A Reseller Educational Series
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
In September most resellers are focused on closing sales for the third quarter. However, this is also the critical time for finalizing fourth quarter sales and end-of-year programs. Was 2010 a successful year? The last quarter can be the deciding factor. It also presents a challenge to sales professionals due to the many holidays including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, plus Thanksgiving in North America, so careful planning is essential.
The quarter also presents some advantages. Budgets always determine a customer’s ranking on your prospect list but now, a dwindling budget can actually justify a higher position. A good example was a government organization I contacted this past June. Some money remained in the organization’s budget but it would vanish at the end of their fiscal year on June 30. There were only a few days remaining. I generated a quick quote for two of our product bundles with flexible architectures to “place mark” the purchase. The remaining budget dollars were now officially allocated, and the installation could be scheduled at the customer’s convenience the following fiscal year.
Back in July I attended ShoreTel’s (News - Alert) Champion Conference in California. At reseller events like this I ask a lot of questions to get the reseller read on the market. Many resellers have adjusted to the difficult economic climate by implementing sales tactics that can also be adapted as part of an EOY campaign. Tactics like mining your customer base for opportunities to sell new features such as FoIP or switching out legacy desk phones are great. Expanding VoIP capacity or offering long-term support agreements at a discount are also programs that fit limited EOY budgets.
The key to a successful campaign will be planning and implementation. Begin by analyzing your customer base for opportunities and configure product bundles that fit limited EOY budgets. Structure staff schedules to make full use of the non-holiday selling periods. Lastly, do not hesitate to place management and non-sales personnel in a supporting role for your sales team. Hurry - the endis near.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi