With the year quickly coming to a close, many companies are looking for ways to ramp up their sales efforts to hit or exceed their projected numbers for the year. December can often be a slow time for sales, however, because most business-to-business (B2B) companies don't understand how to prioritize their team's actions, and how to make purchasing decisions.

But there are tools out there that would make the sales process easier and help companies close out the year strong.

First, though, it's crucial that a company take the time at yearend to reflect on the past year and evaluate what has helped moved the needle. Timing can be everything, especially around the holidays; companies should prepare for sales reps to be out of the office, and to figure out ways to work around their absence.

That process starts with figuring out how to have the tough conversations with employees about how their year has been. These discussions shouldn't be looked at as punitive, but as a way to motivate and even reward team members who are bringing in the business. Now is the time to use your best reps and acknowledge their work for the year.

Start by taking a look at the company as a whole: Are you meeting the right targets and prioritizing the kind of business you're looking for? Are you headed into next year strong, and are you closing deals?

With that in mind, I've identified a handful of platforms that can help B2B companies' sales departments with under-the-radar solutions that allow them to close out the year strong and hit the ground running in the new year—from working on sales pitches and decks to time-saving solutions that enable employees to better allocate their time and ensure that they are using a consistent and clear message to engage decision-makers.

These six companies and tools can help you end Q4 with your A game:

  1. Chorus.ai is a platform that records, transcribes, and provides a summary of each sales meeting in real-time. It automatically identifies discussion of important topics, which allows teams to reflect on their current performance. Having such a baseline to refer to is crucial in understanding when a pitch is working and when it's not. During a time of major quarterly and yearly decision, it allows sales teams the ability to improve their pitch.
  2. LeadGenius helps customers find likely sales leads and reach out to them with automated emails. LeadGenius has some of the highest-quality contact and account data available, because it verifies each data point with a unique combination of real human researchers and machine-learning. Finding that balance between automated and personalized messages is where your teams will find success. This kind of efficiency is needed when pushing out marketing campaigns while Q4 flies by and you need to reach people before they're out of the office and offline.
  3. Shufflrr is a leader in presentation management, servicing sales and marketing divisions of enterprise companies. Its Cloud-based service lets users pull from an arsenal of slides rather than sticking to one dry deck. Though B2B companies may be vulnerable to sales pitches this time of year, it's important to really connect with the decision-makers. This platform allows your sales presentation to dynamically follow your conversation and actually close the sale.
  4. Xactly is a platform that helps reward your sales teams, which is an especially effective thing to do during the holidays. Xactly Strategic Services is a sales compensation consulting practice that combines technology, incentive compensation expertise, and Big Data from Xactly Insights to help clients improve their incentive compensation programs and compensation plans. Make sure your teams have the proper incentives to push through the holidays when distractions can be numerous and very close by.
  5. Base is considered by many to be a prolific up-and-coming challenger to Salesforce. Base is a comparably priced, next-generation CRM software for sales teams. Reps can free up their time to focus on building meaningful relationships rather than laboring over manual tasks; that lets reps take advantage of the critical time saved to win over new business during the holiday season.
  6. Yesware is a company going beyond the "read receipt," and it's delivering actionable outbound tracking and analytics. Yesware offers live notifications of prospect interaction, plus real-time reports on opens, clicks, forwards, and more. Don't waste time on prospects that are gone for the holidays. When you need to know just how out of the office new business is during the holidays, Yesware provides further detail, allowing your team to strategically prioritize.

With these solutions in your employees' hands in Q4, your company is going to be walking away with the sale. They'll keep your team motivated, ensure you have a clear message, and keep a tight handle on customer relationship. They'll help ensure that employees aren't wasting time so that they don't need to worry about whether being out of the office will make them miss out on ample opportunities.

With these tools, you can be confident that your message is heard and that you're ready to take on the holiday season—a prime time for B2B salespeople and marketers to tackle the competition and reach key decision makers in-office who are looking to spend their end-of-year budgets.

The opportunity is yours for the taking. Get ready for a very happy new year!

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image of Bonnie Halper

Bonnie Halper is the founder of StartupOneStop, a growing online community for startups. She is an entrepreneur, recruiter, reporter/commentator, and industry expert.

LinkedIn: Bonnie Halper