It is worth mentioning that after two years under a state of emergency and a number of lockdowns, consumers are quickly showing confidence when it comes to spending. The following are ways that will help you take advantage of this to reach your fourth quarter sales objectives.
Evaluate your sales funnel
We are one month away from closing the year and it is very important for you to take a step back and look at your sales pipeline. You have to thoroughly analyse all your customers and promising prospects and to see which ones have grown with you over the last three quarters and those who are still deep within the pipeline. This analysis will not only help you identify customers who are still behind but will also help you recognise gaps and opportunities that are there. Those should be your top priority and where you should focus most of your time and energy to bring them up to par with your well performing clients.
It is worth stressing over again that it has been a difficult trading year for some businesses as a result of extreme volatile trading conditions and restrictions under the recently lifted state of emergency. Some customers might not be able to convert now as they are still getting up on their feet. However, you should have a solid value add driven plan for them for the first and second quarters of 2022.
Schedule frequent client reviews
It is vital that you schedule your client reviews frequently in the last quarter because this will help you get the necessary feedback about the previous quarter’s performance. Importantly, this is the time you are in the presence of your clients (and all the buyers that you will be interacting and dealing with) who are very important to your business. During these critical analyses that include planning and reviewing discussions, new growth opportunities are realised and can be accelerated because businesses now have an optimistic view moving into 2022 as they can trade without any SOE and lockdown restrictions.
Positive aspirations and economic recovery map were expressed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi in his recent State of the Nation Address. In qualifying these opportunities, it is very important that you create a sense of urgency but not because of your budget and decision-making. The truth is that the buyer might not be eager to move forward with the business in the last quarter but it is something they are keen on doing in Q1 or Q2 of 2022. It is better to realise that sooner than later as this will give you a chance to know which channels to put more emphasis on for these last two months of the year. Importantly, you want to be ahead of the competition when it comes to locking in business with your clients for the coming year.
Schedule a sales and marketing staff meeting
This is similar to quarterly client reviews but is internal. It is the opportunity to gather the sales and marketing team in one room and review the company’s performance from the previous quarter. It is important to make the distinction that marketing and selling are two different things. The difference between marketing and selling confuses many. The marketing team deals with various market segments that contain potential customers and talk to them as a whole whereas the sales team deals with a few customers and talks to them one at a time per segment. In large organisations that have marketing and sales teams, it is important to get both teams aligned about the goals of the last quarter because the sales team needs the right leads from the marketing team. This will also give both teams the chance to raise and address their issues. It is extremely important to have your marketing and sales aligned.
Re-evaluate and adjust your business development matrix
In sales it is easy to get caught up in chasing sales targets, especially after the difficult trading grounds we have been in. It is always about the sales target and more sales. But it is essential to step back and analyse your activities that actually bring in business, to know what is working, and if you are giving it more time, find out what is not working and what time you are giving it. Now, analyse the following activities: calls, meetings, conversions, networking and referral generation and do the maths. Is the current track you are on getting you to the fourth quarter goals and positioning you for a solid start to 2022?
If yes, then find ways to improve on what is working but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. If it is not working, ask yourself what you need to change and what new activity targets you should set in place to improve your business performance. This is a process you cannot ignore. The economy is fully open and you have to be on the offensive side of trading. You have to be aggressive as an early mover while others are still sceptical and are still nursing the hangover from the state of emergency and lockdowns. You cannot afford to keep playing defence.
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LinkedIn: Bakang Lethebe Kaunda