How to Reverse the B2B Summer Sales Slump

You can tell it’s summer in sales by the uptick in unanswered calls and out-of-office emails. For a lot of business folk, the kids are out of school and vacations are taking precedence. That’s right, it’s the usual seasonal slump, so why should you be sweating trying to turn leads into prospects and convert prospects into clients? Maybe you should just stop selling for all 90-plus days of summer and instead get your pool time in.

Just be warned that as soon as you decide the hot months are a cold time for selling, you’ll take a hit with that self-fulfilling prophesy. Of course summer slows things down, but it doesn’t stop progress. And neither should you. Many people are still working, and they need solutions even when the sun is out. It’s not just lawn chairs and beer koozies they want to buy—so don’t you buy into the idea that there’s no point in carrying out your sales activities.

Attitude Is Everything
At any time of year, your mindset and attitude are crucial factors to your performance and success. We’ve said it before: If you’re putting out a negative vibe, then negativity is what you will receive in return. This summer, continue your sales activities same as you did in Q1 and Q2. Thinking positively increases your chances of a positive outcome.

Another thing we’ve talked about before is that to grow your success rate you must improve your skills and techniques as a sales rep. Take advantage of slow periods this summer, using your downtime to increase your skillset, educate yourself on best practices for things like your CRM, and research new sales productivity apps for streamlining your workflows. Those activities will pay off not just in Q4, but all year round.

Pad Your Pipeline
Make it a summer to remember by focusing on your prospecting efforts and activities. No movement in the old pipeline? Fill it with new prospects. To mix metaphors—because it’s summer, so no one will notice—you’ll be stocking the pipeline pond with new blood. Here are some ideas for how to do that:

  • Read articles, subscribe to newsfeeds and to newsletters to see what’s going on in your industry. Set up Google alerts, which will notify you when a company announces a product launch, new hires, or expansion plans. Then use that targeting information as an entrée for approaching a prospect. When you’re in the know—say, about a recent promotion or merger—that signals to the prospect that you’re not simply calling them off a purchased list, but that you’ve identified them for specific, relevant reasons.
  • Call the companies with whom you have built a solid report and ask if they know of peers who would benefit from your products and services.

Cultivate Your Existing Relationships
And about those loyal, satisfied customers of yours, while you have them on the phone, take care of some account management and ask how your products and services have been for them. Perhaps it’s a good time to have a conversation about, for example, membership renewal or upping their licenses? Work with the client base you have—it’s not always about finding new customers.

Finally, collaborate with Marketing on freshening up collateral, white papers, and the like. And/or reexamine your existing content. Does it need a summer makeover? You’re the eyes and ears of the buyer, so offer your marketing pals valuable feedback and suggestions on how to increase the relevance of what’s already been built.

Once you’ve done all of that, you will have spent your summer wisely. You will have earned your pool time, too.