End-of-year selling is upon us! While 2020 is closing out soon, a lot of opportunity still exists for reps. Whether it’s finalizing goals or setting the stage for the new year, there still is work to be done. James Meincke shares a helpful list with CloserIQ readers that breaks down end-of-year selling tasks that will end the year on a high note.
End-of-year selling checklist
Set goals, big or small. The remaining weeks in December can still be very fruitful for reps. Yes, it can be difficult to close deals around the holidays, but it’s not impossible. The remaining days still give you plenty of time to complete goals, whether it is closing or even something else. “Your goals should be realistic, but not so easy that you won’t have to break a sweat during the last few months,” Meincke explains. In addition to setting a revenue target, set goals that are entirely within your control. Number of prospecting calls completed, and demonstrations scheduled are good top-of-the-pipeline goals.”
As you can see, even if a closed deal is out of reach, end-of-year selling goals can still be made. Use this week to narrow down tasks you’d like to accomplish to keep you moving and working through this time.
Clear your pipeline. Take time to sit down and examine your pipeline honestly. What deals have a chance to close by December 31? Which ones have major potential for 2021? Be honest with yourself; you don’t want to be bogged down with leads that likely will go nowhere. That will only waste your time now and next year.
And, don’t worry about missing connections. As Meincke writes, “Keep reaching out to prospects, scheduling appointments, and conducting discovery calls. While some people might be out of the office, there will be plenty of others who are present and more than willing to take your call.” Need some inspiration and insight to take a fresh look at your pipeline? Check out past SalesFuel posts to successfully tackle this end-of year selling task.
Keep discussions going. Is there a hot prospect that you’ve been working with? Don’t give up! The end of December doesn’t mean throwing up your hands and waiting to get back to it all in the new year. “Although some prospects may want to wait until January to sign the deal, you still need to keep them engaged at the end of the year,” he explains. “Many prospects will be willing to sign a deal now, so you definitely want to make sure you have time to shepherd them through the final steps of the sales process.” A key to successful end-of-year selling is being mindful about the holidays but not shutting down selling because of them. Just be respectful and thoughtful when reaching out.
Check-in with your best customers. Plan moments to connect with your best clients to uncover whether or not they have use-it-or-lose-it budget money. As Meincke points out, a lot of companies have budgets that don’t roll over, which can be an opportunity for you to snag some of those funds. But don’t go in blindly he warns. “You should go into the call with some idea of what you’d like to sell and how it fits into the customer’s goals,” he explains. “Nobody wants to spend money recklessly just because it’s available.” This is a great opportunity for end-of-year selling, but it will require some forethought.
Upsell. Upselling can be tough. In fact, SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep study found that upselling is getting harder for nearly 20% of reps. But, that doesn’t mean you should shy away from the challenge. Think back on sales you made earlier in the year and consider what you could offer them now.
This also presents an opportunity to reconnect if you’ve not spoken lately. Find out how they are using your product or service, if how they’re using it has evolved, etc. Then think about what you could offer that would enhance their current use. And, even if the time isn’t right to buy, these end-of-year selling discussions still can help future upsells. “Even if they’re not ready to buy right away, it doesn’t hurt to start that conversation early. You want to put yourself at the top of their mind,” Meincke explains.
Refine your pitch. End-of-year selling tasks should also include reflection. Think back on how your sales went this year. Specifically, how did your sales pitch perform? Could it be improved or updated? Take time go through past SalesFuel posts about sales pitches for inspiration on what information you should include, updates to consider and other valuable insights.
Meincke also advises actively including your teammates and co-workers. “Talk to your top-performing colleagues about how they pitch the product and learn from them,” he writes. “Experiment with different pitches and determine what tends to get the best results.”
Make plans. An end-of-year selling checklist wouldn’t be complete without a call to also look ahead. 2020 has been quite a year, and with that in mind, it can be tough to forecast what 2021 will bring. But that doesn’t mean you should wing it.
And, those goals you set don’t need to solely relate to sales numbers. As Meincke points out, there are other types of goals to plan as well. “Don’t just set goals related to sales numbers,” he explains. “Think about what skills you’d like to acquire and develop during the next year, and what steps you need to take in order to meet those goals.” Planning should be about more than quotas; take your attitude, mindset, skills, technology use, and other aspects into consideration.
Set appointments for January. This is Meincke’s final end-of-year selling tip. Take advantage of the time left in the year to get touchpoints scheduled for next month. Likely, many competitors may not be doing this, leaving a lot of prospects' calendars empty for now. “Call up prospects in the top and middle of the funnel to set up a meeting,” he encourages. “This is a great way to get off to a running start.” This also lets prospects know that you have them in mind and are being proactive about helping them and their business. Plus, by planning ahead and getting appointments made, you can start your pre-call research now.
2020 has been a highly unusual year. While there’s no guarantee 2021 will be “back to normal,” you still can plan ahead for success despite what may be thrown your way. By using these remaining weeks of December for end-of-year selling tasks, you are taking control and being proactive. Build on the new strategies you’ve adopted this year, and using Meincke’s tips, tackle the remaining opportunities for this year and get a head start on the ones for next year.