The summer sales slump: a dire challenge for every SDR manager. It’s the period between June and August when prospects slow down on taking meetings, your points of contact are seemingly always out on vacation, and your sales reps appear to be working less and less efficiently. If you’ve noticed a downturn in sales during past summer months, you’re not alone and you’re definitely not making it up; research has shown that as it gets warmer out, productivity may drop as much as 4% per degree.
So how can sales leaders overcome this slump? We’ve compiled three tips to help you engage your SDRs (and continue hitting quota!) as temperatures rise.
1. Use down time as coaching time
When things begin to slow down in the summertime, don’t fret! Instead, use these lulls to further develop your sales team’s skills. Most likely, you’ve been taking note of areas where individual team members may need a bit of extra guidance; take advantage of this open time to work closely with these team members to get them up to speed.
Say you have one or two SDRs who seem to be missing the mark on cold emailing. Consider bringing the team together for a workshop where you all share your best emailing tips, examples of what has worked in the past (and what has not), and even practice with each other. If you can’t identify one particular area in which your team is struggling, consider using this time to explore new trends in the industry so that everyone is up-to-date on the latest happenings and sales techniques (like adding videos into the sales cycle). The key is to look at idle time as an opportunity to improve (because it is!).
2. Set clear goals for your SDRs (and reward achievements)
As a sales leader, you’re probably thinking about goals year-round. You’re used to presenting slides in weekly team meetings that point out how close the team is to meeting quota, progress on objectives and key results. This orientation around goals shouldn’t stop in the summer; in fact, now’s the time to ramp it up!
Work with individual team members to set clear goals for Q3. That sales rep who’s struggling with cold emailing? Challenge them to test out at least 3 new emailing styles in the month of June. And don’t shy away from a little friendly competition. Summer is the perfect time to incentivize your sales team and get them excited about new possibilities. Maybe the person who sets the most meetings wins concert tickets or a weekend hotel stay, or maybe there’s an end-of-summer team retreat if the team hits a group goal! Talk to your team about what would encourage them to push a little harder during these warmer months.
3. Embrace (and encourage) summer fun
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t be the boss that sucks the fun out of summer. Your SDRs are humans first, with lives outside of work. They’re likely looking forward to the warm weather and all that comes with it — extra family time, outdoor activities, and vacations. As their manager, make it clear that you are just as excited for their summer plans as they are! Be open to flexible work hours and remote work, and encourage your SDRs to use their PTO (and, if you can, consider offering quota relief while they’re gone). After all, the love for summer doesn’t magically disappear once we “grow up,” and when your team members are fulfilled in their personal lives, they’re better equipped to thrive professionally.
We know that hiring needs persist even in the midst of the summer slump. If you’re looking for help building out your rockstar SDR team, connect with Vendition today!