It’s here. The days are starting to shorten, grocery shelves are stocked with Halloween candy, and annual sales goals are quickly coming due. Throw in some 2022-2023 economic uncertainty and it’s a stressful time of year for sellers and their leaders! Whether you’re pushing to meet targets or going for bonus incentives, it’s time to pull out all the stops, use every tool available, leverage every advantage you have, and leave no stone unturned. Here are some tried and true strategies to get you there.
Focus Your Time Wisely
With limited calendar left, spend effort and resources on the deals where your solution is the best fit and the prospect has budget to spend. Look for accounts where your team has the inside track, the support of an influential champion, prior successful deals, or other advantages you can capitalize on. Review account intelligence and research for each prospect to cull out the best opportunities.
Consider whether an account is not just a good fit for your products and services, but whether they are a good fit for end-of-year spending. What is their Q4 culture? Do they put big decisions on hold or are they spending leftover budget fast before they lose it? Do they take advantage of the holidays to finalize purchases or is the last quarter insanely busy and technology projects go to the back burner?
Be careful about spending too much time on accounts who aren’t engaging with you or just asking for deeply discounted quotes without helping your team craft a solution. These prospects may not be serious about buying or may not realize the value of your offering.
Restart Stalled Deals
If you have deals that were moving along just fine and suddenly got stuck, do a little digging to see if they can be re-energized. Review your understanding of the buying process and people on the buying committee. Did you overlook anyone? Were there obstacles you may have missed? Check in with champions to find out what could be causing the delays and if there’s anything your team can do to push past them. Or if the usual contacts aren’t responding, connect with a consultant or industry leader who has experience with the organization.
Stay Active in Industry Conversations on Social Media
While many teams use social media to build brand awareness early in the sales cycle, online discussions could also help move a deal forward as the year closes. For some buyers, these online groups may be the best way to learn what they value most in a solution or how they prioritize benefits, providing key insights for crafting a successful proposal. The discussions also open the door for your team to demonstrate expertise and industry leadership, which builds an extra layer of credibility and commitment as buyers are moving toward a decision.
Lean on Past Successes to Meet This Year’s Annual Sales Goals
Review deals that closed quickly and figure out what the team did to make it happen. Also, ask champions or account insiders about previous purchases that wrapped up quickly at year’s end. Find out what motivated buyers to move forward. For example, they may have needed technology to meet their own year-end objectives, or sellers may have offered turnkey solutions or simplified pricing options that cleared the way.
Get the Right People Involved
When you’re making the final full-court press, make sure the right people are engaging. Review your list of buyers and get introductions to anyone who hasn’t yet connected. Ensure you have access to decision-makers in the technical and business sides of the enterprise.
This is also a good time to involve executives in meetings. For example, ask your CTO to meet with their CTO. Executives bring extra credibility, strengthen your relationship, underscore your commitment to the account, and open channels to understanding how to bring value to the c-suite and other important influencers.
Clarify the ROI
Remove any concerns buyers have about how your solutions help them meet business and financial goals with a detailed, rock-solid ROI. Ensure your team can articulate the problem your solution solves, the cost of not solving it, and measurable benefits with respect to the budget they have to spend. If you’re missing details needed for a persuasive ROI, lean on champions to fill in the gaps.
Social proof and referrals play a bigger and bigger role in large B2B purchases. If a good prospect seems a little hesitant, look for decision-makers from your top accounts who attest to the effectiveness of your solution. Even if referrals come from people who’ve moved on to new positions, their endorsements will make a big impact.
If a deal is going to close in time to help you meet annual sales goals, it will have to move smoothly through procurement. If your team hasn’t already been through the process, find out exactly how it works. Determine ways to anticipate what the purchasing manager will need from you and have the right information ready so there’s no delays. For example, you might need to set up communications between technical resources and the account’s security team for vetting.
It doesn’t help close deals fast if your solution and pricing options have no wiggle room. That doesn’t necessarily mean offering a deep, please-buy-now discount, but it might mean offering more flexible terms, crafting bundled pricing, or breaking payments down into phases based on implementation timelines. Strategize with internal champions to find pricing options that reflect the value of your solution but help accommodate buyers’ constraints.
Don’t Leave End-of-Year Deals to Chance
When you know a deal can and should close by the end of the year if it had just that extra little push, stack the deck in your favor by consulting with Emissary Advisors. Emissary Advisors have recently held leadership positions as buyers and executives at your most important accounts. They can provide the experience and organizational insight to restart stalled deals, navigate procurement, and connect with decision-makers. They bring your revenue team the kind of intelligence that will help you blow out annual sales goals for 2022 and get a running start on 2023.