Chances are, if you are going to struggle to reach your goal, the cause is to be found in your habits earlier in the year. If your pipeline lacks the deals you need to make your number now, the opportunities you need would have already been created and well down the path. That said, you have to do your very best to turn in the best result you can while there is still time. Here are some ideas about what you might do now.
- Follow up every deal and gain the next commitment necessary to move the deal forward. In The Lost Art of Closing, I provided ten commitments that one generally finds in a B2B sale. Go back over those commitments to see where you lost control of the deal and call your prospect to ask for a meeting to do whatever it is you may have missed. My guess is that you missed the Commitment to Change, the Commitment to Build Consensus, or the Commitment to Resolve Concerns.
- Look for early-stage deals with stakeholders who are more compelled to change and offer to shift their “go live” timeline. One common mistake is to focus only on closing late stage deals. But highly motivated, engaged, and compelled prospects who want change now are just as likely to move forward with a deal—and in some cases, more so. See if you can move their timeline up for them.
- Remove any known barriers to buying. If you know some concern is preventing your prospective client from buying from you, ask to resolve or address any concerns or provide whatever proof they believe necessary to move forward. You may be tempted here to remove price as a barrier, and maybe you are right to do so, but I worry about you training your clients to wait you out, especially when you renew their contract.
- Fire every weapon. You have to do everything you can to win, even when it means you ask other people for help. Engage your sales manager, your sales leader, your executive leadership, a client reference, or even a board member to engage with a prospective client that isn’t moving and need a nudge. Sometimes having a leader call another leader can smooth the path.
- Gain agreement on the start date and outline the milestones between now and that date, including the date you’d need to have an agreement in place. If your dream client needs to go live on March 1st, then explain why you need to a contract in place now, and what you are going to need to do together between the date they sign and the date you go live. You can also use these milestones to demonstrate when you are going to your best resources available for your prospective client.
What are you going to do to ensure that you end 2018 strong?
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