wins now and pipelines for September

London summer skyline
Even TREACL tends to have some capacity till September. So, as well as lowering rates for a month (check summer pricing), we've also been getting clients busy on a 6 easy-to-do and easy-to-overlook tasks. Because, unless you boost sales pipelines for September now, not only could profits suffer over summer, you'll lose out when everyone else is ready to do business. And then it will be Christmas!

So here's a few things smart organisations are up to this summer:

1. Define your Top 3 customer profiles

Maybe you think you know who your most valuable and most cherished customers are. Now's the time to check. Because, if you focus your sales efforts on prospects who aren't interested or are just plain hard work, you'll waste your sales effort.

Wrongly targeted advertising is one of the biggest killers. Another killer is that stale list of prospect who didn't by from you before summer. That's not to say you're necessarily targeting the wrong market. But, if you do take an hour or two to write down descriptions of your 3 most valuable types of customers, you'll find targeting more of them… well… more targeted.

And you'll have a more accurate idea of the problems they need solving so you know what and how they're most motivated to buy.

Quick win:
This task invariably sparks a reminder to immediately call a forgotten prospect who's exactly in your product's sweet spot now.

2. Re-write your sales messaging

Once you've nailed got your customer descriptions, read some of the ways you're describing what you do to help them.

For example, do your offering descriptions say exactly how your customers will gain by buying them? Try describing your products in their terms. Try using their language. Try quantifying the gains. Include relevant testimonials alongside the gains.

You'll want to update your short, medium, and long sales messaging so you can use them in all media – when you're on the phone, face-to-face, on your web pages (if you have an easy‑to‑use content management system like ours), and in print and other content.

Maybe write a blog post explaining what you found out and how you're adjusting your sales messaging and product line-up to suit your customers' changing needs.

Check your messaging works in the real world. Test it on some actually prospects. Make a few calls. Send a few emails. See what works and what doesn't. (We always test before we're confident enough to roll out new sales scripts. In fact, split-testing is the norm for smart sales people.)

Quick win:
If you follow our advice and test your new messaging, it's inconceivable that you won't pick up new opportunities once you get it right as long as your offering's right.

3. Organise your data

Half the people TREACL starts working with come to us with a metaphorical shoe box or sack full of customer data. We're talking piles of business cards, numerous spreadsheets and lists, emails all over the place, the odd CRM system here or there.

It may seem like a chore. But bringing order to chaos makes life more comfortable, just like when you organise the tool shed or sock drawer.

It's not even that hard to do if – and that's a big IF – you have some structure. If you're not yet on a CRM system, set up a new spreadsheet. (We'll send you a free template on request.) Or try out a new CRM system. We've previously written about a free CRM system which we've tried and tested.

Crucially, your customer data needs to be activity oriented. That means, easy to sort and segment, and including next actions with dates.

If you are on a CRM system, look at what fields you're really not using, and hide them! Ah, so refreshing. Check how many levels of hierarchy you have (contact, account, opportunity, activity). And reduce those levels to 4, tops.

Quick win:
Every time we undertake this exercise for a client, and we're sure when they do it themselves, a few current opportunities rear their heads. They were probably still waiting to hear from you.

4. Hone your sales process

Sales processes have a habit of getting longer and more convoluted over time. Who needs that complexity? Certainly not your prospects!

Now you've defined your customer profiles, map out the fundamental steps each one takes to become a customer. It's your sales process that sets out the sales activity that's going to generate your leads, develop opportunities, and win business.

Sales processes that work well tend to be linear. And they're easier to follow and more reliable if they're written down in a way that you could happily share them with the people you're selling to. That's right. Buyers and sales people alike feel way more comfortable when everyone knows the direction the purchase is headed.

Quick win:
Those sales prospects you thought might be ready to buy but still haven't bought from you may just be stuck someone in your sales process and they don't know what to do next to progress. We often find they're stuck because of a lack of objection handling or they simply haven't been asked for the deal.

5. Mobile-enable your website

This is a no-brainer. If you look at Google Analytics for your website (if you have it installed or – no joke – if you know how to log in) you'll see how many of your visitors are using a mobile device. It's a good bet more than half your visitors are using a mobile device to browse the net. And everyone's had enough of zooming in on their mobile devices.

Google itself is now penalising websites that aren't responsive (mobile-friendly).

If you don't know how to make your website responsive, or if your website company can't make it responsive within a week and without it costing you an arm and a leg, chances are you're on the wrong website system. Our website system is automatically responsive. So clients of ours literally flick a switch at no cost.

Quick win:
Phone your website company and ask them to switch it on to responsive. If they try to charge you for it, tell them there's another company where it's automatic and free.

6. Special offers

If you could do with some extra business now, why not introduce and publicise some well-targeted special offers for a fixed time? You're only filling spare capacity.

We'll talk about the ins and outs and pros and cons of straight discounting in a future blog post. (There's so much crap written about "Value Added" it's quite wearing!) And pricing is a topic all on its own.

Till then, don't be afraid of giving away some special offers, even if they're "only" some useful experience or know-how you're happy to share in a white paper or other content.

And take a look at our own summer pricing if you need help with any of the above! Oh, and wear sunscreen.