If you operate on a calendar year, by this point you have a pretty good idea whether you’re likely to meet your sales and revenue targets for the year. You should have nine months of history and a sales pipeline that gives you visibility into the next several months of deals likely to close.
If you are looking good, congratulations! However, some companies might be coming to the realization that they are facing quite the challenge of reaching their goals before year end.
What do you do if you need a 4th quarter push? Here are some tried and true suggestions.
Customer-Facing Year-End Strategies
- Review the opportunities in your pipeline and prioritize those that are the most likely to convert, even if the projected date is after the end of the year. Contact the decision makers to get updates on timing and identify whether you can incentivize them to close these deals before the end of the year.
A few ways to do this is: offer to hold inventory they pay for in Q4 until their need-by date, offer a discount if shipped by a specific date, or announce a price increase and guarantee the old price on future orders for a period of time if they purchase the pending order before the end of the year.
- Contact current customers and offer a “year-end special,” or offer a new product or service that’s available to current customers only for a limited timeframe to give them a competitive edge over their competitors.
- Schedule and hold annual business reviews with your top customers as soon as they complete their budgets for the next year. This will allow you facetime with them to review how well you served them this year and uncover information on any budget surplus they may still have. If they are looking for ways to use up their budget, you can offer to help.
Strategies for Diagnosing Sales Performance Issues
I had a client recently tell me that none of his sales team members were hitting their targets consistently, so I asked him how much turnover he was experiencing on his sales team as a result. He said, “none.” I responded, “how long has that been happening?” He said, “it’s always been like that.”
WHAT? Missing sales targets is usually a symptom of a bigger problem. It could be that:
- There’s no accountability.
- The compensation plans are all wrong.
- The targets were unrealistic to begin with.
- The people in the sales roles aren’t really salespeople.
If the sales team isn’t hitting targets, you should evaluate your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gain valuable insights into the team’s effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and allow for data-driven decision-making. Missing KPIs also means that the salesperson is missing out on earnings if your comp plans are structured right. Relevant KPIs should motivate employees and enhance accountability.
It’s also important to use sales forecasting. Accurate forecasts enable better budgeting, performance tracking, and capacity planning. Using an annual or three-year sales forecast is a great tool for keeping your team aligned and focused on meeting your revenue goals.
A well-tuned sales operation needs all of these components to be successful.
Not all of these recommendations will work for every company. If you need ideas specific to your company, contact Sales Advisors of Florida – Let us help you come up with a plan to end your 2023 strong.
In addition, we can help you create sales pipeline visibility, three-year forecasts, sales team KPIs, and accountability to help you ensure you hit your year-end targets every year.