More deals get closed during the last days of the quarter than an average day, roughly 3x as many. Even more deals get lost during the last days of the quarter than an average day, roughly 11x as many. So contrary to popular belief, in the aggregate, the end-of-quarter push does more harm than good for a pipeline. Most customers can pick up on pushiness, desperation, and overall urgency tactics better than ever before. It’s not worth it to blow up your pipeline by providing customers a less optimal experience just to get deals over the finish line. It will usually come back to bite you. Here are some things to consider:
Know what tools you have available to drive urgency: This will usually take the form of discounts, payment terms (monthly vs. annual), advanced features, higher-tier plans, or extra seats. Know which one of these levers is most important to your buyer, and if you are going to offer it, be steadfast in doing so (i.e., be sure you can get it approved). Also, remember, discounts don’t make buyers make a decision. They just accelerate a decision that’s already been made, especially in the enterprise world. If this is part of your strategy, open up the window, so there is plenty of time before EOQ, ideally 2-3 weeks.
Use the second voice: In the words of Danny Meyer, “everyone has a sign around their neck that says make me feel important.” Hearing from a senior member of the team offering support can go a long way in massaging a customer’s ego while building trust. There is always power in numbers.
Humanize yourself: This only works if you have a FANTASTIC rapport with a customer, but you can make progress by telling your customer they will make your life a little easier if they make a decision now vs. next month. Weirdly enough, buyers aren’t used to salespeople letting their guards down like this, so it can often shift the dynamics of the conversation.
Do not sacrifice the top of the funnel: I made a very grave mistake when I was a new AE by telling my SDR to push all new meetings to the first week of the following month. The result was a huge commission month followed by a no commission month, with the average of two being less than 100% attainment. Don’t put yourself in a position to have a baron pipeline to start a quarter - I would take a fast start vs. a strong finish 10/10 times.
We don’t always have control over how we behave at EOQ, but it's important to not sacrifice long term success for short term pushes.
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