Twelve months of selling and one month will make or break your year. That month, is September. September is the most important month in sales for three reasons.
1.) "July & August are some of the toughest months in sales". I've been listening to this excuse for over 15 years. Decision makers being on vacation, you being on vacation, legal teams being on vacation, blah blah, are not the reasons why July & August are the slowest months in sales. This is a myth. An excuse. Even worse, it's mentally paralyzing. Sales leaders across so many organizations actually tell their sales teams this non-sense. This message actually translates into "you may as well take July & August off because your buyers are off as well". This mindset, put's such a heavy burden on the month of September. For example, if your quarterly sales target is $150k, that would equate to a monthly goal of $50k per month. If you essentially take July & August off, you shifted the majority of your sales target and the majority of your mental concentration into the month of September. And this is just one of the three reasons why September becomes the most important month in sales.
2.) Not only do you have to hit your Q3 sales target, September is a harsh reminder that Q4 is 30 days away. So, not only are you not at your Q3 goal, you have to simultaneously build Q4 pipeline. Finishing the year strong is EVERYTHING. Point #1 above, can be tackled by simply adopting the mindset and cadence of a winner. Get the thought of summer vacation status quo out of your minds and focus on building pipeline! My SDR's generated over $1m in validated pipeline in July & August, contributed 2 closed deals in August, while our team closed a total of 7 deals in August. Decision makers don't take 8 weeks off and with technology such as DocuSign there is no reason deals can't be negotiated, contracts edited and executed from virtually anywhere. Stop making excuses and grind in the dog days of summer. Imagine showing up in September at 65-75% of your Q3 target. The process starts on July 1st, not September 1st.
3.) 50% of the pipeline built in September will be won or lost over the course of the following sales year. Deals from September are going to rollover into Q4. Some will close and some will be lost or pushed into the following sales year. While deals are being closed, lost and pushed, at same time, new opportunities are being generated by your sales team. Those new opportunities may also close in Q4, be lost or also pushed into the following sales year. Wait, all of this is happening in September? YES! I am living this scenario as we speak. As a sales leader myself, I am literally watching my SDR's and AE's take on this three prong monster: close new business, find new business and build new business for 2018.
A podcast episode on this topic is coming soon! Look for announcements on Twitter @demolikeauser and Instagram @demolikeauser
Ryan Lallier is a proven sales leader and builder of high velocity sales machines.