It’s here folks, do-or-die time for those on the calendar sales cycle! Are you ready?
Right about now people up and down a sales organization’s chain are either confident or extremely worried about the approaching end of quarter (EOQ). No doubt, it has been a tough, tough year and it isn’t over yet, so don’t give up the ship just yet. There are some things you can do and some things you can’t.
Having one or more deals that seems to be stuck in the pipeline is one of the most frustrating situations a salesperson can encounter, and even more so as the year-end looms closer. One of the things you cannot do is BEGIN the selling process in hopes of getting closure by December 31. The exception to this is the transactional or commodity sale, but this isn’t guaranteed either. So What Can You Do?
Assuming you are still holding a live close, you can and must turn up the heat. But how?
- Go back to your internal coach or advocate and ask
- Decision maker relationships are key here; What are they waiting for? What is crucial to them?
- Sales management can help; ASK!
Holding out could just be the company’s way of negotiating. Turn this around and re-negotiate, but before you do, make absolutely sure your tactic will make a difference.
Here is a graph I share with salespeople that explains very simply where ANY action takes place; in ANY organization. I share that with you now.Â (Click for a bigger image) Using this simple graph, you can add a tick marks and pretty accurately track the closure time of the deal.
Don’t get wrapped up in emotion and be pressured to make concessions you later regret. I am a firm believer in NO unilateral concessions. If your prospect wants to play this type of ballgame, then request something from them that has value to your company, like access to the CIO, CFO or any other officer that would benefit your company and gain a deeper business relationship.
After doing all this, the deal still may slip into the next year. It happens. Especially in this economy.
Ok you are wondering about the “Beyond” part from the article title. As I stated before, some deals are going to slip into the next quarter. Here and now is where you want to begin planning for the coming quarter even if you have no idea about your quota, territory, etc. Begin planning with the thought of moving some of your customers into the top tier of your account list. In my last article, So You Wanna Be the CEO I explain how this can be accomplished. Additionally, I have another article, 5 Tips to Practice Daily that explains the refocusing of your efforts towards the top percentage of your customer base. The following picture illustrates what your goal should be, achieving the top level of this pyramid. Once you reach this pinnacle, the customer sees you as golden. Word of caution; rarely is this level obtained in the eyes of the customer.
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