Recently we trained a team of 50+ sales reps from a B2B enterprise company. Picture this: we opened the presentation with this question: “Are you going to make your revenue number?” Out came the laptops and tablets. 80% of them started to pull up reports and tried to get answers. Within a couple minutes the responses started to come in. The common response was some version of “maybe”.
Given that there were still over 4 months left in the year, we were surprised that so many didn’t know with any certainty if they’d make the number. Why is this? It’s because they don’t truly know what they’ve got in their pipeline or the viability of existing deals.
This article will provide you with insights and strategies for still making the number this year. To assist you further, sign-up for SBI’s Sales Workshop here. This no-cost tour presents findings from SBI’s market research. You will have access to research to help you make the number this year and beyond.
5 Keys to Closing Strong this Year
- Increase Your Speed: Time is of the essence. With only 3 ½ months left in the year, you need to become laser-focused. Pick out the opportunities that have the highest probability of closing this year. Your quick efforts this month and next will help to strengthen your position with buyers and help to make sure your competition doesn’t get a leg up on you.
- Be Agile: The landscape is different now than earlier in the year. It’s not the time to be cerebral and weigh your options. It’s not the time for deep analysis. It IS time to act. Move quickly and with agility to beat the competition. Develop a Q4 strategy and begin executing it immediately. Are you in jeopardy of missing your number this year? If so, then it’s better to take a Ready, Fire and Aim approach.
- Prioritize: Review the opportunities in your pipeline and identify the quick wins and potential big deals. Quick wins will help you build momentum. The big deals will help the most with making your number. Combine the two and you’re looking at a strong Q4. For those thinking that it’s easier said then done, check out the Deal Viability Guide to help you assess the health of your deals.
The Deal Viability Guide provides quick, easy evaluations of the opportunities in your pipeline. The key to making your number is in focusing on the opportunities which have the highest likelihood of closing this year. The Deal Viability Guide simplifies the effort by helping you narrow in on the healthiest deals.
4. Pack the Pipeline: Do all you can to ensure your pipeline is full and healthy. Snag a few referrals, leverage your network, and let it rip! Psychologically, your confidence will increase with a funnel full of high-quality opportunities. Confidence and ample opportunities is a recipe for Q4 success. Just as sharks smell blood in the water, buyers smell desperation and urgency in your sales delivery. Desperation kills your flow, and greatly decreases your chances of winning the sale.
5. Avoid Tricks, Gimmicks, or Forceful Selling: Speeding up the process DOES NOT MEAN you sacrifice your sales strategy. You still must strive to understand the buyer and his/her journey. Remain buyer focused and allow the process to grow organically. Be direct and assertive, but not forceful or aggressive. Remember that a healthy pipeline is the best medicine against sales urgency and desperation. Customers see through tricks a mile away. Gimmicks to move them to the next stage of the journey will turn them off and/or open the door to competition. These strategies don’t just risk losing them as a sale. They’re likely to look elsewhere for a rep that doesn’t push them or manipulate them. . It’s simply not worth it. Stick to your process, and win the deal naturally.
As I mentioned, a strong pipeline can make your Q4 much smoother. Download the Deal Visibility Guide, and strive to understand your pipeline. Confidence in your opportunities yields confidence in your selling. Don’t waste anymore time – start planning for Q4 today and make that number.