5 steps for the best holiday sales for your team
A gift to help you capitalize on the holiday season

God, do something. Don't just stand there, make it happen.

Lee Iacocca

American Businessman

Every year, the holiday season is the time of the year that makes sales people want to just take the whole month off and start over in January. No matter how virtuous your sales department is, it's likely that you'll be affected by the challenges December brings in terms of focus and productivity. It even happens in our office.

I've teamed up with our sales team to draft a top 5 to-do list that will help you get through holiday season - forever. Here are some tips from sales professionals and me, an "outsider", on what actually works.

Google customers and prospects

The sales perspective:

When you've got some time on your hands, get busy finding new reasons to contact a customer or prospect. Our sales team does that in the easiest of ways - Google.

What can Google tell you about your clients and leads? The Odoo sales team agrees that Google is an invaluable tool to get to know your audience better and gain information you can use for the next time you contact them. 

This is really a no-brainer. Google is likely to lead you to information-rich links like a LinkedIn profile, personal pages and more. Find out if you have something in common with your lead – education, hobbies, interests, etc.

Take it from an outsider:

As a marketeer, I'm often contacted about visibility opportunities. I can tell you that people immediately recognize if you've taken the time to find out more about them. I'm likely to spend more time talking to someone who's done their homework, because it's more likely they'll understand me and my company’s needs and that their offer will be targeted and tailor made.

Holiday networking

The sales perspective:

Think of December as the most generous month in terms of conversation starters. Seasonal greetings are a great ice breaker and provide you with the opportunity to remind leads about your company and services.

Knowing they have a good database to work from, our sales team writes down a list of the people they most rarely talk to. Just 5 calls per day could allow you to rekindle the romance with over 150 contacts by New Year’s Eve. Even if you don't speak to that many people, you'll already have contacted more people than you would have otherwise.

Take it from an outsider:

Who prefers a cold opening line to a polite seasonal greeting? Not me. Call me old school, but I think even though we're all busy people that doesn't mean we don't have a heart. Although I might not have the time or the possibility to concretely follow up on your offer immediately, when the phone rings in January, you won’t just be a random name in the follow-up calls craze.

Holiday selling

The sales perspective:

Our colleagues in the business-to-business environment confirm that things tend to get a little harder in December.

What they do is use the holiday period to market themselves as thought leaders and knowledge providers by sharing relevant intelligence. Relevant intelligence? Think industry trends, or news that will shape the market in the coming months. When things get back to normal, you will have something more than just a cold sale to discuss.

Take it from an outsider:

If you provide me with information about the industry, the market or other points of interest, chances are I will look at you not only as a salesperson who is interested in landing a deal, but as an expert in the field. You understand where I work and I believe you are more likely to provide me with an appealing offer.

Make sales not cheap presents

The sales perspective:

I asked our sales team a very simple question: "Is offering a special deal for immediate purchase really the best way to finalize a sale?". The answer was pretty much unanimous: “buy cheaper, buy now” can backfire. They prefer to make calls that are valuably informative as well as selling, as this prepares the ground for a future purchase. 

The reason for this is simple: familiarizing your clients with your company, products and services. Finally, sell according to the customers or leads’ parameters: you will gain a sale at a higher value and make a higher profit.

Take it from an outsider:

Every product is different, and every buyer is different, but there's something we all have in common: the way we buy. When making up their minds about an investment, buyers act based on a deal only if they are already familiar with the product. What does this mean? It means that if I do not have an existing knowledge base about your product, your amazing discount proposal will fall on deaf ears. Take the time to educate me. Then, in due time, make me an offer, if you will. I will know what you are talking about and I will better understand why the deal or discount you are suggesting is so appealing. Take it from a potential customer (me!) and our sales team: time is best leveraged when you sell according to the customer’s time factor, not your own.

New year’s resolution

The sales perspective:

Here at Odoo, our sales team try to keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t. A list of all the questions they ask allows them to identify their skills, pinpoint the do’s and don’ts, and, eventually, get a deeper understanding of their relationship with their customers and leads. How do they do that? Firstly, they begin by recording their questions – jotting them down or really recording them. Then, they divide them by category: ice breakers, facts, lines that help them to close a sale. And they rule out questions that simply don't work.

Take it from an outsider:

How does this benefit me, your target? If your questions are more targeted, it is easier for you and for me to understand whether something will come out of this conversation or not and that means less time wasted.

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