Please read a letter our CEO Rick Pizzoli sent to our colleagues, customers and partners last week. Let's make it a great summer!
I hope you’re planning to take some time for yourself soon. We all deserve a break. My kids just finished their last week of school here in Madrid and we are getting ready to travel a bit. But I’m by no means taking the summer off. Just taking it on the road, and often taking it easier. I’m not alone. The sales process can’t stop just because you're on vacation.
A few years ago, we offered three ways to beat the summer sales slump. The world has changed a lot since then. And, while more people are traveling than they have in the past two summers, we aren’t foreseeing that usual slump hitting Europe. In fact, we have a lot of new engagements kicking off, especially in lead generation and inside sales, ramping up for more field sales come September.
That doesn’t mean it’ll be business as usual this summer. Or maybe it is becoming the new BAU. Hybrid sales and remote sales will certainly dominate the next couple months. But, with burnout in tech higher than ever, we also need to refocus on self-care and find ways to disconnect daily. This all means your sales approach has to be different. Read on to learn how to make the most of your summer — working less and selling more.
There may be a push to get folks back in the office, but, except those in pursuit of A/C, we don’t expect to see a lot of commuting to co-locate this July and August. If you’re meeting with clients, you have to go where they are — and, this summer, it’s likely to be online and not always available from 9 to 5. But that’s a good thing because sales reps and BDRs can be more effective with their time too, and to embrace more work-life balance. It’s about finding more ways to be productive and making sure every prospect connection is meaningful.
This summer should see less competition for attention. European prospects will more often be working from home — or vacation homes — and have lighter workloads this summer. Your competition may be pausing campaigns leaving your target audience with more time to browse your content on socials and newsletters, and maybe even to engage more on sales calls, webinars and demos. This is refreshing after over a year of people half-listening to online events and scrolling through LinkedIn while they work, checking emails late at night while they binge TV.
Your prospective clients will be likely working more flexible hours, perhaps in the mornings and evenings and spending their afternoons with their families and friends. Or taking well-earned long breaks during the hottest part of the day. That’s good. You should take time for yourself too. It’s been a tough couple years and there’s a huge need for self-care.
Try to set up brief meetings ahead — the switchboards won’t be working and no one wants a surprise sales call interrupting their downtime.
Globally there’s a trend toward a four-day work week. There are government-backed experiments already running or planned in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Ireland and Spain. If you do try to work less — and you should — Fridays are good to take off, as there may be no one working, except those that choose the peace and productivity of a day with no meetings.
Anyway, Fridays are proven to be the least productive days of the week, so you can maintain better focus the rest of the week. Both you and your targets will be working less, but better. Flexible work is a direct driver of productivity.
Similarly, the SFE team is encouraged to balance work and life, while staying productive throughout the summer. Our lead generation campaigns are full-speed ahead and under constant measurement and review for continuous improvement. And our sales executives are available for full-time or half-time contracts. When you bring a decade or more of local tech sales experience, you are naturally more efficient in building the customer relationships necessary to closing deals faster.
Whether it’s just for this summer or there’s a more permanent shift toward more flexible work, it’s time to hone your communication routine.
Prepare to be understanding — and friendly — when kids inevitably interrupt sales calls. Recognize that your customers may be more distracted as they split their time between typing and touring, coding and parenting, and adapt the way you communicate.
One of the best parts of our move to hybrid work is the emphasis on asynchronous communication. Written communication matters now more than ever. Take notes during client conversations and update your CRM right away. This “hit-by-a-bus sales” habit not only enables better coverage when sales reps and BDRs take time off, it sets you up for better prospect follow up. Within 24-hours of a call, send them an email summarizing what they’ve said and make them feel listened to.
Expect slower responses, but keep your outreach fresh by always trying to offer something new that they might be interested in. Following the Socratic Method, strive to be inquisitive and committed to your customer’s success.
Be sure to end each call by asking:
The first often opens up the conversation to real needs or objections. The latter clarifies all the decision makers involved.
While a lot of it has gone digital, international business development is more about building relationships than ever. Not just with your customers but with your team. Let’s work together to make sure we’re caring for each other and ourselves.
Looking to expand to Europe? Shoot me an email with some availability. I’d love to have a chat. Have a great summer!