Monday, July 31, 2023

105 Selling Days Left in 2023

A first time caller recently asked "Hey Lee, how are you calculating the number of selling days left in the year?"

I've got two answers.

First, the technical - I'm using "business days" (weekdays - US holidays) as a proxy for selling days. I acknowledge that regions other than the US will have different holidays, so you may want to calculate based on your local calendar.

Of course, most selling ends by late November or early December at the latest, with final contract work done by mid-December. That having been said, I do know of an eight figure deal that closed two minutes before a west coast company's fiscal year ended. 

Just imagine the CIO in his pajamas at 2:58 in the morning, sending his signed ULA renewal documents by fax machine, knowing that his price leverage would disappear in another two minutes, and that the sun would rise on the Connecticut shoreline in another few hours. But I digress...

Second, the functional - I'm using the "number of selling days" as an entry into the rhythm of business conversation.

If you're a key account director, your account is setting priorities and budgets for FY24 now. You need to be in conversations with your key stakeholders about their strategic initiatives and providing guidance on budgetary requirements. You should be planting seeds for next year's projects. You might be starting the process of helping them to identify how to spend excess budget at the end of the year (is that even still a thing?) You're probably planning your next QBR with the customer, and maybe a fall executive briefing.

If you're managing enterprise or commercial sales teams, many of their engagements need to be moving from discovery to solutioning and pilots (are pilots even still a thing?) so that you have sufficient runway for an FY23 close. Your reps need to be mapping out the contract and approval's late to discover quirks in a company's contract process Thanksgiving week...

If you're managing BDR/SDR teams, it's business as usual, with some slight tweaking to messaging...more guided discovery on projects that might be on track for an FY24 implementation (and a needed FY23 acquisition).

Good sales leadership understands and communicates this rhythm of business, shifting focus over the course of the year, and sales enablement shifts focus in tandem.

Oh, and SKO is in February, so you need to start planning soon. The site and date have already been selected. :)

One thing is true for all y''ve got opportunities in flight. You need greater visibility on their likelihood of closing and the additional actions needed to bring them to close.

By the way, if you don't currently conduct opportunity reviews, and want help in de-risking those opportunities, let me know!






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