Are sales reps ever really on vacation? Are you worried that you will fall behind on your annual goals? Maybe you are worried that your customer forgets about you during the summer because of a lack of contact.
Fortunately, there are many tools at your fingertips to help make your vacation a breeze. Forgot to send out a contract? No problem! e-signature tools make it possible for you to sell from anywhere, whether you're on the clock or not.
Here are 5 tips on how to manage your sales and enjoy the summer holiday!
Tip 1: Choose the best time for your vacation
When it comes to taking a vacation, timing is everything.
- Your vacation shouldn’t cause more stress / you shouldn’t feel like you have to work on your vacation
- Work with other members of your sales team, create a vacation schedule. To simplify time off requests and improve vacation scheduling, consider using a time off request form.
- Is summer your peak season? Might be best to delay your holiday until the fall
Tip 2: Close all possible pipeline leads
As the summer months begin, you and your potential customers start preparing for vacation. When work starts to slow down and contact starts to decrease, pre-summer vacation decision-making is critical.
Evaluating the state of your pipeline will help your summer skeleton crew manage, and set them up for success after their much-deserved holidays.
If you are not planning for the autumn, however, it might be a mission impossible to get organized and execute tasks when your team returns.
To close all possible qualified leads ahead of time, we suggest 3 things:
1. Close the deals at the end of your funnel
If your customer is at the end of the sales funnel, about to make a purchase, simply reach out and ask the buyer to sign.
If you go on summer vacation with limited contact while your customer is close to signing, you could lose them.
Convey the urgency of a signature without being pushy. Let them know you’re leaving for a planned holiday and give them a deadline to sign and return the contract.
2. Answer any lingering questions from buyers
For buyers not at the end of the sales funnel quite yet, schedule a phone call to decide how best to move forward and answer any outstanding questions.
You can also use this call to come up with a plan of action after you return from your holiday.
Politely let the buyer know that you will be taking a vacation and be hard to reach. Get a sense of how the customer feels about the product, and take time to answer any additional questions and identify a new point of contact.
Having a concrete plan when you return will decrease worry and will actually allow you to enjoy the vacation!
3. Create a sense of urgency
If you have a product or service that might sell out or have limited training resources, use it as leverage to help you close deals faster.
For example, your outreach may sound like this:
“We’re almost fully booked for August, so if you would like to get started, we need to make the plans ready before the summer starts.”
By creating a sense of urgency, your customer will start thinking of what they could lose if they don’t act before you go on holiday.
Tip 3: Set calendar meetings and goals for when you return
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after coming back from a long holiday.
Save yourself the stress and set meetings and goals in advance so you can hit the ground running when you return.
Depending on your industry, try to set up as many meetings as you can before you leave for vacation. This way, you won't be rushed or confused about your tasks when you get back.
You could try to book at least 3 meetings per week or plan for 2 projects starting in the month of your return, for example. Spend a little extra time now to be more efficient in the future.
Here are some tips on how to identify meetings you can schedule in advance:
- Review all of your meetings in the last 4 weeks. Do you have leads or actionable next steps with any of them? If not, call them and set up a meeting for after your holiday.
- Review your CRM customer database for any marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Double down and try to set up a meeting before you go on vacation so that you have a better shot at closing the deal when you return.
- Give your customer base (or MQLs) a call and check-in. Are they happy with your service? Is there anything else you can do to help them? Perhaps you can end your phone call with a meeting. Don't necessarily try and sell anything just yet, focus on providing your customer with value. You can also ask them if they know anyone else who could benefit from your products or services.
Tip 4: Use your holiday to spark a conversation
If you are working during a specific time this summer, say the last two weeks in August, try to identify prospects or leads available at the same time as you.
This way, you can open up the conversation around your mutual availability or shared vacation plans.
When life moves into vacation mode, you have a better chance of showing your “human” side and building an authentic connection with a lead.
You also have a great chance to spend time together, which will only improve your seller-buyer relationship.
Use social networking platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Mention your availability and announce your vacation.
By telling people when you are on vacation, it gives you an opportunity to connect in a different way. Maybe invite them to lunch?
Tip 5: No summer vacation? No problem!
Let's face it, as a sales professional, there is no such thing as slowing down. The year is always in full swing.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't give yourself some time to reset and gather your thoughts. If you are not taking a summer vacation, use the summer to reorganize and evaluate progress towards your goals.
You can create that report you've been meaning to make or maybe analyze your own performance goals.
A slowdown in inbound deals also means you have time to get inspired! Find some new inspiration such as reading trending sales or business books, attending webinars, or reading blogs. Investing in yourself will pay off as you tackle the rest of the year.
Here are 3 free sales and leadership-inspired content that will help you relax and reset:
- Extraordinary Leadership by Robin Sharma (Audiobook)
Listen to Robin Sharma shares the top leadership lessons he gave to Nike, Microsoft, and NASA.
Download a free audiobook here.
- The Sales Ladder (Podcast)
In our very own podcast, Thomas Igou interviews sales leaders and influencers to help sales reps discover what it takes to climb the sales ladder.
- Sales Hacker
Sales Hacker is one of our favorite sales blogs. It’s frequently featured on various platforms such as Forbes, Hubspot, SaaStr, and LinkedIn.
Get the most out of your holiday
It is possible for sales reps to take a holiday. All it takes is effective planning and outreach ahead of time.
Start by coordinating your schedule with the rest of your team and company events.
Evaluate your pipeline and close as many deals as possible in the later stages. Set yourself up for success after your time off by scheduling meetings and being organized in advance.
You can also use your holiday plans to spark conversations on social media. Social selling helps you build authentic relationships.
Finally, even if you’re not going on holiday, take some time to reset and reflect on your progress. Explore sales content, such as podcasts and books, to brush up on your skills.