your 4th quarter playbook
By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell
The 4 steps to Q4 success
When thinking about closing out the end of the year, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
🔑 First key – Q4 is typically the planning season for prospective customers, so the sooner you can get on their radar, the better. (*Cough* Hello Q1 pipeline *cough*).
🔑 Second key – Q4 is chock full of holidays:
- Indigenous People’s Day in on the 9th
- Vet’s day on 11/10
- Thanksgiving Day + Day after
- Winter holidays (the ones that include gifts + New Years)
🔑 Third key – Q4 can also be marked by low energy – oh hello seasonal affective disorder – and an increase in people calling out sick.
So, if reps are approaching Q4 like it’s any other quarter of the year, they’ll probably make their lives – and yours – way more stressful than it needs to be.
Instead, here are four steps you and your reps can take to take full advantage of the last quarter of the year…
#1: Review what converted this year
When approaching Q4, consider where you should double or triple down on.
- Are there themes to what converts down funnel?
- What ‘look-a-likes’ do you have in your territory? (consider industry, persona, growth of the company
- for ex, you see there are a number of SaaS companies with recent growth who struggled with [challenge] and CA will help them [objective], then you’ll look for companies who are also software companies with recent growth
🏀 Assist: For “converted”, consider main indicators of success, i.e. qualified opportunities, demos, mutual action plans, etc
#2: Review / add to your Bounty List
A “bounty list” is a list of prospects who are top targets for the quarter. These are the people and/or accounts who have a high propensity to convert in Q4.
When building or reviewing a bounty list, consider:
- Anyone who asked to be reached out “later in the year” or prospects who may have gone cold or ghosted earlier in the year
- All connects over phone, email, LI, etc where follow ups can lead to a conversion
- Prospects who are great titles and have some kind of Sales Navigator spotlight (follows us on LI, connected with you, recently promoted, etc)
🏀 Assist: Encourage your reps to take contact data quality into account. It doesn’t matter if prospects seem like great targets if all you have are bad numbers or invalid emails. Keep momentum building by having a clean list of reachable prospects.
#3: Tailor your messaging to the season
Remember that Q4 means we’re heading into people’s planning season. Prospect are likely asking themselves:
- “What’d we learn this year that we can bring with us into 2024?”
- “What bets did we make in Q4 last year / beginning of this year that paid off?”
- “Where did we make poor investments?”
- “How do we help ourselves have a fast start to the year?”
Explore how to align your messaging and talk tracks to begin answering these kinds of questions.
🏀 Assist: See what themes are trends, if any, you can find for messaging and/or talk tracks that are getting your prospects to engage.
#4: Plan out 2 weeks in advance, at minimum
More often than not, reps use the beginning of a quarter – i.e. the first 2 weeks – to set themselves up for success in that quarter. But remember, the bulk of holidays happen towards the latter half of the quarter. That means reps need to build momentum in the early days of the quarter.
To support the momentum build, my team is mapping out what they need to execute as efficiently as possible in the first two weeks. For example, they will:
- ID which accounts to work
- ID / tag prospects they’ll begin outreach to
- Input notes on accounts and prospects so research and relevance is ready to go
This way, when reps log in in the first couple weeks of the quarter, they can just focus on executing on their activities instead of figuring out what they need to execute on.
Carrying the momentum
The name of the Q4 game is momentum, momentum and momentum.
Your reps can use this momentum to close out the fiscal year with a strong finish. But the benefits don’t end with Q4.
In attacking Q4 with the urgency and efficiency this guidance suggests, your reps can use that momentum to kick off Q1 with a strong start.