Check out the video recap of our post here!
(Video created with My Talking Pet app)
If you’re team is a total band of awesome rock stars that crush their goals every quarter, or one that is just starting out playing in the garage, either way, there’s still time to improve your quarterly planning and knock Q4’s socks off. Here are our five top tips for successful Q4 planning.
Assess and Adjust
As Q3 comes to a close, the most important thing you can do is review what’s happened in the first three quarters of the year. Did you meet your goals? Were you close? Or maybe the goals you initially set changed, as you gathered new information and set new priorities.
Dive into what went well, and try to figure out why it did (e.g. perhaps your new marketing director ran a very successful campaign that drove major sales). Similarly, dig into what went wrong and try to figure out why (e.g. maybe you lost 10 percent of your customers due to technical issues that prevented ordering on your website). This is not a time to blame; it’s a time to learn and evaluate. Don’t spend too long ruminating about the good or the bad – they are reasons to celebrate and learn.
Recenter Your Quarterly Goals
Based on what you learned in the first step, you should have an idea of what your new goals should be. Hopefully you’re sticking to your long term vision, but it’s ok to adjust or change as your business needs will do the same. Take the time to set aspirational (yet realistic, SMART) goals that are relevant to your vision, and can be completed within the next quarter.
Plan for Seasonality
Q4 can be a wild one to tame, simply because the holiday season brings unpredictability. For some industries, like retail, it can offer a big surge in sales – and possibly speedy growth issues. For others, like construction, it can mean a pause on projects – and revenue. Review the goals you have set, and make sure they’re applicable in light of your industry’s seasonality.
Delegate to Elevate
It’s been said that “when everyone is responsible, no one is,” and this is extremely applicable in goal setting and accountability. If you set goals at the company level, but fail to assign them to individuals, they will surely slip through the cracks. Break down your goals into smaller tasks, and set expected time frames for each. Then, match each task with a person based on their particular strengths and make sure you hold each other accountable.
For example, your goal for Q4 may be to see a five percent increase in sales over the past quarter. In order to make that happen, you need 20 customer renewals and at least 10 new customer sales. You might assign a specific number of those customer renewals to your customer service team member who is known for strong customer retention. Then, you might assign a specific number of the new customer sales to your leading salesperson who is known for overcoming objections and closing deals. Just make sure you don’t give all tasks to one or two people; delegate fairly and for the best possible returns.
Maximize Your Impact
Finally, consider other ways to support your team in reaching these goals. Even if one department is “owning” your primary Q4 goals, other departments and individuals can still play key support roles. For example, your marketing department can provide a new piece of collateral for your sales team, or increase social media efforts to engage with possible prospects. Your business goals are a team effort, and it’s up to everyone in the band to make sure you rock this next quarter!
Looking forward to ending the year on a high note? We can help you set the right strategy and use the right Q4 planning resources and tactics to accelerate your business goals. Contact us anytime!
- Evaluate what went well and what could have gone better.
- Recenter your goals based on opportunities you discover.
- Be ready for the holiday season.
- Break down your goals into tasks and delegate them to the proper people.
- Continue to look for new ways to support your team.