Every quarter is a busy quarter for Emissary’s Customer Success Team, but Q4 is especially fun. As our clients work in overdrive to close their deals in Q4, we’re busy matching them with advisors to help them do just that. Our clients have to use every weapon in their sales arsenal to finish the year strong—and since they’ve engaged an Emissary advisor as their partner, they’ve got an edge on the competition.
Recently, one of our client’s AEs recently approached Emissary because they were counting on a big deal to close but the buying team had gone dark and stopped responding to emails. Did they lose budget? Was a competitor inching in to steal the deal? To solve the mystery, we matched the seller with an advisor who used to work at their target account. The advisor told the seller about an additional vendor approval process that took place in the second month of every quarter.
With this inside insight, the seller was able to calm their nerves and reach out to their target at the perfect strategic moment when the internal vendor review was complete. As a result, the seller closed the deal and maintained their reputation as a knowledgeable partner and not just a salesman desperate to hit quota.
Do you have an existing opportunity you’d like to move into the proposal stage? Maybe a deal is stuck in procurement and you’re not sure how to move it along?
We have over 6000 executives in our Emissary community and they all have a unique background to help you accomplish what you need before time runs out. Here’s how you can leverage your Emissary more strategically in Q4.
Countdown to Close
Since B2B customers spend five times more money in the final week of their fiscal year than they do during an average week, it’s the perfect time to get deals across the goal line. Your Emissaries can provide guidance and insight you can’t get anywhere else—if they’re up to speed on where your deals are. So provide them with thorough briefings for each of your top accounts, and be sure to include the following information.
- What’s the status of the most recent correspondence you’ve had with the prospect
- Who have you been corresponding with?
- If your recent contact with the prospect was not with the decision-maker, when was the last time you spoke with the decision-maker? What were the takeaways from that discussion?
- Have there been any changes to the deal or deliverables since you last corresponded with your Emissary, as well as the rationale behind those changes
- Have any unforeseen obstacles or objections arisen?
Armed with this essential information, your Emissary can provide actionable guidance to help you navigate to a close by year-end.
The Ghosts of 4th Quarters Past
Getting your Emissaries up to speed is only the first step. From there, it’s time to leverage their expert insights—and bear in mind, they know what it’s like to live through Q4 at your prospects’ organizations. They’ve participated in the budgeting conversations, the purchasing discussions, and the frenzy of spending use-it-or-lose-it budget before EOY. Now’s the time to take what they learned and apply it strategically, with an eye toward making the year-end rush your ally, not your enemy.
Probe your Emissary about deals that successfully closed in Q4 in the past. What enabled them to close quickly? Were any financial incentives for signing before EOY included? Did the sales team offer, for example, additional licenses or other considerations in exchange for a timely close?
This is vital information—and you can’t get it anywhere else.
Pushing Through Procurement
By now, your Q4 deals should be in procurement (if they’re not, they’re not going to be Q4 deals), meaning your reps are in the dark about what’s happening on the client side. This black box makes your reps nervous, and understandably so. They have very little insight into what’s holding up your deal—but your Emissary might.
Your Emissary likely took part in countless purchasing processes at your prospect’s company and can give you valuable insight into the hurdles, hiccups, and objections that tend to stall deals during the procurement phases. But that’s also why thoroughly briefing your Emissary is so important: It will give your Emissary insight into the reasons why your deal isn’t gaining traction.
Once your Emissary diagnoses the source of the stall, you can proactively reach out to relevant stakeholders, suggest changes and move the deal forward. Sometimes, it can be as simple as tweaking the language in the contract or looping in a technical account manager to put the data security folks at ease.
Insider insight is critical to navigating tricky internal relationships, understanding the procurement process, and getting to closed-won by the end of 2019. And with just weeks to go, there’s no better time to use your unused credits.
Q4 can be quota killer or a boon to your bottom line—the difference depends on how well you use the tools at your disposal, including the insights and expertise of our Emissaries. There’s always budget to be captured at the end of the year, and Emissaries are your best bet for doing just that. But you’ll have to brief them thoroughly, leverage them strategically, and get started right away if you want to close last-minute deals before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.