It’s easy to let sales distractions take you and your team off track in Q4. But as a sales leader, now is the time to refocus on revenue-producing elements like target accounts, decision makers, and effective messaging. You will empower your team to identify and eliminate distractions, emphasizing the need to operate with strategic speed and create an environment that fosters success for impactful sales activities.
I was working with a client on fourth-quarter sales strategies, one being prospecting. Not only the tactical skill of reaching decision makers, but the account strategy and consistency practices that create true forward progress and meaningful results.
The conversation veered toward tracking activity. On the surface this was a valuable part of the conversation, but as we dug deeper into it, getting the mechanics and technology right began to overshadow the substantive sales activity.
This is a perfect example of a sales distraction masquerading as forward progress.
My response? Give the team permission to set aside new tracking approaches in the last ten weeks of the sales year.
- Instead, take stock of how they best track their activities, stay accountable to their weekly prospecting milestones each week (which they also track), and enter only valid leads into their CRM.
- This approach refocuses on the revenue-producing elements required to find and close opportunities: target accounts, trigger events, decision makers, and messaging.
What can we learn from this example?
- There are endless sales activities available to us. Many have a degree of value, but when they are scrutinized in more detail they’re nothing more than distractions that don’t produce revenue or profit. Ask yourself: Will this activity lead to a sales conversation, a qualified sales opportunity, access to a decision maker or forward progress?
- Sales leaders and managers require a high-level of awareness to spot these distractions and root them out, especially at critical times of the sales year. Empower your teams to raise their hand on distractions they’re experiencing and offer solutions to those distractions.
- Be vigilant of the invisible costs sapping your sales strategy. One particularly costly sales behavior is the opportunity cost. These are the opportunities that simply slip away because of issues like poor sales onboarding, unproductive sales conversations, or lack of sales prospecting. What makes opportunity cost so insidious? It’s not easy to see or measure.
- Operate with strategic speed. This is the ability to focus on what’s immediately in front of you that has short-term benefits, balanced with important priorities on the horizon that have long-term benefits. Common examples are the close of fourth quarter business and next year’s territory planning. You can take your lessons and results from a short-term goal and apply them to your long-term planning.
- Ask yourself: What can I add, delegate, or delete from my sales activities this week? I review my upcoming sales week every Friday and highlight revenue-producing activities. This exercise provides an easy visual on my time investment and where I may need to either add additional revenue-producing activities or eliminate activities that aren’t critical.
- Your environment matters: be sure to create one that fosters success. Your habits and environment interact with one another; they either support your success or sabotage your success. What are your sales and life habits?
Depending on when you end your sales year, you may be in your fourth quarter, or you may be at the midpoint of your year. Either way, it’s worthwhile to use these ideas throughout the sales year; you won’t spend your time on sales distractions but instead you’ll invest your time on impactful sales activities.
Do You Need Help Closing Q4 Strong?
Don’t let sales distractions take you off course. If you’re a sales leader who needs help closing Q4 strong and starting 2024 off with a bang, let’s chat. Fill out this form, and request a free 30-minute consultation call with me.