How to prevent your deals from stalling over the holidays
According to several sources, Q4 is when more SaaS deals are closed than any other quarter. However, it’s also one of the toughest times to close deals due to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and all the associated time off and travel.
We want you to blow out your quota in Q4 so you can avoid a stressful holiday season, so we asked a few sales experts their take on how to prevent deals from stalling during the holidays. We asked all of these experts the same question:
How do you prevent deals from stalling during the holidays?
Emily Zipp, Enterprise Account Executive at WeWork, believes that planning is key:
- Create an internal Deal Closing Checklist and include EVERYTHING that needs to happen to get a deal done. Include things like Legal review, IT review, final presentations, and anything that is part of your closing process to bring a deal across the finish line. Don’t skimp, be thorough!
- Once you’ve created your Deal Closing Checklist, create a customer-facing version that you can present to your client and use it as a Mutual Action Plan (MAP). Hold them accountable for what they need to get done, and use generous timelines so that you add in plenty of buffer room for things to go wrong. An especially helpful thing to do around the holidays is to use the MAP as an opportunity to ask all stakeholders involved in closing a deal what their travel schedules are, and to include those dates in your Mutual Action Plan.
Sebastian Cañizares, Cloud Account Executive at MongoDB, stresses you should ask questions about your opportunities now before it’s too late:
There are 3 must’s to prevent deals from stalling during the holidays that have worked for me:
- Understand the process for signature once the basics (cost, features, etc.) have been agreed upon. You will run into many instances where everything has been set in stone but you were unaware that the procurement office is the final approval and they are out for half of November and December.
- Know the Decision Maker/Economic Buyer/Procurement Team’s holiday schedules! Are they going to be out of town visiting their families? Are they finally taking that month-long trip to the Bahamas? Will they be in the office for some days or working from home? I’ve worked deals on New Year’s day where we knew that the final signer had a holiday party that would take her out of the office early that day. Without knowing that, we may have not gotten the contract over in time to reach her before she left midday… Start figuring this out now (before the Holidays), not later!
- Build your internal champion and stay top of mind with light-hearted holiday material. Stay top of mind during the holidays, send them a personal note/card wishing them Happy Holidays. Send them your company’s holiday marketing material. Think of creative ways to get them to open up your email/outreach. Stand out, especially as they get bogged down with Consumer Marketing holiday emails. Make sure that if you are in an active deal cycle, every time they open up their email you are at the top of it and your email subject line is catchy.
Brittney Stinner, Account Executive at Rapid7, also thinks that planning and mutual accountability is important to getting deals done:
One of my most consistent practices in keeping deals from stalling is to collaborate with my prospects on a Joint Project Plan. This document is a mutually agreed-upon plan with key steps that must be met to successfully implement your product or service. This will help quickly identify what obstacles lie ahead and keep the prospect accountable to the timeline they originally agreed to. Plus, if you have tied the close-date to one of their initiatives, then you can easily reference how potential delays put their own initiative at risk. The key is making sure both parties are contributing to what that path to implementation looks like!
Also, be sure you ask early on whether your point of contact or any decision-makers (and contract signers!) will be traveling… and be mindful of those dates.
AJ Bruno, CEO at QuotaPath, thinks that it’s all about bringing a positive attitude into the month:
I love telling salespeople on my team that “people LOVE doing deals on Friday. Everyone is in a happy mood and it is closer to the weekend. Things just get done.” Now imagine that you have a whole month of Fridays! That is why the end of the year (specifically December) is the best. If you go into the month with the right attitude, deals just DON’T stall in December. This has held true for me going into every single Q4. We would always look at our pipeline and just say “This is going to get done by Dec 12th because our contact surely doesn’t want to be in the office on December 29th at 4 pm getting contracts signed so their budget doesn’t go away”. Understand that is your reality and go into the month with a positive attitude and the rest will take care of itself.
Don’t let your deals stall this holiday season. Finish the year strong with QuotaPath. Sign up for free today!