Are Your Q4 Deals Going To Close?
Here is a message for salespeople and sales managers.
This month is winding down and for many it’s the end of the quarter too. While we all focus on closing September strong, it’s also time to start planning for a big 2013 finish. You have three months to make this year the biggest year of your career. Are you going to be sitting on the beach with your family drinking that “Pina Colada” at Sales Club next year celebrating your amazing finish? Are you visualizing the scene? Walt Disney said it best: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
There are many things you need to do at the start of the quarter. You are already getting ready. There is one important, foundational sales strategy that I’d like to suggest you consider doing. You own your business. You are the CEO of your territory. It’s up to you to do a proper inventory of your deals and pipeline. Work with your sales manager and your team, but be the first to be honest with yourself about where your deals are.
Can you answer these five questions for every deal and customer engagement you are tracking to close this year? (Be honest!)
- What are your customers buying?
- Why are your customers buying?
- When are your customers buying?
- Who is buying?
- Who is paying?
Use these questions to help you qualify your opportunities and ultimately get you to a compelling event that is driven by your customer. Remember, a compelling event as defined by many including, Donal Daly, CEO of The TAS Group is:
“A time sensitive response to an internal or external business pressure that drives action within a defined time period with consequences of inactions.”
You can dive into what is and what is not a compelling by reading Donal’s blog. Click here for it.
Reflect on the questions above while pondering this compelling events definition.
- What are your customers buying refers to what problem are you solving for them not what products are you selling them.
- Why are your customers buying refers to what financial impact or ROI does your customer expect to realize by purchasing your solution.
- When are your customers buying maps the problem and the solution to a time horizon that is tied to their business. Because it’s your end of year or end of month does not mean equal a compelling event.
- Who is buying is the group that will benefit the most from your solution and very different from whom is paying. Business owners are usually not the same as budget owners.
It’s time to be brutally honest and see if you have answers to these questions to every one of your deals.
The good news is, if you don’t have all the answers, that’s ok. It’s better to know now, rather than later in the year, when it’s too late. The self-awareness will define your sales activity and ultimate prioritization of time and customer outreach for the coming weeks. Focus on what you don’t know and avoid happy ears.
Uncovering the compelling event through thoughtful discovery and customer conversations in every deal will improve your forecast accuracy and fullfil your dream of getting to the beach in Hawaii.