After the slower summer months, many companies experience a big push through Q4. In fact, companies may do more than half of their sales during the last three months of the calendar year. The pick-up is often attributable to sales professionals redoubling their efforts when they return to their desks in September.

Ensure you know industry best-practices for skill-based training with this  executive kickoff planning kit.

There are many reasons there’s such a boom in sales during Q4. One could be your sales representatives are motivated and pushing for end-of-year quota attainment. Another may be they’re invigorated after summer vacation. They may be more creative after having a break, which could lead to better quota attainment. Some sales opportunities that have been lingering on for months may finally come to fruition as buyers begin to strategize for the new year.

No matter the reason, the best thing you can do is prepare your sellers for success during the Q4 push. Use these four tips to prepare your sales team over the summer and achieve even more success.

1. Focus on Aligning Sales and Marketing

Sales leaders openly acknowledge the importance of aligning sales and marketing to achieve social selling success. Better communication with prospects and faster revenue growth are just two of the many reasons alignment is supported by the vast majority of sales people.

If your sales and marketing department are still out of step, take some time during the slower months of the year to focus on improving alignment. Sales professionals can communicate their content needs, which marketing can then prepare in advance of the Q4 push. Marketing can also discuss how sales representatives could use current content.

The end result is your sales teams will be equipped with better content and knowledge about how to use it effectively in their sales strategies.

2. Enable Your Sellers

Sales enablement is quite different from sales training. While sales training forms an important part of sales enablement, enablement extends farther.

Sales enablement is the People, Process & Technology of the sales go-to-market.  Take the summer months to refine your entire Sales Enablement Ecosystem.Sales support system

sales support

(images from Mike Kunkle)

It means giving your sales people the tools they need to effectively do their jobs. This could mean adopting new technology, providing training, or even creating new sales teams so each representative is able to capitalize on his or her strengths.

Before you head into the busy Q4 and the push it brings for your sales teams, outfit them with the tools they need. These adjustments are best made in the spring or summer when sales professionals will have time to adjust to the new supports you provide. They can then head into Q4 better prepared.

3. Invest in Sales Training

Sales training should be an ongoing endeavour for sales professionals. Dynamic, ongoing training supports the development and enhancement of sales skills in an ever-changing environment. Sales representatives benefit from being up to date on the latest trends in social and digital selling methods. They also find an advantage in more opportunity to practice and enhance their already-existing skills.

Ongoing training tends to lead to high rates of adoption. In turn, higher rates of adoption translate into higher quota attainment. Adoption rates of 90 percent lead to quota attainment improvements of around 23 percent.

4. Build the Pipeline all Summer

Contrary to popular belief, the summer months should actually be quite busy for your sales teams. While sales themselves may slow down, there are many things sales professionals can and should do to prepare for the Q4 push. One thing they may want to focus on is building the pipeline.

The modern buyer often takes time to complete a sale. The sales cycle is no longer a cycle but a journey. In turn, sales professionals should focus on building their pipeline all summer long. The pay-off in Q4 when decision-makers prepare to make purchases will be well worth it.

Adopt some of these tips for your sales teams and you’ll be better prepared when Q4 arrives. This may very well be your best sales season yet.

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Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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