Beat the Summer Blues: Keep Your Sales Team Motivated
Summer can be a difficult time to be in sales. Half your prospects are on vacation. Your friends are off doing crazy, fun stuff. And every time you get out of the car, the heat hits you like a wall.
As a sales manager, no doubt you've seen the phenomenon of reps dispirited and demotivated by the challenges of summer. So it makes sense to work preemptively to give your reps plenty of extra motivation to keep them going during the long, hot summer months. How to do it? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Give them Summer Working Strategies
One of the most frustrating parts about summer is potential customers simply disappearing because they're going on vacation. It can be frustrating to keep a productive pipeline running during vacation season. Encourage your reps to ask if and when current prospects will be going on vacation, and keep track of when they will be coming back. It's easy for potential deals to be lost during the summer months because they slip through the cracks as professionals are covering for one another during vacations, or are simply forgotten in the pile-up of things to be done when they return.
Help your reps to stay on top of the different sales dynamic of summer by contacting prospects soon after they return from vacations and renewing interest. Remind them that things are also extra challenging for the competition, so if they can get a handle on the summer pipeline, they'll have a leg up.
Change Up Your Normal Rewards
Because summer is a time when we normally change our rhythms and routines, it can be a great opportunity to insert some extra surprises into your normal short-term sales rewards schedule. What exciting summer events are happening in your area that you could give out tickets to? How about tickets to the local water park or a gift card to Cold Stone or Ben & Jerry's? If you're not sure what types of spiffs or rewards would appeal, try asking your sales team.
Plan a Fun, No Pressure Activity
Sometimes what your team needs during the long, hot, dog days of summer is just a day to relax and hang out together. Spend the day at a theme park. Go roller-blading. Have an office pool party (or beach party, if you're lucky enough to live near the beach). Bonding together over hot dogs and cold drinks can build morale and team spirit and make it feel like summer even though they're still at work.
Organize a Special Summer Contest
There's no better time than summer for a high stakes, no-holds-barred sales contest with an awesome prize at the end. Like sky diving or a flat-screen T.V. You can limit your contest to a single month (say July or August) or make it last all summer.
Do a Service Project
Nothing makes you feel better than helping someone else. Summer is a great time to do something meaningful for your community. Organize a service project at your local homeless shelter, animal shelter, or school. Be sure to provide meals for the reps who participate and adjust sales quotas for the week or month so that it ends up being a positive experience and not a drain on their energy and resources.