While the fiscal climate for school budgets next year remains unclear, you can be sure that every superintendent and administrator knows that their budget needs to be completely spent down by the end of this month. Of course, many districts have long ago accounted for every penny in their FY12 budgets, but the last week of June presents an opportunity to sell to your customers who need to expend what they have left on the books. What’s more – taking advantage of this window of opportunity will not only give your sales a month-end boost, but can also serve as a valuable company-wide endeavor that increases customer contact and knowledge.
To accomplish this, you first need to ensure that you can handle invoicing and shipping on the last working day of June (Friday the 29th). Next, look at what you can offer to schools who are working with limited budgets. This may mean focusing more on your supplemental materials and training, rather than your core product. Consider offering the professional development product to customers buying in the next week, and then work on the rest of the product line in FY13. Put together deals that are simple and easy-to-understand, by bundling in classroom packs and school packs. You should be looking at the $250 and $500 levels, though you still may find some $5K and $10K orders that roll in.
Once you are set with logistics and product offerings, consider setting up a “calling day” where everyone in the company – not just the sales staff – contacts customers to offer them your end-of-the-year deals. Don’t overcomplicate this; simply divide up your list of customers and prospects and have everyone spend a day or two calling. (Or if you are going to the ISTE conference, you can do some of these sales in person). By spreading out the sales calls, not only can you work through your client base quickly, but you also give your employees outside of sales the chance to talk to people who are actually using your products. One of our companies did this last year, helping them to double sales over the previous June, while giving all their employees a greater appreciation for the sales process and how their products are actually being utilized. So as June 30 quickly approaches and the pressure to plan for the next fiscal year increases, don’t overlook the opportunities in the waning days of FY12 to finish with strong sales – and to increase customer knowledge throughout your company.
Is this an approach you've tried in the past? What other methods have you used to increase end-of-year sales? Share your thoughts in the comments below.