7 ways to update your sales playbook in q4

Posted October 15, 2019

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By Audrey Weber

Associate Content Editor at Outreach

The days may get shorter and the weather colder in Q4, but that doesn’t mean your sales need to slow down or cool off. There’s no better time to update your sales playbook to set your team up for next year.

The elements of sales continually evolve, and so should your tactics and game plan. Last month’s playbook may not yield the same optimal results today, so your sales techniques must be in a constant state of improvement.

That said, there’s no one-size-fits-all method to the madness of selling. The right sales techniques depend on your industry, buyer personas, sales cycle, product range, and other factors. Which means a sales methodology may work pretty well for one company but might deliver mediocre outcomes in another.

The key is to regularly analyze your performance, adopt the right tools, run A/B tests with new techniques, and make adjustments based on the results.

Regardless of the sales methodologies your team adopts, here are our essential tips that will strengthen, fine-tune, and heat up your sales this Q4:

Aim For the Right Target

Some companies still struggle when it comes to identifying the right type of customers for their solutions. In fact, poor market-product fit remains a major cause of startup failure. Even when you have narrowed down your ideal customer profile or buyer personas, determining which pipeline opportunity to engage first can still be a tough nut to crack. One way to prevent an analysis paralysis is to automate lead prioritization based on a set of factors or metrics.

Build and Improve Your Process

A sales process helps sellers know at which stage in the buyer journey each prospect is, and which specific tasks they need to perform to move them forward. The right sales process makes success replicable. Regularly analyze performance to improve your sales process and help accelerate the average time it takes to close a deal. Conducting A/B tests is a good way to identify which areas can be improved.

Explore Different Selling Methods

There are many modern sales methodologies that can fit your sales process, however, they’re not created equal and you need to discover which ones best match your business. The most popular B2B selling methods include account-based sales, solution selling, and the challenger sale. You can always cherry-pick elements from multiple methods and combine in a way that matches your company's unique process and culture.

Upgrade Your Tech Stack

Don’t waste valuable human talent on tedious, low-value activities. The more time your sellers spend on admin tasks is less time they spend actually selling. Sales technologies have advanced over the years and there are now many tools that can support your team and make their jobs a lot easier. The key is to find which specific tools and platforms work for your team and process. Marketing automation, sales analytics, CRM software, and a sales engagement platform have become indispensable tools for most B2B sales organizations.

Solve a Pain Point

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. A good customer fit is where you can convincingly demonstrate that your solution can solve the customer’s problems or take them where they want to go. Know where customers are coming from and understand their pain points. Showcase specific use cases where your product helped solve the problems of other customers with similar issues.

Focus On the Follow-Up

Never underestimate the power of a good follow-up. Make sure your Sequences include several touchpoints after the initial outreach that provide additional information. Keep the momentum strong. Schedule meetings as soon as you can and expect to handle a good number of objections. Own the process but don’t take things too personally if customers decide to opt out.

Ask For Referrals

A lot of factors that lead to dead ends in sales are out of your control, but what you can control is how you navigate those road blocks. Sometimes people who aren't decision-makers or buyers are happy to refer you to the right people if you just ask. Or buyers who aren't ready to sign now have a friend at another company who is. A personal referral from a trustworthy source is one of the most valuable pieces of sales collateral for most buyers.

These tips are some of the essential elements you need to incorporate in your process, methodologies, and techniques. Implementing proactive changes to your sales playbook right now in Q4 can help to set your team up for a successful 2020.


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