Any sales target is harder to hit when you’re playing catch-up. That’s why every business needs to act right now to make a fast start to the final quarter.
But let’s be clear: if you haven’t got a plan to inspire your people then you’re already making your job harder.
The numbers may matter but it’s massive motivation which will ensure you succeed. This is the real secret to nailing your sales in Q4. Here is how you can do it.
The last quarter of the year is shorter than you think. Take away two weeks for the usual Christmas wind-down and a bit more for the distraction of parties and socialising and you are left with little more than eight weeks to hit your end of year targets. Focus instead on September 20 as your 100-day countdown to the end of year and have a bullet-proof plan to work with your team ready by mid-September. Start working on yours today.
Set sales goals
An end-of-year target can always seem distant and less pressing to your sales team. But the more they do early, the more likely you are to succeed. Create a plan which says what needs to happen by when. Use your knowledge of the different actions that will lead to sales to set clear goals for the team through the 100-day countdown. Focus on the small things which make a big difference whether this is making new calls made, contacting dormant customers or incentivising customers to close out business in the first four weeks of the quarter. This should be a week-by-week set of targets.
Inspire through your support
The start of a 100-day countdown to year end is when you talk to each member of your team and help each individual understand what they need to do. But just as every team member must be clear on what they need to contribute, they have to be clear that you will support them. Now is the time to identify the things that may stop them from succeeding, find a way to work around any roadblocks and tell them you will be there to help them.
Leave nothing to chance
Time is of the essence in Q4 and if your team isn’t performing, you quickly need to work out why. Is your team doing the wrong things? Where they are succeeding, what is stopping them from selling more? What extra support would help accelerate their performance? Am I doing everything to ensure each individual is motivated to perform?
At the end of each week, you need the answers to each of these questions. Work out how you will monitor progress through the countdown to year-end before the quarter starts so that you are ready to make the changes you need in order to hit that target.
Keep up the momentum and celebrate success
Motivation to perform comes from the actions you take as a manager. So if hitting a target is going to be challenging, your job is to make it enjoyable. This is where reward and recognition come in to their own. As a good manager you will know that a thanks for a job well done is non-negotiable. But you can also inspire extraordinary performance with a creative approach to reward. Focus on doing something new through the countdown to the end of the year. Team rewards, spot prizes, holidays and competitions help lift the team and give the short-term momentum which delivers the results you need. And of course, don’t forget to plan to celebrate success at the end of the quarter.