Anytime you’re in the game with the clock running down, strategy matters. With only about 40 business days left in 2019, you may not have time to run the full sales cycle. What you can do is home in on qualified prospects already in the pipeline.
Ask yourself these strategic questions to figure out which prospects can help you meet your sales targets by year-end.
Where is the prospect in the sales cycle?
Every business has a different sales cycle. What’s yours? If it’s 90 days, then realistically you only can expect year-end revenue from prospects you met before October. My advice is to focus your time on prospects you talked to in Q3 and Q2.
Is the prospect qualified?
Next, be ruthless about who you spend your time with. Is the prospect REALLY qualified? Do you fully understand all their requirements and can you meet or exceed them? Has the decision-maker agreed? If you haven’t finalized that conversation – or the parties aren’t available to finalize it immediately – then you probably aren’t far enough along to close by the end of the year. Set aside the marginal prospects and look at them after the first of the year.
Does the prospect have budget available?
Have you confirmed that the prospect has money available for your service or product? Can you quickly get an answer through your point of contact? If not, then the deal is not very likely to close this quarter.
Is everyone in the prospect organization ready to get going?
Do you understand the organization’s timing to start work on your solution? Has everyone in the approval process signed off, or if not, are they available to do so before the end of the year? (It is hard – but not impossible – to chase down the CFO in Grand Cayman during winter break.)
Your tasks for the next six weeks
- If you’re behind your sales goal for the year, work only on the deals that can be closed.
- If you’re in the great position of being ahead of your sales goal, spend 80% of your time working on the biggest deals that you can possibly close. Spend the rest getting prepared for a quick start in Q1.
Finally, a bit of advice for sales force leaders.
1. Make sure your people are working on only the opportunities that are actually closable this year, and give them this “shortlist”:
- The prospect’s needs have been established and agreed to, and you can meet them
- The decision maker is engaged and supportive
- Funding has been allocated for your business solution
- You understand the organization’s timing and decision process
2. Make sure no one is wasting time on actions that won’t have a positive outcome.
Are you having difficulty breaking through to the next level in revenue growth? Could you use an experienced, outside perspective to diagnose your sales issues and build a plan to address them?
Sometimes, you need a guide to find the right path forward.
Sales Growth Advisors provides outsourced sales leadership services for small and mid-sized businesses – so your sales engine runs the way it is supposed to.
Contact us today to learn more.