Slumps happen. Whether it is influenced by market conditions, a poorly performing product or just a generally lousy stretch of Closed Lost deals, slumps still suck. But, you can make lemons out of lemonade during this slower time! Ok fine – that was cheesy but the point is, you can use this time to set yourself up for success. From brushing up on prospecting skills to maintaining your pipeline and upselling, there’s plenty to keep you busy when things are quiet. You can be a proactive participant in a brighter future!
1) Audience Engagement
It’s sort of like Spring Cleaning! After you’re done you feel so refreshed. Have you recently verified that you are reaching the right audience? Do your email nurture streams need a refresh? Is your blog in need of some new content? Do you have a plethora of unengaged contacts in your marketing automation platform that you try to re-engage with a targeted campaign? If they don’t want to hear from you, move on. It actually benefits you to have a tighter (read: smaller) list that is really interested in your content.
Do you have a host of automatic email replies that say ‘This contact no longer works here’? Remove them from your nurture to improve your bounce rate.
Tackling these ‘housekeeping’ items will not only be a relief, it’ll help launch your marketing and sales efforts.
2. Validate Your Customers
Downtimes are also a great time to validate your target market. Use the valuable data in your CRM to analyze your clients and former clients. What is your ideal client profile? Who do you have the most success with? What type of clients had the shortest sales cycles? While I’m sure you already have an ICP, it’s important to occasionally validate or optimize it. Recently we completed this exercise and analyzed:
- Our success in each vertical
- Company revenue
- Number of employees
- NAICS code (how the Government classified their business)
- Average Contract Value
- Lifetime Customer Value
Once we got more granular with the ICP, we analyzed how quickly those deals moved through the sales cycle to get laser-focused on the profile that was most profitable and fastest to close.
We also reviewed our lost opportunities from the past year to determine if the opportunities were lost due to sales performance or if we were engaging with the wrong market. The results of our analysis were both expected and surprising, and will help us shape our messaging and outbound approach moving forward. I highly recommend doing this if you haven’t done it recently!
3. Engage on Social
When the market is down or there is a general challenge, people flock to social to commiserate and get support from their peers. Nurture new and existing relationships by:
- Sharing their content with your network
- Commenting or liking their content to increase their engagement
- Tagging them with an article that they might find interesting based on your knowledge of their situation
- Refer one of your contacts to them if there may be a business fit and connect them through social
In addition, just being more active on social (posting both curated and organic content) will help expand your brand awareness.
When you shore up your sales processes and follow a few of these tips, you can start proactively reaching the right people. While it may take some time to make your next sale, knowing that you are going after the right people, with the right message, is one way to expediate pipeline opportunities and turn the slump into a sale!
Need help? Staccato Pro offers solutions to get you out of a sales slump and help you reach the right audience through viable prospecting efforts. From eliminating guesswork to providing an easier way to record sales activities, this software solution can play an important role in your sales initiatives when used in tune with the right marketing strategies.