Making a year-end sale isn’t impossible. Yes, the clock is ticking, but there are things you can do to ensure that you close before December 31. As mentioned in a past post, opportunities still await, and for many reps, some deals are right at the finish line. “But in any opportunity, there are numerous obstacles that prevent us from getting a firm ’yes’ from prospects,” explains Julie Thomas in an article for LinkedIn. “In order to get to ‘yes,’ we need to be certain we’ve completed specific tasks and uncovered the key components necessary to win the business.”
To complete that year-end sale that’s just within reach, reps must enact some preventative measures for potential objections and pitfalls. Thomas takes readers through these actions and explains just why they are so important.
Year-end sales rely on these to-dos
First, make sure that you are in contact with the actual decision-maker. With just weeks left to close, don’t waste your time by corresponding with someone who has no authority to close. “Determine an organization’s purchase approval process early in the conversation to ensure you are communicating with the people who can make the buying decision,” Thomas writes. This will ensure that you aren't wasting any valuable moment during crunch time.
Once you’ve confirmed that your contact does have purchase power, you must confirm the purchasing process. If you and the prospect aren’t on the same page, there’s little chance you will make a deal by December 31. A successful year-end sale requires the buyer and seller to both understand and agree on how the process will proceed. Thomas suggests revisiting these questions:
- What are the phases vendors must go through before a prospect makes the decision to buy?
- What phase are you in right now?
- Once the prospect makes the decision to buy, what happens next?
- How does the deal get executed?
- Who needs to be involved and for how long?
- Who actually signs the deal?
- How long does it take to get a purchase order (PO) issued?
With just a little bit of time left, your chances of closing are so much higher if you both understand and agree upon this information. Confirm these details, and you’re that much closer to making that year-end sale.
Another tip Thomas shares is to be aware and considerate of any holidays that your prospect may celebrate. They may be observing a holiday during a time you try to schedule a pitch. Also, because the year is at its end, they may also be looking to use up the remaining PTO. And, those with kids will likely have them on break as well.
“Without knowing your client’s holiday vacation plans and having everyone in the client organization bought into the mutually agreed timeline, you could find yourself at risk of not closing the deal,” she warns. Don’t let your year-end sale hinge on dates when you’re prospect won't even be available to talk business.
These tips, along with the others that Thomas shares, ensure that you have cleared the path to a year-end sale, heading off any potential pitfalls that could stall the deal.