Finally, summer has arrived. But while most will greet the sunshine and barbecue season with joy and celebrate by eating more charcoal-infested meat than is strictly good for their health, those of us in the IT sector have other things to consider.
While most firms are cautiously forecasting that the worst of the downturn is over - analyst firm IDC predicted in its latest survey that IT budgets will rise by about 12 per cent this year - the summer season is still met with trepidation. And this year will be no exception.
In fact, the chances are that this time around it will hit harder than ever. If you consider that most firms have now made the necessary changes to become lean and mean in their space, while belts have been tightened to corset proportions, not to mention the consolidation that has gone on, it is clear that competition will be fierce.
If that wasn't enough to worry about, this year is every sporting fanatic's dream. There's Euro 2004, the rugby Down Under and the Olympics, as well as the usual Henmania at Wimbledon and the ongoing Grand Prix season. I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could find a tiddlywinks championship somewhere as well.
So how, with all of this sporting distraction and the sunshine streaming in through your office windows, do you keep your sales staff motivated to keep selling during the coming months?
Prepare now. Find out what motivates your sales staff. Money might be the answer in some cases, but it is definitely not the be-all and end-all.
Some of your staff may want time off to watch said sporting events; some may want vouchers for shopping, or corporate trips out, or even a bottle of fizzy stuff; and for others just a simple but sincere thank you may be sufficient reward for their hard work.
Whatever it is that turns your sales staff on, let them know now that you are prepared to reward their toil during the coming months.
This will ensure that mouths are already watering and staff are poised to tackle the seasonal drop-off, which in turn will keep your business from going cold in the heat of summer.
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