The 5 questions you need to ask yourself before Q1

We’re all familiar with the Q4 slump; that nosedive in revenue that leads up to the festive season. Businesses are less focused on buying and closing deals than they are on the Christmas ‘do’ and how much tinsel is set to bedeck their offices.

So, while we fight on and try to make targets, this time of year might also give us the opportunity to consider how to prepare for a strong Q1 next year. Many of us are attempting to put our forecasts together, so why not look at areas for improvement while we’re at it?

 

Where are your deals falling through?

You probably know at which point in your process you’re failing to close a deal. Has your competitor got a USP you could sell against better? Is your pricing structure confusing potential buyers? Now’s the time to go back over your performance in 2017 and see where you might have been able to perform better.

 

Is someone in your team under-achieving?

You’ll already know who’s having the most success in your team and consistently meeting or exceeding their targets. But what about the salespeople who aren’t performing quite so well? Look at their weaknesses or challenges and think about how you can help them prepare to tackle them better in 2018.

 

Are you lacking resource?

New business is key to driving business growth and if your team don’t have the resource to do much additional prospecting then this could be greatly reducing your ability to build revenue and futureproof your business. If you already realise you’ll need more manpower to tackle Q1 then now is the time to recruit. Whether you want more fresh talent or a seasoned professional, Pareto have been recruiting and training sales professionals for over two decades. A sprinkle of Generation Z enthusiasm could be just what your team needs to raise their game.

 

Do your team need a boost?

Even those who have been in the sales profession for many years occasionally need some fresh motivation. Why not get off to a strong start in January with some team building, coaching or training? You might want to refresh your fundamental sales skills, refresh your approach to prospecting, receive some live coaching in negotiation skills or revisit your own leadership skills. As much as you won’t remember GCSE maths, you might have forgotten some of the key sales skills, or at least they could benefit from a bit of a polishing.

 

Should you revisit elements of your selling approach altogether?

If your product or service has value (which we’d assume it has or you wouldn’t be in business at all!) then unless you’re achieving consistent growth, something IS wrong with your sales operations. It could be worth taking things back to basics or getting a specialist in to review your processes.

One solution which could address all these issues is to bring in newly-trained fresh talent. They’re straight out of university, eager to achieve and have none of the bad habits of more seasoned salespeople. Graduates hitting the workplace in 2017/18 also now have the added selling point of being members of ‘Generation Z’, the entrepreneurial-minded, driven and digitally native. They’ve grown up with the likes of Dragons Den and the Apprentice and have the sheer determination to succeed which the Millennial generation are accused of lacking.

Pareto Law graduates are all placed with the added benefit of 128 hours of our market-leading sales training. We hand-pick successful graduates at our regular assessment days, choosing only those who have the profile of a star seller.

 

The 5 questions you need to ask yourself before Q1

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