You are well into Q4.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas, you have just over a month of selling time left.  Are you going to make the number?  Will you be a hero or a goat this year?


This blog post is dedicated to those Sales Managers who are in the middle of year-end madness.  All hands are on deck to push deals over the finish line.


Below are some tools top performing Sales Managers use to close out the year.  For a complete list, go to our 2014 Research Report.  The report details how the top 10% sales leaders consistently make the number.  Download the report here to learn from your best-in-class peers.


Tool #1 – The Pipeline Controversy

It’s not time for wishful thinking.  You need to sit down with each sales rep and thoroughly review their pipeline. You need to identify what deals are truly viable and can close in the next 45 days.  Focus on the following to help prioritize what to pursue.


  • Matches Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) – Don’t chase outliers. Focus on opportunities that have the greatest affinity for your products and solutions.
  • Revenue and/or Margin Potential Warrants Pursuit – You need to hit the number. Focus your attention on the accounts that represent the greatest revenue/margin in the shortest amount of time.
  • Contact Established with Decision Maker – If you haven’t interacted with the Decision Maker by now, push it to next year.
  • Pain Associated with Inaction Quantified – The pain of inaction must be greater than breaking status quo. Quantify it. Develop your business case ROI and discuss it with your Decision Maker.
  • Competitors Identified – You need to know who your competitors are, including “doing nothing” or “solving it internally.” Strengthen your chances by ensuring your solution gives them a competitive advantage.
  • Budget Established for Potential Solution – Lots of organizations have budget left over to spend. Take advantage.


Tool #2 – The Stakeholder Wheel

Purchase decisions today are made by committee.  There is the ultimate Decision Maker.  But the decision maker looks for buy-in and consensus from his/her team.  The Stakeholder Wheel is a tool to help you map out the Buying Decision Team (BDT).  If you want to close deals in the next 45 days, you need to identify, engage and win over the big influencers.  It can be a simple spreadsheet that lists each person on the BDT.  It should include information like:


  • Their role in the purchase decision
  • What their business objectives are
  • What stands in the way of achieving those objectives
  • How do they measure themselves


Your solution must have a WIIFM (what’s in it for me) for each stakeholder.  If it doesn’t, your deal will stall.


Tool #3 – The Big Deal Review

Most Big Deals require both an internal and external sell.  If you are going to get these deals over the finish line in time, you need to implement a Big Deal Review process.  Start by identifying all the internal stakeholders that will weigh in on the deal.  The object is twofold: (1) Get buy-in from all the internal business functions and (2) develop a comprehensive deal strategy.  The output of the Big Deal Review is a tactical plan to win the business.  Every business function knows what, when and how they should act.


Tool #4 – The Godfather Offer

Simply put, the Godfather Offer is an offer you cannot refuse.  The terms are so enticing, a prospect would be stupid not to pounce on the deal.  It can be a bundling of services and/or a special discount.  Whatever the case, identify who you will offer the deal to.  Then, work with your internal team to develop the details of the offer.


Call to Action:  Closing out Q4 and making this year’s number is priority #1.  If you are going to close the year strong, you need a plan. Leverage the tools above to identify and close the deals in the pipeline that will get you to your number.