We’ve all heard of Christmas in July, right? The term and the concept date back to the 1940’s based on a movie comedy called, “Christmas in July.” The lead character gets duped into believing he’s won $25,000 and uses the money (that he didn’t really win) to buy gifts for his friends and family. Today, it’s a term mainly used for marketing by retailers to promote all of their summer sales to make room for new inventory.
What July means to the business owner:
Christmas in July can also have a special meaning for sales channels, especially those that work off a calendar year budget. June 30 represents the first six months of performance for the year, and this milestone date is one of the big report cards because the first six months predict how you will finish the year. The July 1 date represents the opportunity to evaluate and make the changes needed to ensure the sales numbers are being met for the year. It’s the time to reflect, strategize and plan to ensure that your year ends strong!
Five things to do during July to ensure Christmas comes in December!
- Conduct a pacing forecast review with your Sales Leader (or CFO) to get an understanding of where you are going to finish the year. (Tip: Any VP of Sales should be able to provide a detailed, accurate forecast of where you are going to finish the year within 5%.)
- Based on your forecasted finish, strategize with your Sales Leader to create an action plan to get back on track (if you are forecasted to miss your number) or overachieve the number if you are on track to hit.
- Review all sales metrics for the sales team. Evaluate all members, particularly the non-performers. (Tip: Depending on your sales cycle, it takes a new sales member 4-5 months to fill their pipeline. Now would be the time to hire new sales team members to ensure they are productive for the following year.)
- Create new marketing efforts to help drive more lead generation to the organization (fill the funnel).
- Create some short-term incentives for the team or customer incentives (as a part of the action plan in item 2) to help achieve the numbers.
You may be thinking that the year is only halfway over, but depending on the length of your sales cycle, your ability to impact this year will soon be coming to a close. If it takes your company 3 months on average to close a deal, you now have only until September 30 to identify an opportunity for it to close this year! If you have a longer sales cycle, you have even less time!
Follow the 5 items listed above now to give yourself the greatest chance of success this year. There will be time to work on next year’s revenue pipeline later in the year.
If your company is falling short on sales revenue, we can help. Contact a Sales Xceleration Advisor to help provide a comprehensive plan from sales foundation to sales leadership certifications.