Does business really stop in Q4, during the Fall and Holiday season? We offer an emphatic NO in answer to that question.
It is widely believed that attention to and focus on work and productivity is elsewhere with the holidays and time off on the immediate horizon. Business does not stop during the last few months of the year. While many professionals may have the holidays on their minds, a great amount of business is conducted during this time. Even if there is a bit of a slowdown in activity during this timeframe, it is also the time when decision-makers typically have a lighter schedule and fewer meetings. They may now have the time to consider new solutions that they might not have otherwise considered. They may even be looking to set up the new year with a quick start in order to hit the ground running.
Each year, we repeatedly have this discussion with clients and potential clients. The common questions raised all relate to the same question – Is it worthwhile to put forth a prospecting effort in the last quarter of the year? We have dispelled this myth year after year with successful appointment setting and lead generation campaigns during the 4th quarter. After all, writing off Q4 can kill the current year or start off the coming year on a very bad note. Consider these supporting factors to our argument:
- Use it or lose it. Many companies are looking to purchase new solutions before the close of the year and utilize any remaining unused budget of the current year.
- Reach out now. B2B companies are finalizing their sales plans and budgets for the coming year, often in Q4.
- The finish line is within sight. The final months of the year, especially December, can be a key period for B2B salespeople to finish the year strongly with a final strong sales effort.
- Beat your competitors. Your competitors may be on vacation while you are “pounding the pavement”. If they stop calling prospects during Q4, your message may stand alone.
You can play a role in shaping your client’s sales plan and budget for the next year as well as playing a part in finishing the current year in a healthy position.
Implement a strategy which resonates with your prospects and clients that will set an expectation in the sales cycle and put you in position to finish solidly in Q4. When we speak with clients or potential clients who are unsure about moving forward with a campaign during the last months of the year, we have some excellent recommendations:
- A surprisingly good time to make contact. There are many prospects that you can likely reach only at certain times of the year. We have found often those might occur in the last 6 weeks of the year. The 4th quarter may require a few more dials to make the number of contacts you desire, but often we are reaching people we were unable to reach at other times of the year.
- Look for smaller opportunities. Smaller dollar amounts are often easier to get approved within an organization. Starting smaller and getting a foot in the door can be the better strategy although it may seem counterintuitive.
- Examine existing client accounts. If you start new prospecting activities in Q4, will you have enough time to close new deals before the end of the current year? It is possible, but you already have a relationship with your current clients. Were there plans during the year that were put on hold? Are there last-minute projects they want to complete? Perhaps they may want to prepare now for the first quarter of the coming year.
- Review win-back sales opportunities. Do you have inactive clients who haven’t worked with you recently?
Perhaps there are clients who haven’t done business with you for one, two, or even three years. Or maybe it’s longer in the past than that and they could use your help now. It may be the perfect time to win them back.
The last months of the year are an ideal time for a test campaign for all the reasons we discussed and more. End the year with a robust effort and set up the coming year for a strong start. Contact Intelemark today to find out how we can help you take advantage of the 4th quarter instead of ignoring the 4th quarter and get a head-start on the coming year. And your competitors.