Crushing your Q4 quota
Would you like to learn a few secrets about how to avoid the end of year scramble? We recently sat down with two fantastic smart thought leaders, Nancy Nardin of Smart Selling Tools and Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing to gather tips on how to crush your Q4 quota.
Nardin is a recognized thought leader on sales and marketing and sales and marketing productivity tools. Her firm, Smart Selling Tools, which she founded and is the president of, is dedicated to helping both marketers and sales people find the right technology to drive revenue.
Heinz is the president and founder of Heinz Marketing, a leading thought leadership and advisory firm focused on B2B marketing and sales. His firm has helped companies like Amazon, Seagate, Morgan Stanley, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The first thing you should really think about when it comes to crushing your Q4 is to really know your number. You may know what you need to do to hit your quota, but do you know what your underlying pipeline size is? Do you know the number you need to have in your pipeline to even have a chance at hitting your Q4 quota?
Warning signs you’re not ready for Q4
One of the big warning signs that you’re not ready for Q4 is when there aren’t enough deals in the pipeline. You have to understand how much you need in the pipeline in order to close the gap. The activity metrics have to really line up with what’s in your forecast. So if you’re looking at your forecast and you’re realizing, “I have some deals in my forecast where I haven’t communicated with them recently” or where you haven’t received anything from them, or you haven’t sent out a revised proposal, then you’re probably going to be in trouble. The activity metrics have to really line up with what you have in your forecast and what you’re expecting.
Depending on the sales cycle length you’re working on, if you don’t already have deals in the pipeline that have a closed date within Q4, you might have trouble. If you’ve got a healthy pipeline of business that can be closed, but don’t have enough of them already engaged where they’re ready to buy and they’ve got budget to buy, and there’s some compelling event that’s going to get them to actually close in Q4 (or in advance of 2019), then you also may still be in trouble.
Know your deal timing
One of the hard questions that we that we sometimes don’t ask or find out is: “When is this actually going to land?” As opposed to, “When do we hope it’s going to land?” Hope is not a strategy. If you’ve got a goal without a plan, then that’s called a wish. You don’t want to wish to hit your number for Q4. You want to have actual qualified pipeline.
It’s a good discipline to understand where deals are likely going to land. But your predictions are not going to be perfect. That’s why you have multiple opportunities in your pipeline, versus just those that you need to close. That discipline of having an up-to-date expected close date is important.
Understand your deal stages
Marketing also needs to understand that they have help sales in all kinds of deal stages. This doesn’t mean that marketing only needs to get involved at the very beginning of the funnel. Marketing really needs to make sure that they fully understand what sales needs from them to help move deals through the pipeline.
This blog will be followed by 4 more blogs covering the below topics. If you would like to listen to the audio for each blog section, please click on the movie at the top of each section.
- Part 2 “What sales and marketing metrics are key to knowing you’re on track for Q4?”
- Part 3 “What are the pitfalls to avoid in attempting to crush your Q4 number?
- Part 4 “How do you ensure a healthy pipeline so you’re closing the right deals?”
- Part 5 “How do marketing and sales stay aligned during the crushing process?”