With the fourth quarter of 2017 on the horizon, it is a good time for sales leaders to review strategies in preparation for achieving fourth-quarter B2B selling objectives.
The following is an overview of some sales tips to help your business review its process for fourth-quarter planning and ensure reps are ready to execute on those plans.
Sales Tip #1: Establish or Review Targets
Objectives drive strategies, tactics and execution in B2B selling. However, events and circumstances may dictate that you review your established goals in advance of the start of the quarter.
Review individual and team quotas with your reps and consider whether established benchmarks motivate for success without creating an unrealistic expectation. If your team has well exceeded third-quarter milestones, a goal of 110 percent, 120 percent or even higher of stated quotas might be reasonable.
Sales Tip #2: Evaluate Important Activities and Dates
Take a month-by-month look at the activities and events that will affect your sales team. For instance, you might have special conferences, new territories or new initiatives to take into account. Establish a schedule of communication so that you alert your reps as to expectations for their regular and non-regular activities.
Knowing expectations, especially with out-of-the-ordinary events, makes it easier for your team to plan accordingly to optimise their selling results.
Sales Tip #3: Get Off to a Great Start
The momentum and tone for a new quarter is established early in the first month. When your team gets off to a solid start in October, it creates feelings of confidence that strategies and tactics are working. This confidence helps fuel efforts in the remaining months.
To leverage the great start, communicate progress with your team regularly. You can do this through individual or team meetings. Discuss which approaches have worked well and what improvements can drive revenue even more. If you are off the desired pace, quickly assess challenges, coach your reps and communicate often. Offering bonuses and incentives early in the quarter is a common strategy to help your team create necessary momentum.
Sales Tip #4: Focus on High-Value Prospects and Solutions
It is always important to target prospects with as much data and precision as possible so that you can sell the best value in your solutions. These steps are especially important in the fourth quarter as you look to close out the year on a high note.
Make use of your data to build specific profiles of prospects that match your solutions. Review prospects currently in your pipeline and prioritise calls with those people with whom you have the greatest likelihood of converting high-value deals. Reinforce training with your team on product knowledge and demonstrations, which are keys to selling value in B2B.
The fourth quarter is not just a vital three-month period to optimise sales performance; it is the closing segment to reaching your annual sales objectives. Taking the time to plan ahead while you also review your third-quarter results is important. Apply the sales tips noted here to review objectives, communicate well and motivate reps can dramatically improve your success!