In sales, as in most things in life, you can only expect to “reap what you sow.” Every salesperson worth their salt is aware that 2018’s sales year-end is coming, and it turns out that May-June is one of the best times to cultivate future opportunities.
Yet, one could argue that mid-May is a low-pressure period, with school letting out and summer vacations on the horizon. So, what’s the rush?
Oh, contraire! This is exactly the time to be thinking about what it going to take to have a successful 2018, as your ability to achieve your sales goals five or six months from now will likely depend on the amount of activity you are able to generate in in the next 45 days.
The amount of activity in a salesperson’s pipeline is usually a pretty accurate gauge of how many prospects will transform into qualified opportunities, and ultimately convert into mutually beneficial business relationships. (Yes, sales!)
If your sales goals include growing your pipeline or expanding your current book of business, then mid-May is hardly the time to relax. Instead, this is actually the time to push ‘the pedal to the floor,’ in order to create opportunities that will germinate into qualified prospects, and ultimately, transform into closable transactions.
If you are able to log a few wins in the short-term, congratulations! But success in sales is ultimately about creating business opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist, which takes time, skill, perseverance…and forward thinking.
Our focus here is about timing. You will reap what you sow. In just a few weeks, the Fourth of July kicks off a predictable lull in business activity, where the ensuing six weeks or so are spent tracking down customers who are on vacation, enjoying time with their families, or covering for co-workers who are also taking time off.
The sluggish pace of business often continues through Labor Day, after which sales teams re-engage with a frenzied quarter-end push to hopefully make their Q3 sales goals, as a microcosm of the pressure what sellers can expect at the end of 2018, as it will be ‘all hands on deck’to meet or exceed year-end sales objectives.
There’s no doubt the end of 2018 is rapidly approaching, and the pace of business will likely be intense during the last 45 days of the sales year. But, that’s NOT where the sales team’s focus should be in the next 45 days. In this pre-summer window, it’s about generating maximum sales activity, and filling the pipeline with opportunities that will ultimately make or break your 2018 sales year.
That leaves us with questions like, “Are you generating enough sales activity?” More importantly, “What are you doing to make more effective sales calls?” Are you filling the pipeline with qualified prospects that can evolve into legitimate business opportunities?
It’s a fantasy to believe that top performing salespeople have an uncanny knack for closing business or pulling deals out in the eleventh hour. If you study sales success, you will discover that salespeople who are consistently successful are hard at work planting seeds, and cultivating opportunities that will yield revenue long before the calendar presets a deadline.
So, what are you doing in the coming days and weeks to set yourself up for closing out a robust sales year at the end of 2018?