It’s that time of year again, with the sun poking its head through the clouds, April is here which means the financial year has begun.
The start of a new year is a time for change, evaluating how your last year went and planning what you need to improve upon in the upcoming year; the financial year is no different.
Businesses in the UK will currently be reflecting on their current profits, performances and practices and determining where improvements can be made. Once these assessments have been made, companies will forecast their budgets for the upcoming financial year and decide what to focus their spending on.
This is where sales people should be seizing the opportunity that a new financial year brings.
Companies spend up to 4 months determining their budget and how they should be allocating their funds to secure the greatest return on investment. During this window (which can last well over a financial quarter) you can influence companies to spend their budget on your product because they have the flexibility to commit financially and aren’t always tied to a fixed financial plan.
Whether you’ve had the deflating response to a sales call of “ring back in the new financial year, my budget is spent” or not, now is the best time to be preparing yourself to secure as much of others people’s budget as you can.
What can I do to secure these financial year sales?
Although people in the final quarter of the financial year are more willing to make impulse buys to use their budgets, making a sale in the first quarter requires a more persuasive and convincing argument for a significantly greater investment.
In order to do this, you need to assess your own current business situation and determine what has worked and what has not in terms of securing sales and selling your product. Through close analysis of successful and unsuccessful transactions, you should be able to pinpoint which areas of the process need more attention.
The next stage is to decide how to improve any inefficiencies in your sales cycle, whether this is through better prospecting practices, sales training or simply a company day out to relieve some pressure.
To gain clarity on which clients you should be focusing on in terms of sales during this opportunistic quarter or even the areas that are most responsive to selling at this time, your company should hold both group and team meetings to determine where the focus should be to maximise sales.
These meetings benefit everyone from senior level executives to junior recruits because they can offer an alternative angle to selling the product which could be more effective, the old mantra ‘two heads are better than one’ is never wrong.
Similarly, this is the time of year when you need to evaluate your current list of prospects and decide who is going to be the most responsive to your sales offering. Target these prospective clients and build a list of new leads that are likely to benefit from your product, in order to secure the most sales during this period.
It is worth dedicating your time to committing prospects to a sale while they have flexibility in their budget because it will make them more likely to return for a sale in the following financial year.
Fundamentally, the first quarter of the financial year is an essential time for making sales because customers have the budgetary flexibility to commit to your product.
During this period, businesses have the money to spend but it’s up to you as a sales person to refine your processes in order to earn their investment.