Q4 sales strategies to end the year winning

by Steli Efti
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It’s the end of the year, and you’re focused on making these final days count. You have some leads that have been in your pipeline for some time—some that you’ve yet to make contact with, and others that have yet to commit. 

You want to meet your end-of-year targets, and you want to show your boss that you can perform when your company needs you most.

From pitch to close, there are many strategies we at Close turn to in the run of a typical sales process, and I’ve decided to package up a few of my favorites to help you end Q4 2019 on a high note. 

Let’s get into some of the best sales strategies for making Q4 count:

Strategy 1: The persistent (not annoying) follow-up strategy

The follow-up is a grossly underrated yet seriously effective way to reel in those prospects who have gone MIA over the last few weeks. 

Perhaps your contact is “too busy to talk right now,” or your email got buried amongst the hundreds of other emails flooding their inbox in a given week, or they needed “more time to think.” Whatever the situation, they haven’t actually given you their final answer. 

So what do you do? 

You follow up, and you keep following up, until you get a yes or no.

People often fear that they’ll annoy their prospects by reaching out too frequently, but if you haven’t gotten a clear response, the door is open for you to keep trying. Don’t wait for them to get back to you; you want the sale, so reaching out is your responsibility. You just have to decide how much you want that deal. 

The key to a good follow-up strategy is consistency, persistence and practice. 

Our sales CRM with built-in calling, emailing and texting makes it easy to stay on top of your follow-ups. Whether you want to automate your follow-ups with Close's email sequences, or manually set follow-up reminders for your emails, text messages, and calls.

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You can try Close free for 14 days and see for yourself how many more deals you're able to push over the finish line.

Close got me a $20k contract before the trial even ended. Thanks for making this software. It is freaking amazing.
 
- Dean Soto, ProSulum

And your strategy doesn’t change just because it's the holiday season. Believe me, deals do get done over the December drought—but only by those who are willing to hustle.

Now, how often you follow up depends on the context of the situation. If it’s a cold lead you’ve never interacted with, keep the number of follow-ups to six. For other prospects, you may try dozens of times to get to that yes or no.

There are also many ways you can approach a follow-up—we’ve got some email templates you can use in just about any situation—but you can also take it one step further by sending data and insights that clearly spell out how your prospect would benefit from your product. Ultimately, you want to offer them something they can’t refuse. 

For more tips and advice about the art of the follow-up, check out my book, The Follow-Up Formula:

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Strategy 2: The now-or-never strategy 

You’ve seen messaging like “While supplies last” or “For a limited time only.” This type of language has long succeeded at persuading us to make purchases by tapping into a common psychological fear:

The fear of missing out (FOMO)

Why does this work?

Well, studies have suggested that we humans are averse to losing out. We don’t want to lose what we have, or even what we think we have.

If your prospects are considering your product and think they have all the time in the world to make a decision, light a fire under them. They either decide now, or risk having to settle for a worse offer—or maybe even lose out entirely.  

One way you can inspire urgency is by letting your contacts know that your pricing is going to be changing in the new year. If they act now, they can get grandfathered into a lower price. This is a great way to close those who repeatedly say they don’t have time to decide right now, or those whose favorite responses are “maybe” and “I’ll get back to you.”

If saving money is a priority for them, and if your solution is really something they can see themselves benefitting from, there’s no reason to wait another week, another month, another six months...there’s no downside here. They either buy right now, or you get a clear no and can move on to the next prospect.  

“Last call!” 

Strategy 3: The backwards close strategy 

At the end of a successful sale, you might ask your new customer for a referral. This is a great way to keep your pipeline built up with quality leads. Well, what if I told you that you could ask for the referral before you close the sale?

Let me explain…

Sometimes there’s another way to get to what you want. Rather than making your interaction all about the end transaction, widen the lens and show them that the relationship between the two of you is bigger than that (yep, I’m a poet).

If a prospect doesn’t feel like you’re just trying to sell them, they’ll be more at ease and more open to listening to what you have to say. This, in turn, takes some pressure off of you. It’s like an ice breaker that also sets you up nicely for the year ahead.

You could broach the subject by telling your contact that you’re really looking to ramp up for Q1, so this is ideal timing to begin reaching out to folks they think could also benefit from your solution.

Now, you wouldn’t pull this strategy out on just any lead. It’s best reserved for someone you know already or whose information you also received through a referral. This is also a good follow-up idea when your prospect has indicated that they have no interest in what you’re selling.

Strategy 4: The straight-to-the-top strategy 

If you want a clear answer, sometimes you’ve got to go directly to the person in charge.

If things are tight from now till the end of the year, you don’t want to waste any more time. Talking to the wrong person is a surefire way to slow you down. 

Instead, you want to reach the decision-maker, whether that’s the CEO or the head of a particular department. You want to identify that person early on and set up a call with them. This accomplishes two things:

  1. It clarifies whether your product is a good fit for their company
  2. It gets you to the “no” faster. 

That second point may be throwing you off—you may be saying, “Well, why would I want to hear no?” 

So that you can get immediate clarity and move on to prospects that are more likely to close. 

Your goal is to get a thumbs up or thumbs down on your pitch, and to avoid the delay that happens when someone has to “check with the boss” for final say.

At the end of the day, no matter what strategy you choose, you’ve got to be prepared to…

Put in the work

When it comes time to give that final push before year-end, there’s really no way to fake it.

Reaching out, posing the ask, following up and closing the sale—it all requires consistency.

Our CRM system simplifies the entire sales process. With our filtering capabilities and follow-up reminders, you have a lot of flexibility with how you manage your contacts. Schedule reminders to hit your inbox on a specific day or set up automated emails to ensure you never miss a beat. 

The last tip I’ll leave you with is to watch that your hunger for those year-end sales doesn’t mess you up in the new year. Don’t overdo it and lose sight of your sales pipeline by ignoring those prospects that you’re more likely to close in Q1.

After December 31 (or whenever your year-end falls), you’ll have a whole new set of 365 days to contribute to your company’s goals.

This is the playbook you need to build and scale a winning sales team and process. Learn the best tips and tactics for 2020. Grab it free!

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