Mistakes a Sales Team Can't Afford to Make at the End of the Year

Posted March 8, 2018 - Revised March 11, 2018

The end of the year is definitely a critical time for every company. Some companies will have hit or exceeded their sales goals and some are still working to meet targets. As the year winds down, there are a handful of end-of-year sales pitfalls you'll want to steer clear of. Here are some standard year-end errors and how your sales team can defend against them.

Lack of inventory

Making a sale is pointless if you don't have product, and yet this is a common mistake made when rushing to meet year-end targets. It's the responsibility of your sales team members to see if there is adequate inventory before making a sale. Doing this saves everyone involved from a lot of frustration, wasted time and wasted energy.

Insufficient administrative support

In addition to sufficient inventory, sales team members also have to ensure supporting departments can effectively process a sale. Many finance and billing staffers take vacations during the holidays. Some companies will even shut down these departments until after the new year.

If finance can't get the invoice out until next year, the customer can't pay until then and staff members won't promptly get credit for the sale either.

Lack of strategy

Sales teams without a strategy will be more prone to fritter away valuable time chasing deals that aren't going to happen or ignoring leads with real promise. Company leaders need to have a strong sales strategy in place that accounts for possible delays and other issues.

Unnecessary discounts

There's a popular myth among management and sales professionals that clients who didn't buy all year are suddenly going to buy because they get offered some kind of deal. The fact is, if a deal is offered without knowing whether cost is the determining factor for particular client, a discount might actually cause them to question the caliber of whatever it is being sold. Furthermore, price may not have been a factor, until it was brought up.

Holiday season sales have a tendency to work well for retailers, especially those that sell soon-to-be-outdated merchandise like electronics or fashionable clothes. However, holiday sales are less effective for B2B sales because the goods sold between businesses typically aren't slated to go out of style or get replaced by a new model within a year's time.

False sense of urgency

Another big end-of-year mistake is to develop a false perception of urgency. For instance, a sales person might say a price is going up after December 31. However, most clients realize that salespeople will honor the lower price after the deadline. Therefore, creating a false sense of urgency only undercuts the integrity or your business. The better long-term strategy is to maintain integrity and avoid creating false deadlines.

At Ambassador, we support sales teams by supplying our clients with staffing solutions that fit their individual needs. Please contact a full-service staffing firm today if your company is currently in the market for custom staffing solution.