No 'October Surprises' in Sales

In American presidential politics there is a campaign tactic often used the month before November elections known as an October Surprise. These may take the form of an international crisis, a domestic economic announcement or a personal attack revelation about one’s opponent. The idea is that it is so close to the election that it’s difficult to combat at such a late date.

The good news is that much of the public is aware of this strategy and the impact is minimized with those who are savvy. Unfortunately many are still swayed.

Fortunately, there are no October Surprises in sales. As we are now in the last quarter of the calendar year, for many this is the home stretch, the final days to hit sales numbers, targets and goals. Reps and managers already know if numbers are going to be hit for the quarter and year. It is hard to deceive or be deceived.

As in politics where track records, documented proof points and history don’t lie, in the sales world, pipelines don’t lie. What pipeline one builds in the first 3 quarters will lead to a big payoff in the final quarter. While deals may be originated in October, there is rarely new magic done during the November and December holiday seasons. Salespeople work hard and do well to merely reel in their deals as they navigate a busy season for all.

Best wishes down the stretch, for all good candidates and salespeople alike. The hope is that this quarter (and in November) real winners prevail. No surprises.

How’s your quarter closing strategy?