Why am I talking about 4th quarter in August? 4th quarter is two months away! I would argue that fourth quarter begins in September and runs through December 15th. In all honesty how much business do you really close after December 15th? Some clients admit that business basically winds down the first week in December.
So, that means fourth quarter starts NEXT month. Here are 5 things you can do to drive revenue and assure a great year end close:
1. Ask the sales team what they think they need to make it a great quarter. Let them bitch and give you the old complaints and then ask them to look at their prospect list and think about what they specifically need to close the business. Is there something unique they must do for each customer –could generic presentations be the problem. When they say, let’s lower our price, listen and once again ask them to put aside the pricing issue and look for other reasons why your solution is or isn’t the best one for the prospect.
2. Ask each salesperson to review their open prospects and rank them based on the value of your solution to the prospect. For instance, a prospect who’s need is directly and permanently solved by buying your solution would be Number 1. Prospects for which your solution is nice to have but not a must have should rank at the bottom. Now, focus your attention and your team’s attention on the top 15 prospects and work hard to demonstrate your value to them by buying now. Is there an aspect of your solution that logically should start in the new year?
3. As a manager, focus on the right behaviors from your sales people. Reward them and praise them for making the calls, scheduling appointments, doing the follow-up and especially when they share information with a prospect that helps that prospect improve their results. Giving often results in receiving.
4. Approach your most recent customers and ask them to give you a referral. The honeymoon period is the best time to ask for a referral. But be sure you ask them to introduce you and not just give you the contact information for the new prospect. At this time of year, if will take a push from a trusted colleague to get many brand new prospects to listen to a new sales presentation.
5. Create some new energy by inviting outside quests to speak at some of your sales meetings. Ask an existing client to tell the story of what your solutions have done for them. Invite a local sales expert to share some tips. Invite a sales manager from a non-competing company to talk about what his/her sales team does to make the 4th quarter great and then reciprocate and offer to speak at one of their sales meetings.
6. Get out in the field with them. Not to spy on them, leave that up to the NSA they’re better at it anyway. Your goal is help, to show the prospect that their business is important enough for management to take an active role. Mentor, coach and model the behaviors and actions you want from your team. Above all, don’t them see you sweat. Fear and panic are contagious – you should be spreading confidence, pride and energy. Your sales team needs support as they approach the fiscal finish line not recriminations.
Lead your team to a great 4th quarter. When you’re behind the instinct is to push but leading is far more effective and certainly less stressful that admonishing your staff to “work harder”, “close that sale” or …………………
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