You almost caught it!
Many times, at the end of the business year, we are deluded by a series of deals in our portfolio.
Businesses that are usually quite “appetizing.”
As the end of the quarter approaches, the salespeople start to get more nervous, the deals do not materialize, some are delayed to the next quarter, and as you can imagine, the goals are not achieved.
The question is: why does this happen?
We can make a thousand and one excuses:
- That it is a consequence of the pandemic and the war
- That the client delayed the process due to other projects
- That it was your favorite club that lost
In short, there will undoubtedly be no shortage of excuses.
But does this really need excuses?
In our view, no.
It is the normal business activity of companies; some deals materialize, others do not.
The only difference in these situations is that because it is the end of the quarter and the salesman needs to achieve his sales quota, and the pressure is almost certainly much higher.
Because of this pressure, one of the biggest commercial mistakes of the year is made.
Because we are under sales pressure, we tend to put pressure on the business at hand and put aside one of the most critical components of the sales process.
Think about it for a moment. Have you guessed what it is?
Of course, you have.
It is prospecting.
You are probably thinking:
But if I’m distressed about my sales, why on earth should I care about prospecting?”
One of the reasons the next quarter, or let’s imagine the commercial year, starts badly is because salespeople at the end of the year neglect prospecting or contacting clients who have no active proposals.
They do this under the illusion that if they force business, it will materialize.
But is it an illusion?
In our opinion, it often is!
I think with myself.
If a client is going through a complicated internal process, like a strike, the closing of a unit, or a union problem, is it because we put more pressure on them that we will close the deal?
Of course not.
In most businesses, the commercial’s influence only goes up to a certain point of the sale.
From then on, we must support the sale and keep the deal warm, but our real influence, unless we take advantage of the “wedge” factor, is relatively small.
When we miss prospecting and contacting customers with no active proposals, we kill the beginning of the following year.
On the prospection side, this is usually where the commercial influences.
That is, in the triggering of new opportunities.
Follow up with clients who don’t have active proposals because the end of the year is when budgets are often made for the following year.
If we don’t have a foot in the door at this time, we are often not even considered for the following year.
The saying goes:
“Out of Sight, Out of Heart!”
And in sales, it is very true.
If we are not present with our customers at this time of year, we have no chance to prepare the ground for our products or services to be well positioned next year.
The end of the year is also when purchasing departments launch new market inquiries.
Usually to select new suppliers or to tighten up with current ones based on others’ proposals.
For all these reasons, this year-end, don’t neglect to prospect and follow up with customers who are not active.
You will see that your beginning of the year will be much more profitable in commercial terms.
Remember that what we have done all our lives does not always work.
Many times the strategies and tactics that got us from point A to point B will not be the same ones that will get us from point B to point C.
So don’t waste any more time.
Also published on Medium.