The last quarter of the year is when businesses generally want to slow down and ease off on planning, strategy, and goal setting. But this is no time to slouch! If anything, the fourth quarter has to be your strongest quarter of the year. This is the time to not only plan to end the year on a high note, but also to think about your goals for the year ahead and make concrete strategies to determine how you will achieve them. Here are some steps for planning a successful fourth quarter, to not only finish the year strong, but to also get the New Year off to a great start:
Your overall strategy with your quarterly planning is to continue to drive your annual plan forward with actionable steps and measurable results. To this end, it’s important to take a closer look at the annual plan and your objectives over the last quarter to see how far you’ve come. Also, closely review to see strategies that worked for you and strategies that didn’t and what needs to be changed in your action plan. Looking at the results of your previous quarter will enable you to map out an effective plan for the next quarter, one which is realistic and achievable.
Here are just a few areas to consider in your review:
- Sales & Marketing
- Workforce Management
- Reporting and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Reset Your Goals
Set smaller and more concrete milestones, or mini-goals, to achieve for your fourth quarter. Factor in the resources, time, and staffing that is available to you, taking the holidays into consideration. Also, set your strategic objectives for your planning process after reviewing the key findings from the previous quarter.
Split the milestones into small action steps with performance indicators and clear measurable time frames. The core focus here is not just about what needs to be achieved but also about how it will be achieved. It is also important to look at your planning for the upcoming year. Here are some basic tips from our blog to help you get started with planning for the New Year.
Set Up Accountability
Next on the agenda is to map out weekly meetings. With weekly meetings, goals can be reviewed to track progress and to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the plan stays on track. Weekly meetings are an effective way to touch base with your core team to get updated on the status of milestones and challenges. It is also a means for team members to share key findings that can benefit the rest of the team.
Separate meetings can be held with individual team members should the need arise for more detailed analysis and feedback. Having this kind of accountability is essential to keep your quarterly plan progressing as intended.
The Value of Communication
The value of communication cannot be overemphasized with any form of planning process. Keeping the lines of communication open with your team members is essential to ensure that the right goals are being set and implemented at the right times.
It isn’t necessary for all of your goals to be achieved 100% every single time. Sometimes, even your best-made plans can be effected by unforeseen situations that derail your progress. Plans need to be flexible enough to accommodate changes in goals or mini-goals if things are not moving the way that was intended.
Communicate changes to your team and ensure everyone is on top of what is happening. Sometimes, you may need to add new goals or targets to your plan. But it’s necessary to look at your fourth quarter plan as a whole to see that the new additions can be seamlessly accomplished while still achieving the important items on the rest of your plan.
Remember, the 3 fundamental keys to ensuring wins at every quarter of the year are planning, accountability, and ongoing communication. If you are looking for support in your Q4 planning or 2020 planning, please message me so I can show you how my team can help!
CH Consulting Group provides unparalleled expertise in the Contact Center and Customer Experience (CX) verticals. We have a nationwide team of industry veterans that can assist you to achieve exponential growth, manage change, and generate profit. For a comprehensive CX assessment and strategic plan customized for your unique business needs, connect with us here today.