How the best sales leaders prepare for the Q4 sales push

by Steli Efti
handshake-business-deal

The last quarter of the year is often considered the most important. It’s when goals become realities and tough decisions are made.

Ideally, you will come out of Q4 with morale through the roof and your team excited to come back and start the next year just as strong. But preparing for the pressure and emotions that come with Q4 can be challenging. 

The key is to ensure that you’re fully prepared for the uncertainty that lies ahead. In this blog post, we break down some of the things that the best sales leaders do to ensure that their Q4 is a great one.

Ensure that morale is at an all-time high

It's easy to start fast and furious, but few sales teams finish strong.

When the goals are set, the dreams are new and the ideas are flowing, everyone is on a high. But when the end of the year comes and things aren’t looking so smooth, it often takes a push from your sales leader to get the team excited to deliver. 

Note: This inspiration doesn’t have to come from an epic Wolf of Wall Street-style speech:


 

Try an open discussion about where things sit today, and maybe it’s time to embrace an internal sales leaderboard that offers transparency to everyone. 

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No one will want to be at the bottom, so the competition will fire your team up. Or find creative ways to make sales reps team up, support each other, and receive rewards based on more frequent (weekly) performance checks.

This will nurture a deeper sense of camaraderie, inspiring even your lowest performing sales reps to do better. 

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Invest extra time in 1:1 training and coaching

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This is the time to invest in your people.

The stakes are high, and if morale is where it needs to be, then your team’s desire to succeed will be high too. Your team is going to be more receptive to critique when they know what’s at stake: This is their final shot at reaching their goals. The holidays are around the corner, and bills are coming due.

Invest the time in your team now and reap the benefits later. If you’re a sales leader, Q4 is the time to sit down with your team and work on their challenges one-on-one.

Do sales call reviews with your reps. Review your team’s sales pipeline. In these moments, you can strengthen your ties as a team as well as give valuable feedback and coaching they’ll be especially receptive to. 

Don’t ignore the Q1 leads coming through the door

You should never lose sight of your sales pipeline

It’s important to focus on the leads that are likely to close this quarter, but you can’t lose sight of the relationships in your pipeline that are more likely to close in Q1.

It’s easy to keep track of opportunities when you’re using Close because the reporting dashboard gives you all the info you need in one place:

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With the end of the year looming, sales reps often over-invest in the prospects they can close NOW, neglecting the leads they can close later. If you’re a sales leader, you can’t allow your team to ignore new leads just because they’re less likely to close before the new year—that will set your team up for a challenging Q1.

Set the focus on hitting quota for Q4, but don’t put blinders on.

Recognize that mid-to-late December might be a ghost town

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I’ll be the first to tell you that yes, deals DO get done in December. 

But I’ll also be the first to tell you that some buyers are going to be completely off the grid from the middle of December to the first or second week of January. It’s just part of the game.

Don’t let this impact your mindset and halt your output. Convey to your team that some people will simply be less engaged than usual during this final sprint.

The key is not to take it personally—if you establish this expectation up front, it’ll be easier for your team to deal with the silence without getting discouraged. 

Push to get the decision maker on the phone

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You don’t want to get the runaround at any point in the year, but especially not in Q4. 

You want to get your no’s quickly and move on to prospects that are more likely to close. That means limiting discussions with people who can’t make a decision.

Their intentions might be good, but if the deal is unlikely to get across the finish line before Q1, you need to let the contact know that you’d like to pick back up with them in the new year when their boss, manager or CEO is available.

In Close, you can create a Smart View that shows all leads with a high likelihood of closing and call them using our built-in predictive dialer. When time is of the essence, empowering your team with the right technology so they don’t have to manually dial leads is even more important.

With all of that out of the way…

Now’s the time to act!

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You have the strategies you need to make Q4 the best yet. You have the direction you need to make your team deliver. You have the tools to turn prospects into customers.

So close this window, open your CRM (hopefully it’s Close.com), and start implementing.

Go get ’em!

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