The last quarter of the year is a busy one for many businesses. Not only do the retail and hospitality sectors ramp up their efforts ahead of the holidays, but software and technology businesses are also looking to finish the year strongly. Sales teams around the world are working frantically to close deals ahead of the start of a new year. The past two years have been particularly tough for businesses, but with the looming threat of Covid-19 and lockdowns hopefully behind them, they are looking for a strong finish, propelling themselves into 2022 in a good position.
With so many pressures already on the sales team, it is important to have a strong marketing strategy in place to support them.
Here are four ways how marketing can help you achieve your annual sales goals:
Identify the Quick Wins
Marketing or demand generation functions can help in generating new leads and supporting the sales team, however with quarter 4 being so pivotal for businesses, sales efforts are focussed on closing the deals already in the pipeline and new lead generation and prospecting can take a back seat.
Although in this last quarter of the year, it’s less likely that a new, bluebird deal will emerge and close. We therefore recommend looking for quick-win opportunities that could be triggered by the calendar year-end pressure. Putting our software, B2B marketing, thinking hat on, we’re talking about product end of life service and support or thinking of special discounts that you can offer on products.
Replicate Successful Demand Generation Campaigns
Another option is to replicate past successes. In order to achieve your sales goals, it’s vital to analyse where your past successes came from. That is why it’s important to use the data and experience you already have to its maximum value. You can pull a massive amount of analytics from nearly all your marketing channels and your CRM system. Marketing teams can help put together campaigns, based upon this data, which will give them insights into which sector to target, with what message and through which marketing channel.
This data can help paint a picture of what worked and what didn’t, allowing you to dig into what engaged your audience and what they ignored. This data will be vital for planning content to use throughout this quarter. By analysing pieces of content, which format it was sent in and what elements made it click with your audience will help you make your campaign click with your target market.
If your customers have the budget or regulatory pressures to meet in the calendar year, try timing your campaigns with it to gain some quick wins. What does a sales team love more than a prospect that is under pressure to buy!
If You Want Success, Emulate It
Don’t be shy in following the path of a successful competitor campaign. For example, we have been working on a campaign around supply chain automation for a UiPath partner. This campaign has generated 10 qualified sales opportunities within a month of running. If you can service the supply chain market why not try a similar campaign with your offering.
If your competition is particularly successful in a campaign, can you identify what made that campaign successful and replicate it with your own unique offering? Where it is not recommended to just copy what they have done, you can isolate elements of their work for your own plans and leverage a market trend.
Set and Know Your End Goal, What do You Want Your Jan 1 2022 to Look Like
Your marketing and demand generation efforts now, will not only give this calendar year a final push but will also create a pipeline for 2022. Hence, when formulating your strategy for the last push of 2021, it can be helpful to think about how your objectives will set you up beyond December 31st. Look ahead now to the 3rd of January, when most of us will be returning to work, how do you want your pipeline to look? What kind of leads do you want to be chasing? What are the sales goals you would like to achieve? Picturing this now will help you streamline your aims for the coming few months and help you achieve this.
Set Your Marketing Calendar
The coming few months can get filled up very quickly. In between national holidays, the run-up to Christmas and family commitments, it can leave little room in your potential lead’s diaries. It is therefore important to plan your campaigns out in advance. Be mindful of what your potential customers might be up to at that time and target them when they are more likely to engage. Try to catch them earlier within the days and weeks before they get too bogged down with their own work. If you are unsure of when is best to target your leads, try a few different times, from early in the day to just after lunch or the last few working hours, you may be surprised what time works best for you.
If you have the time, it might also be worthwhile attending a few in-person or online events. Especially now that face to face or hybrid events are back! October and November, in the business world, see a surge of events and racing for business awards. While don’t recommend splurging on PR and events, evaluating and being present at events where you have an opportunity to meet your customers should never be ignored. Just make sure you are double jabbed before you say yes to attend!
Organise Your Downtime
As busy as this quarter can be, you can also be faced with a sudden drop off in late December and over the Christmas break. For marketers, however, this is a perfect opportunity to invest some time into looking after your data. You can clear out disinterested or dead leads, highlight particularly fruitful contacts and finalising plans for next year. The groundwork now will pay dividends in the new year as you are able to hit the ground running.
All of this planning can seem a little daunting at first, with many not knowing where to start or how to best optimise the assets available to them. That is why our last point for a successful last quarter is to ask for help.
Many businesses are now recognising the benefits of outsourcing marketing or demand generations and using a digital agency that is best aligned to their needs.
Predictable Marketing has a proven track record of securing quality leads for software and technology businesses. If you would like help strategizing a successful last marketing quarter and beyond, get in touch to find out more.