3 Ways To Avoid the Quarter End Panic
I had a few different conversations yesterday with sales reps, some friends and some potential vendors that I’m looking at using. The only word I can use to describe the unanimous feeling I got from the tone of all of their voices was PANIC.
Quarter end is the week in every commission driven employee’s calendar that determines how big (or small) that bonus check is going to be next month. How all the numbers end up at the of this week determines if your Spring vacation will be spent road tripping with the relatives for a big day at Six Flags or sipping on margaritas on a catamaran down in Cancun. It’s stress. It’s a grind. It’s mayhem. It’s the Quarter End Panic.Quarter end is the week in every commission driven employee’s calendar that determines how big (or small) that bonus check is going to be next month. How all the numbers end up at the of this week determines if your Spring vacation will be spent road tripping with the relatives for a big day at Six Flags or sipping on margaritas on a catamaran down in Cancun. It’s stress. It’s a grind. It’s mayhem. It’s the Quarter End Panic.
And here is how you avoid it…
1. SET BETTER GOALS. It has always struck me as odd watching people panic as they scramble around at the end of the quarter trying to close the last of their deals. It’s almost as if the big bad boss just dropped a big quota on their desk today in the midst of the final hour. Folks, the goals we scramble to hit last minute were given to us 3 months ago! That is an eternity of time to prepare. Next Monday when you get your new quarter (or yearly, or monthly or weekly depending on what your company does — you get the point) goal sit down for a while and spend some time to do some planning. Whatever goal is given to you, do yourself a favor and throw it in the garbage. Your new goal is 150% of whatever number you’re expected to hit. For the mathematicians out there. If $1m is your company’s goal for you, $1.5m is your goal for you.
“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.”
Now, on your calendar, create monthly and weekly milestones for yourself backwards from that 150% target. These milestones are weekly and monthly reminders to you on what number you should be at that given week for you to be on track towards your 150% number. You should know at all times if you are ahead or behind the game. This visual reminder will drastically impact your decisions. If the end of the first month comes and you are behind, you at least know that 12:00 happy hour on Friday isn’t an option for you. You will be more organized, more confident, less stressed, and will make better decisions if you take the time to track and measure how you are going to get to where you need to go.
2. BUILD A PLAN. Once you have that 150% of goal number and the timeline milestones to get to it, you have to do a very critical exercise. You need to do some simple math backwards from your goal to come out with your daily game plan that you will be holding yourself religiously accountable to.
Answer these questions to create your plan:
- What is your up to date average deal size?
- How many deals do you need to close at the above deal size to hit your 150% number?
- What is your closing ratio? (this is the number of deals you’ve closed to date divided by the number of sales appointments you’ve had to date)
- What is the number of sales appointments you need to have to hit your deal number? (this is the amount of deals you need to close divided by the closing ratio)
- What are the activities you need to do to guarantee the above number of sales appointments? (number of cold calls, number of cold walk ins, number of emails, etc)
After you come up with the above formula take the last two (number of appointments and number of activities) and add them to your goal milestones so that every day, week and month you know exactly what your output (the only thing you have direct control over) needs to be as a sales person or sales team (this works on a grand scale just as easily for you managers out there). This strategy really is so simple if you just commit to the time to set it up, yet very few sales teams and people commit to it. I promise you this will change your game and you will make the switch from chasing your goals around to owning, destroying, and dominating them.
3. STOP DOING THINGS “TOMORROW”. People procrastinate — it’s true. It’s also true that those who do are usually working for those who don’t. STOP DOING IT! Aside from a blatant lack of planning and strategy I really do think that the quarter end panic is merely a result of people thinking they have the time to “get to it tomorrow.” Well, the constant putting off of the things you know you need to do ends up turning into a habit, which ends up with you in your basement updating your resume hoping the next sales company will hire you. Wake up every day and do the hard stuff — it’s worth it.
If you don’t believe that this panic epidemic exists, go out of your way to talk to as many Sales People and Sales Manager as you possibly can these next two days. Listen for the shaky voice, the heavy breathing, and the rush off the phone. Those of you in the panic, your customers can sense it and the stress you put on yourself is not the way that it has to be. At the end of the day, if you had the time to read this article then why are you rushing around last minute to hit a goal you’ve had for 90 days? Next Monday is your opportunity to change the game. Set your goals, build your plan, and kill that ugly urge to procrastinate.
Message me separately if this is something you are going to commit to doing next quarter. I’d love to see the goals and plan you come up with.
Written by Josh Mastel — Founder, CEO of UpRoar Partners
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