6 Ways to Close the Quarter Strong
April showers bring May flowers, and what do May flowers bring? Hopefully sunshine and summer. For everyone in sales, though, June also takes us down the homestretch of Q2. June is in full swing and the end of the quarter is fast approaching. And for us sales professionals there are two end results.
You finish in the red, or you finish in the black.
A common trait between all great sales people is the ability to finish the quarter strong. And while a robust close out to the quarter hints at the idea of a steady pipeline, there are many things you can do to check boxes in the win column.
Here are six tips to help you close your quarter on a high note.
1. Be Straightforward
Sometimes the best method is a balance of honest consistency and respectful bluntness. Go ahead, stick your neck out there and be direct. It’s OK to put the client in your shoes, give them a feel of what it’s like to be the salesperson and not the customer. Poke at the elephant in the room with questions like, “If you were me, would you see this deal closing this month?”
Being direct with your customer will help be honest with one another and alight yourself with a true sales cycle. Who knows, it may even allow you to score a quick win.
2. Help Prospects, Help You
It’s human nature for a prospect to ask for something ‘extra’ like a special service, discount, or unique feature they believe will give them the edge. You’ll find out frequently that many of these requests are within the realm of what you’d already offer. Simply respond with a “yes – if you ask” from your end.
What I mean by this is provide them with a little slack. If they request a discount, note this can be done but while you need an equal commitment from their end — help them, help you. Say something along the lines of: “If we give you those terms, we’ll need you to authorize the deal by the end of the month.”
3. Lean on Your Boss(es)
Use your resources, especially those who you report to on a day-to-day basis. Another solid approach is to have your executives contact your prospect executives. By doing this, you will effectively allow you to get a sense of what can, and cannot, be done by the quarter’s end. Let your executive be a persuasive resource – take advantage.
4. Grade Your Prospects
While the workday can’t be extended, your time within those working hours can be better focused. Take a few moments to honestly sift through your pipeline and rank each opportunity on a scale from 1 to 4. Note that 1’s are reaches and 4’s are highly likely to close by the end of the quarter. Don’t dwell on these grades, go with your gut and move on. From there, strictly focus on closing the 3’s and 4’s.
5. Clear House
Don’t deny it, all of us sales pros have them. Those big opportunities in your pipeline you hold onto that you’ve been working on for months. You often think about canning them but then you notice they check on email, click a link, and maybe they’ll change.
They won’t. Remove them.
These prospects don’t deserve to be on your radar. Be honest with yourself, open the door to new opportunities, ones that will add productivity to your pipeline.
6. Plan Ahead
The next quarter will begin as quickly as the current one ends; be ready. Ask yourself how much revenue you’re planning to book next quarter? How many deals to you need to close in order to reach your goal? Having a plan in place to hit your mark(s) will help to attract business your way. Setting a target number will also prove beneficial when you’re projecting how much activity is needed in month one of the new quarter.
If you play your cards right by accurately measuring your deals, you can gage how many calls, emails, demos, and opportunities you’ll need make it rain.
Last, and definitely not least, ask for a review by management. While it’s OK to be confident in your numbers — and you should be — it’s always safe to double check. Your end goal is the same as theirs: to positively affect the business, so double-check your progression opportunities with those in charge. After all, it’s better to be overly confident than a defeatist.