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.

In part 2 of this series, we covered “What sales and marketing metrics are key to knowing you’re on track for Q4?”

In the following blog, part 3 of this series, we cover “What are the pitfalls to avoid in attempting to crush your Q4 number?”

What are the pitfalls to avoid in attempting to crush your Q4 number?

It may surprise you, but you need to fully understand what the buying process looks like for your client. Not only the true qualification nature of that opportunity, but understanding how that prospect buys, and what that means for the timing around when your deal with them is going to land.

It’s important to ask those hard questions, so you can increase confidence in your prediction of what you will close before the quarter ends. So often, we don’t want to ask our prospects those questions because we don’t want to risk that the prospect will say something we don’t want to hear. And that is a big mistake.

Repeating the message

You also want your stakeholders to start to verbalize your message out loud so when they are talking to their management, or they’re trying to get the deal approved, they’ve already worked out how to communicate your message to their team.

Prospects need more help than we probably always realize. You may think, “We just have to go through our conversation, sell them on the value proposition and, if they agree and they see it, then we’re good.” But prospects need more help than that. They need to understand how to overcome internal objections and be armed with the right information to answer internal questions.

This is very important because often times they don’t know what questions to ask, so they don’t ask them. So then these important questions will go unanswered until the last minute, when somebody raises their hand and says, “Well what about this?” and they if they can’t answer the question about your product, all of a sudden the deal will come to a screeching halt.

What should marketers do to help identify potential pitfalls?

The sales person running the deal needs to really be honest about where it is at, and to make sure their prospect has asked all of the right questions,. You also need to know that you have the right buying committee assembled, and that they know what all of the steps are that need to be taken in order to get the deal done by December 31st at 11:59 p.m.

Some marketers will throw up their hands one month into the quarter and say “I’ve generated leads. I don’t have anything left to do!” However, the more complex the selling process, and the longer your sales cycle, then the more marketing needs to focus equal, if not more of, their energy on sales enablement.

In creating content that applies to a particular target in a particular account, with a particular decision maker type, marketing’s job is the same as sales. It should aim to get deals across the line. Sometimes with those bigger, more complex deals, providing some content with context can make a  difference between you making your quota or not.

So, when sales and marketing can partner at those later stages of the sales process, especially when marketing can use that as a way of redefining their objectives, and what’s valuable for marketing, it can be a huge win.

Account-based marketing and sales

It’s important to provide salespeople with the right intelligence or a platform to get intelligence about those main accounts so that those sales people can stay up to date if any kind of triggering event happens, something in the news happens, they need to really stay on top of it.

It’s too easy for marketers to assume the salesperson knows everything that’s going on in the account and has a complete handle on all the activity. Often, there’s a lot going on that the salesperson probably doesn’t know about. If there is activity, such as a prospect activity on the website, then sales needs to be alerted about it. Account-based marketing can help sales by informing them

Next up…

This blog will be followed by 2 more blogs covering the following topics, below. If you would like to listen to the audio for each section, please click on the movie at the top of each blog.

  • 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?”

Read prior parts to this blog at:

  • Part 1 “What are the warning signs you’re not ready for Q4?”
  • Part 2 “How do marketing and sales stay aligned during the crushing process?”

CTA Sales Effectiveness Report