Any fighter pilot knows that one of the central pillars of success when flying a high-stakes mission is situational awareness. Flawless Execution depends on having a constant, 360-degree view of the resources at your disposal, whether it’s the other pilots in your squadron or the gauges and dials on your instrument panel.
Core to Afterburner’s ethos is the idea that the same skills and methods fighter pilots use to execute their missions also empower teams in the business world to hit their objectives – and nowhere is this overlap more clear than in the realm of situational awareness. During the end-of-quarter stretch, in particular, when the pressure is on like never before, corporate teams not only need to be aware of their available resources, but of how to deploy those resources in the smartest, most efficient way possible.
We’ve talked a lot about the human side of situational awareness – being strategically aligned with your teammates and lending mutual support as needed. But whether you’re in the military or in business, situational awareness also extends to the non-human side of things. For fighter pilots, that means knowing your instrument panel. For business, it means knowing your tech stack.
Here are some tips for the best use of technology in business during the last month of the quarter. With the right approach, you’ll find that technology can be a clutch asset when you’ve still got deals to close and not much time left to close them.
Turn your tech into a means of requesting support
We’ve seen it a million times: A sales rep has brought a deal to the finish line, needs just a little bit of support from a teammate, isn’t able to get it in time, and the deal falls through. Maybe the prospect wanted a discount, and the rep wasn’t able to get the request up the chain of command to the necessary executive fast enough to get it approved in time. Maybe the prospect is a former customer who churned and has now returned to the pipeline, but the rep isn’t able to get ahold of their previous Account Manager for crucial insights that could help them close the deal.
It’s an unfortunate situation, to say the least. And a great way to prevent it is to leverage technology to implement a simpler, smarter escalation process that reps can use when they need help or support from a teammate. This doesn’t just mean Slacking or emailing the necessary person when a rep needs help – instead of Slack, use Salesforce. In the system, make sure reps have insight into all potential and actual stakeholders, and that the best way to get ahold of them is clear. Then, make sure all of those stakeholders have notifications enabled so they can respond to requests as quickly as possible. All the while, remember that simply implementing a technological process isn’t enough – benefiting from that process relies on having a culture of collaboration that spans your whole organization.
Simply implementing a technological process isn’t enough – benefiting from that process relies on having a culture of collaboration.
When the quarter is almost over and any single deal can be the difference between hitting your revenue target and missing it, you can’t afford to let deals fall through. If you’re able to better leverage your technology to escalate and call in airstrikes, they won’t.
Simplify end-of-quarter task tracking
The end of the quarter is a busy time. Whether it’s bringing those last few open deals over the finish line, putting the finishing touches on your plans for next quarter, or something in between, there’s a lot to do – and a lot of people working together to get it done.
Keeping track of the tasks involved in all this work can get complicated, especially when you’re in a sprint to finish the quarter strong. Things can fall through the cracks. A great way to make sure you stay on top of everything is to simplify task tracking in Salesforce. You can also integrate Salesforce with project management platforms like Asana or Monday – a great option if your team doesn’t work much within Salesforce, but works closely with teams who do and whose tasks and activities you’d benefit from being able to track.
Use cross checks to stay focused
Situational awareness is about being aware of both assets and distractions. Smart use of technology in business doesn’t just mean having a full 360-degree view of the resources at your disposal. Sometimes, it means understanding which of those resources will not immediately serve you in the kinds of high-stakes, time-sensitive moments teams experience in the last month or so of the quarter.
In these moments, it’s crucial to leverage cross checks to zero in on the technology resources that have a direct impact on your end-of-quarter success – and tune out the rest. This is a time for closing deals and getting to your number. To that end, tools like Salesforce and Asana are crucial. But something like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which focuses more on upper-funnel activities like prospecting? Maybe not so much.
This is not to say those tools don’t have any value. If you end up hitting your number with some time to spare, there’s no reason not to get a jump on next quarter’s prospecting. But until then, set them aside.
Thousands of teams have sharpened their teamwork skills and resource allocation with Afterburner. Get in touch to learn how you can do the same.