How to Plan Your Q4 Marketing Ramp Up

As the end of the year nears, it’s time to activate the very best in your marketing and sales team. Here’s a quick guide.

There is nothing like the sound of a jet engine being ignited and pushed into a full thrust as you go from a standstill to 180 miles an hour taking a commercial flight. The energy pushes you back in your seat, and for a moment, the intense purpose of all that energy comes to complete focus as you glance out the window to watch the world moving by at a pace you rarely see.

This is the intent of a “ramping up” period: to attain velocity and focus towards a goal. Big goals need big energy. It takes a lot of force to move your organization toward that goal.

And we all have another opportunity upon us. Fourth quarter is right around the corner, and as we all buckle our seatbelts, we want to attain the speed and energy we need to take off toward our goals.

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To do that, you need a plan. Here’s how to go about getting it.

Gather the Team

To achieve any goal in your sales or marketing means assembling the team. And not just for your general monthly ho-hum marketing meeting, but in a break-the-norm marketing huddle designed to bring attention to the focus of the meeting, which is the goal. Plan to do it off-site, or in a room you normally don’t meet in to break the monotony. Make them feel like they are embarking on a grand journey never taken before.

Set the Goals

The entire point of this meeting is to set the goal, or to define them. As the leader, your first piece of business is bringing the team up-to-speed on the situation. Leadership gurus call this “setting the drama,” or laying out the context. You need more than a goal on the wall. You need a compelling story that communicates why this goal is important. What will happen if we hit it, and what will happen if we don’t?

Every good story has both success and possible failure. Those outcomes need to be real, tangible, and meaningful to your team. Then, no matter what the goal is, it will tie into the bigger picture of the company and create a shared sense of community in the goals, instead of becoming just another top-down directive.

Gather Resources or Tools

Once you’ve set the stage and have the team engaged, then you can gather the resources you need. Ask the team, “What is needed to hit this goal that we currently don’t have?” Bring them into the process of shaping the outcome and being responsible for the results.

This might mean you need better software, new computers, new machinery, or new lead lists. Let the conversation be open and discuss all of the needs that might help uncover some issues in the business that could have prevented growth before.

Kill the Sacred Cows

Every team has them. The ideas, initiatives, or conversations that are “off the table”. Or it might be the handicaps of the leadership that are known by everyone but the leadership. It’s time to kill the sacred cows and challenge the assumptions.

Develop a Cadence

Now that you’ve done the hard work of gathering a purpose-focused team, laying out the the goals, and removing roadblocks and assumptions, it’s time to get tactical.

The next step is to build a cadence to your meeting and reporting cycle. As Drucker says, “What gets measured gets improved.” You will not hit a goal unless you can measure your progress towards it.

We like having weekly status meetings where we can come together on data, information, and progress on the goals. It allows enough time for progressive work without going too long and necessitating course correction. Appoint one person to the data/reporting role to bring that to the meeting each week, and have one person be the meeting note taker so you can track your progress as things move forward.

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Lastly, having a good dashboard in front of the whole team helps bring focus. Everyone knows when you arrive to your destination when you fly. The landing, even when done right, still signals clearly that something has changed. Having a whiteboard or wall in the office dedicated to the goal will help everyone circle around the goals and keep them front of mind.

Make the Game-Changing Move

Lastly, a game-changing move is another way of drawing the attention to the stakes of the goal and the outcome. Now you don’t want to threaten that you will fire someone, or put some crazy gift out there, but having this be “out of the ordinary” can help draw attention to the goal and outcome.

You likely know something already that would be a game changer for your team in their professional or personal lives. How can you bring that into the equation not as a stick or a carrot, but as something bigger? Maybe you need to have a one-on-one with each team member to speak about a possible promotion if they can step up and contribute to this goal.

The point is, you know what can help each person in your organization see the fruit of the labor it will take to reach this big goal. They just need to be activated.

Here’s to Success

I hope this has been motivating and inspiring as you’ve assembled your team for your big push. Maybe you don’t have a team? If you are a B2B technology or consulting firm, we might be your perfect match. Otherwise, I’d suggest hiring an outside firm to help be that team and use the same tactics above.

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