The end of the year is approaching fast, and it is pertinent for you to take some time to evaluate where you are in your fourth quarter revenue projections and business activities and start to plan for the New Year.
Typically, the fourth quarter is extremely busy. We are spread very thinly in all directions, juggling holidays and vacations, sales prospecting and closing deals. If we’re not prepared, the end of the year storms through and leaves us scrambling to get back on track once we’ve fallen off. We start the New Year still playing catch up from last year. So it is important to get ahead of our responsibilities now. Think of the fourth quarter as your spring cleaning or redecorating.
Below are some year end sales management tasks, things your sales team needs to do right now to get ready for a more successful new year.
Year End Sales Management Tasks
Maintain and Foster Existing Relationships
The first thing you should do is focus on protecting the sales relationships that you already have. Once you’ve done that, talk with your best clients and see if they are satisfied with your product or service, and see if you can do anything to lessen any worry that they may have. If they are happy, they should no longer be shopping for other vendors. Here you can also conduct research and determine what markets or new sales opportunities you’d like to corner in the next quarter.
Focus on New Prospects
Now is a good time to get rid of any old sales leads that you may have been sitting on, and see which ones you’d like to carry into the New Year. This is where the research you did before will come in handy, because you can use it to determine if your old prospects overlap with your new target market. Here you can do some networking and you should also seek to grow key markets that are underrepresented with your business.
Plan for the Year Ahead
At this stage, you know where you’re solid and you know where you want to improve. Prepare a business plan for 2016 and set personal goals:
- What are your goals for customer retention?
- How do you want to grow financially?
- How can your sales conversion rates be improved at each step of your sales process?
Now is the time to figure that out. After setting these goals, write down how you plan to achieve them and make yourself accountable to your success. Choose one or two focused areas of improvement and choose your top prospects moving forward into the new year.
The fourth quarter can be stressful for anyone, not just business leaders. But it is important to slow down and evaluate, and not let the stress consume us. We do not walk into battle without a plan.
Using these year end sales management tasks as your guide, you can and will have a better, more productive fourth quarter. As well as a happy new year, because you will be ahead of your competition and ready to take on new opportunities in stride.
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