4 Ways Agencies Can Close Q4 Sales Strong
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already approaching the end of 2022 — another year behind us, and a Q4 sales quarter to close out with a bang.
Sales managers, reps, and organizations at large look for ways every September to give their sales numbers a bump and maximize on end-of-year buyer motivation. B2B agencies in particular have an opportunity to capitalize on potential clients’ goals and objectives for the year upcoming by demonstrating how they can help to accomplish them.
So what are some specific ways to do it?
That’s what we’ll explore in this article. What follows is a deeper dive into Q4 sales (what’s the truth about them, anyway?) and 4 ways agencies can be sure to finish the sales year on a strong note.
- Research has found that Q4 is actually not the most profitable for most companies.
- To boost Q4 sales, agencies must set realistic expectations and execute proven tactics with season-specific messaging.
- Your current pipeline is your best source for EOY leads likely to convert in Q4.
- Incentives like discounts, free premium features, and loyalty programs can motivate buyers to take action.
- Upselling and cross-selling are important sources of sales revenue to pursue in Q4.
The Q4 Buzz: What Happens in Sales
If you’re in sales, you’ve undoubtedly heard it a million times over — Q4 of the year is the most profitable of all. The thing is, it’s not always the truth.
One study found that only a third of businesses report the last three months of the year as their most profitable. A separate study by Business Insider found that between 1992 and 2016, fourth quarter sales never surpassed 28%.
The hard numbers from Statista on e-commerce sales corroborate this finding: between 2010 and 2021, Q4 sales never accounted for more than 14% of overall sales revenue.
Meanwhile, boots-on-the-ground sales teams are striving to meet their highest quotas of the year and close out more deals than they have in months prior. Could it be that we’re all aiming for unrealistic results?
Well, yes and no.
It’s true that you shouldn’t expect Q4 sales results to be magically higher than the rest of the year. While it may be the case for some industries and companies, there are too many factors at play for it to be considered a blanket truth.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t finish out the year strong, maintaining realistic, attainable expectations while implementing effective tactics to give Q4 sales a boost. It’s all about sticking with what’s been proven to work and tailoring it to the time of year.
Let’s take a closer look at four ways to do it:
- Prioritizing high-potential opportunities
- Offering incentives
- Collaborating with marketing on EOY content
- Up-selling and cross-selling
4 Ways to Boost Q4 Sales and Finish the Year Strong
Prioritize High-Potential Opportunities
The quickest place to find deals likely to close is in your existing pipeline. Just like sales teams are motivated to finish out the year on a high note, buyers are motivated to round out their purchase plans and get their budgets organized by December’s close. You likely have potential clients sitting in your pipeline ready to convert with a bit more encouragement.
But don’t be arbitrary with this tactic — prioritize deals at the end of the pipeline and those that show the most potential either through lead score or other high-intent actions. Take new steps to engage and/or offer incentives (more on those later) that motivate leads to make a purchase decision.
End-of-year incentives are another way to encourage interested buyers to close. For agencies, it may not be as simple as a product discount or promo code, but there are ways to use incentives in the B2B world to drive Q4 sales — some examples include free premium features for a certain time period, discounted rates to sign up before year’s end, or even a complementary campaign executed as part of their Q4 marketing and sales strategy.
You can get creative here — the point is to think about what motivates your clients, what would provide value to them, and how you can get time-specific to drive the sale for Q4.
Collaborate with Marketing on Great EOY Content
There’s something about holiday content — ads, commercials, emails, you name it — that grabs our attention. Maybe it’s simply the spirit of the season, but either way B2B agencies can use it to drive Q4 sales.
Partner with your marketing team to create content that keeps you top-of-mind with high potential customers during every season and holiday. There’s no shortage of them in Q4: back to school, autumn, halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year, winter. It can all be incorporated into engaging, connection-driven Q4 sales content.
Keep this in mind: not all of your Q4 content needs to be a hard sell. A happy holidays campaign with no (obvious) ulterior motive can be what finally gets you the call back to close. As with sales at any time of year, there is no one tactic sure to be the impetus — you need to execute a holiday campaign alongside other efforts as part of an overall engagement strategy.
Up-Sell and Cross-Sell
Don’t forget that your current customers remain a potential source of revenue and can help give your Q4 sales a boost. In fact, incentive strategies are often even more successful with current customers because they already know the value of your offer.
Think about which of your offerings can complement those already used by your best clients, and couple them with incentives like EOY discounts and loyalty programs to add motivation.
There’s no single magic bullet for agencies pursuing Q4 sales — but it is true that buyers and sellers alike are both highly motivated to tie up loose ends before the end of a calendar year.
By sticking with what you know to be effective, looking inward for existing opportunities in your pipeline, offering incentives tailored to specific customer segments, and executing engaging seasonal campaigns, you can motivate your highly interested buyers to make a final purchase.
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