The Ventas Group

sales strategies for small business

When to Sell is Part of a Sales Strategy for a Small Business

What sales strategies should you use for your small business? Selling will always be easier when you have a sales organization – whole teams of salespeople, perhaps with prospecting support, and dedicated sales management. But what if you’re a small business? 


Common sense suggests that you sell regularly and consistently to keep your pipeline of opportunities flowing at all times. That’s great when you’ve got the sales organization described above, but not always possible when you’re also responsible for running the entire organization or only have a single salesperson. 


When resources are scarce, you also need to consider when to sell. Timing is a critical component of a small business sales strategy. 


It typically depends on these two things:


  1. When do your customers make budget decisions? 
  2. How long is your sales cycle? 


You need to know the answers to both questions to develop the sales strategy for your small business. 


Sales Strategies for Small Businesses Selling to Large Businesses


If you have a higher ticket offer or are selling to a larger organization your clients typically won’t commit unless it’s been allocated in their budget process. Your sales activity must occur ahead of any budget planning sessions so your investment is already included in the following year’s budget. 


Fiscal year end – sales cycle length = selling schedule

If your sales cycle is typically six months long and your clients make budget decisions in November and December your best sales strategy will be a serious sales effort in May and June. This will be more effective if you’ve already begun building relationships long before.

Smaller Ticket Sales Strategies


If your B2B service offering is less budget critical you still need to understand your own sales cycle length and when during the year your clients tend to purchase. Ironically, this may be based on when their own clients tend to purchase.


For example, if you sell digital advertising services to landscaping companies and your sales cycle is three months long, you’ll need to be making your sales outreach efforts during the winter months to accommodate your sales cycle and any time for the creative work. 



The Selling Season for Your Business


You’ll also want to understand these sales timing factors:


  • Are there times of day when your clients are more likely to be open to a sales approach? 
  • Days of the week? 
  • Are there major events in your target industry that you should be aware of and possibly attending? 

Where possible, selling should be happening regularly and consistently since building and strengthening relationships are key. But for smaller businesses you’ll want to know and understand the selling ‘season’ for your defined target market too.

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