How to Close the Sales Year With Little Stress & Lots of Success

close the sales year

It’s December and for most, time to close the sales year. With just a couple of weeks left, salespeople can still make an impact, as well as set themselves up for a stellar new year. Admittedly, it can also be a time of stress, as December 31 closes in. Those at Pipeline can relate, noting that “While most people are thinking about their Christmas shopping and New Year’s Eve plans, salespeople worry about hitting their quarterly and yearly sales targets. Consequently, the holidays can coincide with heightened pressure and anxiety for us sales folk.”

Close the sales year strong 

Thankfully, you don’t have to go into the end-​of-​the-​year madness alone. Pipeline shares some great tips for closing out the sales year strong. Not only are their tips easy to implement, but they also will cut down on the stress and anxiety that often comes with this time of year. 

Don’t assume everyone’s on vacation

This tip encourages reps to reconsider the traditional thought that most people are on vacation the last couple of weeks of the year. While many do take time off, there are still plenty of others who are in the office and ready to engage. “…December — specifically the last two weeks of the year — has the year’s highest sales conversation rates,” Pipeline points out. “There are sales to be had. Some sales people just throw their hands up and say it’s impossible. Others know they might have to work a little harder. Which one are you?”

If you find yourself working at a leisurely pace or using PTO just because you don’t think anyone else is working, you should reconsider. These last couple of weeks are prime selling time, and if you stop thinking that “nothing gets done between Christmas and New Year’s,” you will outperform those that still think that way. 

Also, you can use this time to deepen relationships, whether they’re with prospects or current clients. Reach out to check in on how their holiday season is going or how they spent the holidays. Set dates for a meeting or call in January, so you’ll be ready to go with a filled calendar on the first of the year. 

You will likely find prospects and clients more receptive to calls and emails because other salespeople are on vacation. This means less stress trying to play phone tag or sending out emails that never get a response. 

The more effort you put in to close the sales year, especially when others don’t, the more benefits you’ll reap. 

Clean out your pipeline

You may think the best way to close the sales year is with a full pipeline. But, it can actually work against you. Too many leads can clog the flow, leaving you wasting time and effort managing it all, including prospects that may never pan out. Now is the time to perform a pipeline check-​up and address any leads that may be stagnant. “

As Pipeline explains, “December is not the time to stall or waste time. Save you[rself] and your prospect time by asking, ‘Do you think it is likely you will make a purchase decision this month?’ If they love your product or service but they can’t make it happen this month, it’s a lost cause — for the time being. Remove the deal from your December pipeline, and schedule a follow-​up call for next year.”

Cutting down on excess in your pipeline will actually lead to less stress by maximizing your time for the rest of the month. You won’t feel like you’re juggling too many leads with too little time left. Once you remove those who don’t plan to purchase any time soon, the more effort you can dedicate to those who will. 

Close the sales year well to start 2022 right

The last couple of weeks in December are a fantastic time to prep yourself to hit the ground running in January. By prioritizing your time and tasks, you’ll be able to maximize the last couple of weeks left in 2021 and set yourself up for success in 2022. For even more ideas of how to close the sales year successfully, check out these other articles from SalesFuel. Helpful tips include asking about prospects’ “use-​it-​or-​lose-​it” budgets and upselling current clients.

Photo by Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision-​makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.