The 4th quarter is always a stressful time it seems, but does it have to be?
By Aaron Hart, BDR
M Sales Growth Advisors
We all know the stress that comes with fourth quarter sales. For some of us it's trying to close a few more deals to reach our goal and for others it's worrying about starting the new year strong. However, with the right focus and execution, some of this stress can be mitigated, or even eliminated. As the fourth quarter is now well under way, here are some best practices to prepare yourself for the end of the year and into 2023.
1. Set clear expectations for prospects and your team members early
Mapping out a plan before the beginning of the holiday season can be beneficial to your team, primarily because it helps align expectations for what the pipeline needs to look like for the rest of the year. By having a clear, defined plan, you’ll know what numbers you need to hit to achieve your KPIs/Sales Goals.
2. Don’t go MIA when it comes to your top of the sales funnel
When it comes to Q4 selling, some salespeople tend to neglect the pursuit of new business because of the belief the deals will not close by December 31. Although it may seem easy to ignore these opportunities to prioritize existing prospects, they could be great business for starting the new year strong. Plus, you may even get a few new unexpected deals closed to finish the year on an upswing.
3. Follow up on lingering proposals
We all know the frustration of having prospects who keep kicking the ball down the road. As the year comes to a close, Q4 can serve as a good time to see if these prospects are positioned to achieve their first quarters goals and initiatives. In discussions with them, you can recognize areas where your company can provide value. If they want to start implementation in January you can start working backwards when it comes to scheduling dates for meetings, purchases and services in November and December.
4. Discovery calls in December
Just like the previous tip, this is all about setting yourself up for a strong new year. Do not wait until January to start filling up your pipeline for the first quarter. Neglecting this will make you feel unprepared, rushed and behind. By booking plenty of Discovery calls you should have some well qualified candidates for the new year.
5. Focus on your administrative work and reviews for the end of December
Working on internal activities at the end of December is a great approach, as most prospects are MIA from the week of Christmas to New Year’s. Reviewing what worked (and what did not) throughout the year will give you a better understanding of how to position yourself for wins in the next year. Determining how you were able to produce a win with your top clients can give good insight on how to approach your current and future prospects' challenges. Learning from what went well and applying that knowledge going forward will give you an advantage in winning the business.
6. Relax and recharge
Selling at the end of year can be quite stressful, and could even cause burnout for yourself and other employees. Taking some necessary time off at the end of year to spend time with family and friends is a great way to decompress from the fast-paced environment of sales. If you know you are going to need time off at the end of year, make sure all of your critical tasks are completed before your much needed break.
By implementing these tips you can be sure to close the year strong and start off the new year on the right foot. Remember to manage your time wisely and prioritize your tasks for these tips to work efficiently.