Q4: Redemption Lies Ahead
Using the end of year fray to get deals over the line
The 4th quarter is my favorite time of year. Not only do I love the holidays and celebrating with family, but I love the rush of bringing surprise deals across the line.
If you’ve fallen behind on your end-of-year target as a salesperson, the arrival of the fourth quarter may put the wind back in your sails. B2B buyers are working with existing remaining budget, finalizing their new budgets for the coming year, and many are looking to spend on new solutions before the inevitable holiday slowdown. These last few months of the year, particularly December, can be saving grace for B2B salespeople working to hit their quotas. Consider Q4 to be a critical period for getting your performance numbers back on track and finishing the year strong.
When you’re selling near the end of the year, you have a unique opportunity to influence your prospect’s operational budget for the following year. Your prospective customer, along with his or her fellow decision-makers, will be considering a variety of options during this time, so this is an excellent opportunity to fight for your piece of the pie.
Once you’ve completed your sales due diligence and determined that a partnership with your prospect makes sense for both parties, don’t be afraid to ask for a piece of the remaining budget, or a spot on the prospect’s upcoming annual budget. Maintain your product’s value and demonstrate that if these desired clients make a commitment to you by the end of the year, you will do everything in your power to exceed their expectations.
Fourth-quarter sales typically are always executed in a time crunch, which is why it’s critical to have all of the information you need before beginning a formal sales call. Delays during this period could push your potential sale into the following quarter, which could have serious implications for your end-of-year performance numbers as well as the budget structure your client’s organization has set. Before the Q4 sales blitz begins, gather all of the critical research you’ll need throughout the sales process, such as CRM history, industry research, market segmentation data, behavioral statistics, and more. Also, be prepared to use your own knowledge to help the process at any time.
Communicate clearly and openly with your prospects as well as your coworkers.
Effective communication habits are always part of a successful salesperson’s strategy, but their significance is highlighted when you’re attempting to close a large contract with a key client just days before the end of the year. There is no substitute for being available when your client needs you and having accurate answers to their questions. During this time, however, it is equally important to foster effective communication within your own organization. Sales is always a collaborative effort, and it’s critical to notify other departments as soon as possible when you need help with the sales process; this will help minimize any delays that could disrupt the sale.
Many B2B buyers will be looking for new solutions before the end of the year, but it is up to you to implement strategies that will shorten the sales cycle and put you in a position to close the deal on time. Pay attention to your marketing and sales alignment, deploy value-added content at the appropriate points in the sales funnel, and have specific pricing packages ready for your clients to bring out as soon as the conversation warrants it. When you’re up against a deadline, even seemingly insignificant details like a typo can cause a detrimental delay in the process. When it comes to contracts, go over your sales materials thoroughly and work closely with all relevant parties. Legal, accounting, IT, and customer-onboarding personnel should be included. See Sales Sequence of Events.
If you pay attention at every stage of the process, you should have no reason not to excel in the fourth quarter, exceed your sales targets, and add value to your company and clients.