We just finished Labor Day Weekend the summer is behind us. Kids are back in school. Time to look at the next 4 months and see how we can make some moves to finish the year as strong as we can.
Our team is working on some final preparations. Final preparations for what you ask? Well we are preparing for the end of the year. We have just under 4 months to go to finish this year. Our team is going to finish the year strong . I hope your team is as well but our work is far from over. The last quarter is a great time to work on completing some pipeline projects, updating ongoing projects, planning, tweaking 2020 budgets and closing some things that you consider low hanging fruit.
Here are 5 things that you should be doing with your team as you move to the end of this year.
- Low Hanging Fruit– If you are coaching a sales team, you will want your team to do a pipeline and project review to determine what might still be closed before the end of the year. It doesn’t hurt to contact the folks involved with the project with a phone call and/or email to see how the project is going. Anything in the funnel that would be closing within 1 month of the new year, 2020, would be a candidate for this contact.
- Full Pipeline Update– Here is a tip for the upcoming holiday season. The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas in our business (Food Ingredients) is slower. People have their thoughts on holidays. Others are taking vacation that they need to before they lose it. In general, it is kind of the doldrums. The doldrums lull people into being lethargic and not pursuing ongoing projects. Keep you head in the game and enjoy the season but like anything else, use balance. The Goldilocks scenario comes to mind…not too hot (don’t come in too strong) and not too cold (chilling and doing mindless paper pushing) . Try and go through your sales pipeline and projects. Update those that are active with a current time estimate. Cancel any projects in the pipeline that have been cancelled or postponed by your prospect. Sales Pipelines are only as good as the information is current. The months of September and October are really busy before the holidays set in…use this time to keep that momentum moving forward.
- Budget Review– The end of the year is coming. In our company, we spend time evaluating our current year’s performance based on our budget submitted at the end of last year.. From this information, we calculate and determine potential bonuses to be paid to each individual team member . I also find it helpful to tweak any last minute items on our 2019 sales budget and the accompanying Proforma Profit/Loss Spreadsheet with any changes in anticipated expenses. I encourage each member of our team to look at their sales budgets which will help them to plan their Q 4 Territory Travel Plans .
- Speaking of Q4 territory plans…– Does your sales team members have large territories to manage? It is not to early to plan for travel during the months of January, February and March of 2020. how do they tie into what you are doing in Q4 of 2019? What is the most efficient and effective way to cover the territories? Which of the high target, high profile customers can be contacted in Q 1 that you might not get to in Q4? How many will be seen face-to-face and how many will be contacted via email campaigns , phone calls and possibly text messaging for important updates? Review these plans during your 1:1 s that you have during December so you are ready to hit the ground running in 2020.
- Reach out to customers– These last months of the year are a great time to thank your customers for their business. Your Sales Team should reach out with a personal email or even better, a hand-written note to their key customers thanking them for their support and business this year.They can also inquire as to status of some projects moving in the last quarter.You really can not have too many touch points with your customers. This is a great initiative for your team during this last month of the year. While we are on the subject of touch points and gratitude, it is a good time to acknowledge accomplishments and high points in the year to each of the members of your team. As the team leader, your acknowledgement goes a long way and has special meeting . Make sure you recognize specific events and actions for each one of the people. Do this during your 1:1 meetings and if you do not have 1:1 meetings with each one on your team regularly because they have a team leader of their own, then schedule a call and acknowledge their efforts specifically and individually. This will build more trust and improve communication in your team. The folks will know that you are watching and what they do is important to you and the team.
Well, these are some things to do as you coach your team and finish this year. As always, I encourage your comments and encourage you to pass this one to others in your organization that would find it valuable. Sign up for our regular newsletters and ideas for Team Coaching Success. Check out our Podcasts, Video Blogs and several new products and white papers to help you coach successfully.
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If I can help you with your team’s performance please reach out to me and I would love to have a conversation with you.
Please make these last months of the year the foundation for success in 2020 and beyond.
I wish you Good Coaching and Good Selling . #oarsforward #teamperformance #salesteamcoaching