5 Steps to Best Manage Seasonal Sales Spikes
Taking advantage of specific sales times throughout the year is something we all certainly do as consumers. But are we doing it as businesses as well? Often, we are well into the season before we realize we missed the opportunity to plan effectively and appropriately for our customers’ expectations. How can we better prepare for all of the seasonal sales opportunities ahead of us in advance?
- Do the research
- Plan ahead
- Communicate expectations
- Adjust the business, staffing and budget accordingly
- Keep in touch
What can you expect this season that’s new or different from the last? Are you checking your search terms or trend trackers? What happened during the same time last year that surprised you? Try surveying your customer service and sales agents to see what they have been hearing from customers and expanding upon that information. Doing the legwork in advance allows you the opportunity for a more successful strategy based upon real-life data and insights.
Don’t wait until the season is upon you to start thinking about a strategy. Provide timing based on the industry you are targeting. For example, plan ahead by 3-6 months for the Christmas holiday season so you are armed with a variety of programs. This gives you time to reach out to customers regarding their needs, devise strategies and execution plans and formulate benchmarks and key performance indicators for progress and achievement.
Talk to your teams and partners. What do they need to know, and how will you handle situations that arise? Talking about it in advance not only level sets things for everyone involved, but it also helps team members understand the bigger play – who, why, what, how and where. Having context from an executive level about strategies not only informs but also empowers employees to contribute both individually and as a collective.
You may need to train extra team members and use outsourced support to manage busy times. Make sure your budget can handle it. Have you allowed for all of the things necessary at high volume times to meet customer service demands, including additional agents to field calls, emails, chats and more? Perhaps you need to engage contract employees during this time, so you aren’t hiring – and firing – short-term extra help.
Follow influencers in your industry, pay attention to surveys and keywords. The biggest mistake in launching a strategy is not checking in on its performance, so adjustments and pivots can be made where needed. It’s not a one-and-done concept; it’s a living, breathing thing with many touchpoints. So keep your eye on the ball, keep your ear to the ground and check in on progress.
Each season brings its own opportunities. What are you doing to take advantage of them? How are you building your strategy to guarantee your team’s success? Supporting your team at each level offers the opportunity for even greater achievement. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to ensure your teams are equipped with the right methodology and continuing assistance to achieve your sales goals and campaign objectives. Take the right steps to create an atmosphere for phenomenal seasonal sales success.
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