top of page
  • Helen Pritchett

Tips on closing Q4

Still need to hit Annual sales target?

Do you still have a portion of your annual target to hit before year end? If so, you’re not alone. However, trying to get clients to focus on signing deals in Q4 is hard. They are more likely to want to put things off until the new year. It’s hard to get budget holders and decision makers to engage at this time of year. But all is not lost, whilst Q4 can present challenges, it can also present opportunities. During Q4, most companies are looking to finalise next year’s budget as well as use up this year’s budget. This results in an increased spend in the last quarter of the year.

Q4 is the time to check that your pipeline contains only genuinely “closeable” opportunities and to leave other prospect opportunities until Q1 next year. Now is the time to focus on winnable Q4 sales opportunities and we advise using a simple qualification process.

What can you do to push your sales across the finish line and get conversions to close this financial year?

Here are some simple steps to follow:

  1. Analyse where you stand in relation to your annual target

  2. Analyse your funnel – prioritise it into categories of those deals that will definitely close, those with a high likelihood, those with some probability and longer-term placeholders.

  3. Give prospects/customers a reason to buy – tell them your product can save them time, increase their sales, preventing time wasting in January. Explain if they purchase in the next few weeks, you can help them e.g., to import data, invite users to events, plan product launches, or create a strategy to kickstart the new year to help them hit the ground running.

  4. Protect existing customers from price increases – advise customers if they act now, they can benefit from existing pricing rather than be subject to increases in the new year.

  5. Make customers an offer they simply can’t refuse – promotions and discounts can entice customers to act when they might otherwise have waited, but don’t damage your margin, customer activity that doesn’t fall in Q4 will likely fall in Q1!

  6. Offer limited, exclusive, time sensitive access to products or opportunities.

  7. Hold regular team meetings to communicate strategy and brainstorm ways of speeding up conversions.

  8. Look at opportunities currently listed as Q1; can any be brought forward into Q4?

  9. Assess your resources – do you have the right people, adequate time, and the right data? If any area is lacking make changes, find time and buy data.

  10. Create a close plan and collaborate with marketing to create valuable content

The last quarter of the calendar year is traditionally the most challenging with the most distractions so the start of Q4 is the perfect time to go on the sales offensive. So, how can you stay focused on closing the deals that are genuine Q4 opportunities?

Here are 6 golden rules for lead closure, (according to LinkedIn), which closely align with the BANTa lead qualification process that CPB UK Ltd uses:

  1. Budget. Does the prospect have access to approved funds to make the purchase and do they have the authority to make a purchase decision and issue a P.O?

  2. Authority. Has the end user got the authority to action the project?

  3. Need. Does the prospect actually need the solution?

  4. Timescale. Has the purchase timescale been established and what are the specific steps of the buying process to ensure it closes before year end?

  5. Speed & precision: The clock is ticking. Focus on the deals that have the highest probability of closing.

  6. Be nimble: Quarter 4 is about selling; current clients are more like to buy from you so incentivise them to do so.

  7. Don’t panic! Instead think how you can incentivise, energise, and capture all of that competitive spirit that sales teams thrive on. Ensure everyone on the team knows what they have to do, what’s expected of them and incentivise them on how they can achieve it.

CPB UK’s BANTa approach also includes Attitude – the attitude and character of the contact spoken to is analysed and guidance is provided on the best method of reaching said contact, i.e. direct dial, mobile number, best time of day etc, for pre-qualification of opportunity.

Looking forward to Q1 2023 … how will you plan for the new sales quarter?

Sales planning isn’t an annual event. Each quarter, sales leaders must evaluate performance against the annual sales plan, identify variances and evaluate corrective actions or adjustments. At the start of the sales year, areas of focus should be identified, a plan to access the right data to achieve objectives should be set out, targets should be reviewed, high value prospects should receive prime attention, mark important dates and events that might affect the sales team and consider incentivisation.

Assess the information in your database and create a plan so you know exactly who to reach out to at the start of Q1. If the data seems lacking, or you were aware of it being patchy in the previous year, consider a data matching exercise to refresh and revitalise your data, future proofing your marketing campaign intelligence for the forthcoming year.

The new quarter will begin quickly, so you’ll need to hit the ground running after the new year festivities. Have a list ready of exactly who’s ready for a follow-up call, and what opportunities were in the pipeline at the end of the previous quarter. Having a strong plan not only prepares you for a solid start to the year, but also mitigates the risk of wasting precious time while your competitors are moving sales through their pipelines in January.


bottom of page