December 6, 2022
You all know the cliche “5 tips for…”, and “10 ways to…” headlines. Well this one is more than just clickbait – this one’s time-sensitive and hopefully helpful.
December is one of the most stressful months for sales, and as the end of the year officially comes into sight, there’s more than just presents that need wrapping up. Your deals need finalizing too. This is even more difficult than trying to find the sticky end of the tape.
Firstly, you need to have a closing strategy in mind, one that’s more than just a mutual plan. Understand what the steps are that you’re going to take and always know what can go wrong.
Use your manager, and decide together what your creative moves are going to be. Leverage your colleagues together to look at the deals and the many possible scenarios.
When it comes to your ‘best-case’ deals, understand that this is the time to see how you can make them solid, and fill in all the gaps.
See what steps a company that size needs to take. Don’t give up on them, but rather ask how this can happen, without disqualifying them from the quarter–you may be surprised at how many large deals can have big steps happen in parallel and how many creative solutions experienced buyers sometimes have to expedite or bypass certain steps. Don’t give up.
Never create your planning against December 31st. Do it a week or two earlier in case the people you need to make it happen are away, and remember things can go wrong at the last minute. Make your date earlier in your mind, and plan for it like it’s the 31st.
Leverage the collective IQ of the team. It’s the executive sponsors, the CEO, CRO, VP Sales and the help of CSM, product, and RND whose support can really help create confidence and add more value.
Your prospect could be close to a decision but they’re hesitant and holding back on something. Leveraging your internal teams, you can instill more confidence with your prospect, you could more easily get a meeting with higher decision makers, solve an objection, and more.
Having your executive sponsor for example reaching out to the decision maker to share her excitement about potentially working together, that she’s here to ensure that this project will be a success and will be here if they ever need anything, is almost always a nice touch.
That you’re reaching out this way– not to push– really could help tilt a decision to your side and might end up with them asking for a call that will make the deal happen.
Ask the 2nd or 3rd questions. The ones that no ones asking and really dig in to get the answer. Be paranoid and ensure you can close the deal, so don’t be afraid to say things like, “I understand you need to go to CEO for approval. If that works, can you please walk me through what happens next”.
Ask the same thing again and again, because not everyone will have the same answer. Validate, and keep validating…and then summarize by saying, “Just making sure we’re fully aligned on the process…”
Remember that every hour can make a difference. Adopt this strategy and you’ll be able to get things done on time. Think about small areas like where a customer suggests a call in a week from now, and find a nice way to say “I’m available tomorrow”.
If you get an email in the morning, respond in the morning.
Always follow up on exact times and stay loyal to it.
Educate your champion that delays can risk losing momentum and projects can fade away. Work on a work-back plan from when they’re looking to see value to today, remind them of their challenges and help focus the conversation on solving them sooner rather than later.
If you agreed on closing by Dec X, be on the paranoid side, think of yourself as a project manager by thinking of all the small things, so you could both get things done in time. Share reminders, and it’s ok to also share concerns of what could go wrong so you could both be on top of it together and hit the milestones you’ve agreed on. But remember, keep it cool.
This is the perfect time, when you’re getting asks, to make requests of your own. Don’t be shy to tell them what’s important to you, when they ask for what’s important to them.
Kindly explain that you’re happy to try and make their requests happen, and that what could help with the approval, or just would help you, is if you can finalize things before the end of the year.
Many of them are even waiting for you to bring up EOY as they know it’s the time to get great deals in software.
We hope these tips have helped! Let us know your feedback so we can continue to provide you with more useful articles.
Have a safe and happy holiday.
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