Why Q4 Is the Perfect Time to Sell to a Major Account
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
If you’re a salesperson who has fallen behind on your end-of-year goals, the arrival of the fourth quarter may have felt like a breath of fresh air. B2B buyers are finalizing their budgets for the coming year, and many are looking to purchase new solutions before the holidays bring their inevitable slowdown.
These final months of the year, especially December, can be a fruitful time for B2B salespeople. Think of Q4 as a key period to getting your performance numbers back on track to finish off the year in a strong position.
Related: 7 Ways to Close More Sales
When the fit is right, push for your product and its value.
When you’re selling toward the year's end, you have a significant opportunity to play a role in shaping your client’s operational budget for the next one. Your client, along with his/her fellow decision-makers, is going be considering numerous options during this time, so this is the perfect chance to fight for your share of the pie.
Once you have performed your sales due diligence and confirmed that a partnership with your prospect makes sense for both parties, don’t be afraid to push for your company to have a spot on the prospect's upcoming annual budget.
Stand behind the value of your product and demonstrate that if these desired clients make a commitment to you by the end of the year, you’ll do everything possible to exceed their expectations.
Perform your customer research early and often.
Fourth-quarter sales generally mean that the time crunch is on, which is why it’s crucial to have all of the data you need before you begin a formal sales call. Delays during this time could push your potential sale into the next quarter, which could have serious ramifications for your end-of-year performance numbers, as well as the structure of the budget your client’s organization has set.
Before the Q4 sales blitz kicks into full gear, then, take the time to gather all of the important research you’ll need throughout the sales process, including CRM history, industry research, market segmentation data, behavioral statistics and more. Also, be ready to deploy your own knowledge at a moment’s notice to facilitate the process.
Utilize your automation measures early in the conversation.
When you’re attempting to nurture numerous leads at one time in the hope that one of them turns into a big contract before the year is over, sales automation is your best friend. Research indicates that less than one-quarter of B2B organizations nurture their leads on a weekly basis. And automation is an easy way to manage sales conversations with numerous leads at once.
That being said, your automation efforts must still be driven by personalization throughout the sales process if you expect them to have maximum impact on conversion rates. According to a study by Aberdeen, personalized emails result in 14 percent more clickthroughs and 10 percent more conversions.
Communicate clearly and openly, both with your clients and your colleagues.
Effective communication habits are always part of a successful salesperson’s strategy, but their importance is highlighted when you’re trying to close a big contract with an important client just days before the end of the year. There’s no substitute for being readily available with accurate answers to your client’s questions when they need you.
Just as crucial, however, is fostering effective communication within your own organization during this period. Sales is always a team effort and it’s vital to let other departments know as early as possible when you need assistance in the sales process; this will help minimize any delays that could disrupt the sale.
Find every available opportunity to shorten the sales cycle.
Many B2B buyers are going to be interested in finding new solutions before the year closes out, but it’s up to you to implement strategies that will shorten the sales cycle and put you in position to finish the deal on time. Pay close attention to your marketing and sales alignment, deploy value-added content at the appropriate points in the sales funnel and have specific pricing packages ready for your clients that can be brought out as soon as the conversation warrants it.
Double-check your details to avoid derailment
The details really matter when you’re up against a deadline and something as seemingly innocuous as a typo can cause a harmful delay in the process. Comb through your sales materials closely and maintain close collaboration with all relevant parties when contracts are being drawn up. These should include legal, accounting, IT and customer-onboarding personnel.
If you pay close attention through every step of the process, you shouldn't have any reason not to excel in the fourth quarter, beat your sales goals and drive value for your company and your clients.