Focusing on year end

I often see teams focusing diligently on year end with such zeal it makes me wonder why they do not have that same zeal throughout the year.  Funny thing about time, it marches at the same pace throughout the year, if you let too much of it pass by in the early parts of the year, there does not seem to be a way to get extra time as the year nears the end.

Sales people live in this wonderful world where the buyer is conditioned to make a disproportionate amount of purchasing at the end of key calendar periods,  such as a month, quarter or end of year.  Many companies build this assumption into their forecasting creating enormous pressure for sales teams to achieve a high proportion of their quota in a short period of time.

Some companies operate on a more even keel — the secret here is to understand with more depth the nature of a typical sales cycle.  Once understood, I have found that you can often plan to close more sales in those other parts of the year just by making sure the sales cycle moves along as it is supposed to.  This typically means getting your leads qualified when you need them, so they move through the steps in an orderly (and timely fashion).  Of course, the customer has to go along with this, some do insist on waiting until the end of the time period to buy, so it’s not always in your control — but what is surprising, most sales people never ask the question so they forecast closure without a key piece of data — when does the buyer typically buy?  I see this time and time again.

Success can come for many reasons but it often does not come if you do not know how to go get it.

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