It’s the end of the network TV season, and we all know not to expect much over the summer months. Most B2B businesses take this same approach, expecting sales to drop off. As their customers are frequently vacationing, it seems too much trouble to take on summertime projects. But it’s those low season jobs that have the big impact on year-end performance. Filling that gap effectively can be the most important thing you do all year.
Pipeline management is typically a way of looking at business you expect to close, usually with a horizon of several months. With any luck, your horizon and sell cycle are aligned – that’s to say if it typically takes you 2 months to close a job, you have a solid list of prospects extending out at least three months. Where many get into trouble is with extended close cycles – not uncommon in the B2B world, and a pipeline horizon which falls well short of this.
While that’s not a problem we’ll solve here, it does expose a possibility which tends to work well in summer months. Sell – and deliver something different. Fill the summertime gaps with smaller projects. Ideally these should be off-the-shelf non-custom services and products, which are both easily understood and easily delivered.
These smaller “summertime” jobs, become standard in many businesses, which have learned to fill the gaps. They serve a secondary purpose as well – any time you need to bolster cash flow, or fill pipeline gaps throughout the year, have your business development efforts focus here
Taking the time to develop this short-term offering, means that every summer doesn’t have to be a drought.