As business and sales leaders approach the end of the year, they are often a pushing to get those last deals across the finish line to hit annual budgets and goals. Interestingly, your clients may have some budget remaining that they need to “use it or lose it”. As we come around the final turn of the year, how can you ensure your company is prepared to get a piece of that pie? There are 3 things leaders can do to finish strong and take advantage of these opportunities.
- Turn over every stone. There are lots of opportunities that go away throughout the year for a variety of reasons that are not permanent losses – budget delays or reductions, more research needed, or company dynamics to name a few. Review your entire pipeline to see if any opportunities should be revisited to entice them along. Also, review your active projects or clients to see if there are add-on opportunities that you have not included on contracts to date. There is always the chance that circumstances or interests have changed with your client since your last interaction and they may be willing to engage.
- Create a sense of urgency. To reap the rewards at the end of the year, you need to create a sense of urgency for both your sales team and your clients as it is easy for them to slip out of view as the holidays scream for attention at home. A few things to consider would include: add-on incentives for products or services to existing clients, free or discounted complementary services like training or support with a new product purchase good until the end of the year, a sales contest with your team to drive end of year deals, create visibility of current standing against plan across the entire sales force, and increase frequency of sales meetings until the end of the year.
- Actively support your team. Just as the crowds get heavier near the finish lines at races to help cheer on the participants, increase your presence (and that of the rest of your leadership team) and get involved productively to support your sales and support teams. Make it fun and keep it positive. Focus on the end goals and apply energy to the opportunities that can heavily influence your outcome. As the saying goes, “Energy flows where attention goes”. Make sure your attention is squarely on eliminating roadblocks and getting involved in any way that can bring in sales.
These 3 leadership steps can work great as you are under the gun and pushing hard against the end of year deadline. However, to achieve greater success next year, I would encourage you to break down those annual goals into smaller quarterly or monthly goals and use these tactics to create success all year-long.
What about you? What are your end of year tactics to bring in last-minute sales to finish strong?