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Q4 2014: Don’t let it go to waste.

It’s October, which means we’re officially in Q4. It’s the season where we start thinking about how we’re going to close out the year: making quotas, reaching goals and maximizing what’s left of the budget. Before you start getting overwhelmed with all there is to do before the curtain closes on 2014, take a look at some ideas below that could help you make the most of what’s left of it.

Collaborate with other departments

At Maestro, we talk a lot about aligning sales, marketing and training. That’s because collaboration among these three departments is a proven way to drive sales force productivity. Unfortunately, these departments often work in silos, independent of one another. Sometimes they can even compete against each other for funds, resources and respect.

In the final months of 2014, resolve to join forces with other departments. Chances are you’re all working in your own ways to achieve very similar goals. You all want to optimize the productivity of your sales force so it can generate as much revenue as possible, right? Work together to see how you can combine resources and ideas to achieve big things before the end of the year.

Once you’ve joined forces with your neighboring departments, take a look at the following ideas together.

Repurpose existing resources

Sometimes, things can get a little tight this time of year. It’s not always a good idea in Q4 to create a wish list of resource-intensive projects you’d like to tackle before the end of the year or go shopping for new gadgets. Instead, take a look around and make note of all the resources you already have.

What technology is already in place that could be leveraged to increase productivity? What software is already available that could be customized to be more effective? What content do you have that could be really helpful if it just had a refresh?

These are especially important once you have aligned your efforts with other departments. You may be surprised with how you’re all able to use each other’s resources for new purposes.

Invest in iterations

Once you have identified existing resources in need of a little refresh, invest the time you have left in 2014 in iterations. What are iterations? They’re continuous releases of content, software and other resources as improvements are made to them.

So gather those existing resources, but don’t stop there. Also work to gather feedback on what’s working and what’s not, how those resources could be improved, and ways that you can add value by making simple changes.

We love iterations at Maestro. They’re a critical part of our agile process because they help us make quick progress toward big goals. Little changes can make big impacts. Give it a try and see what a difference iterations could make for you in the final weeks of 2014.

Shake loose low-hanging fruit

Now is a good time to go back to your notes and plans from the beginning of the year. Do this for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easy to focus on all the things we haven’t done yet and lose sight of all that we’ve accomplished. Going back to your goals and plans for the year may help give you perspective on just how much you’ve achieved.

The second reason to rewind a bit is to identify opportunities for (relatively) easy wins. Maybe there’s something on your list of goals that would require only a small amount of time, money or resources to accomplish. Maybe there’s some fruit that has ripened over the year and would now be easy to shake loose. Especially now that you have your partner departments to collaborate with, you may be able to celebrate the achievement of a few goals together before year’s end.

There you have it—a few tips to make Q4 a bit more exciting and hopefully a bit less overwhelming. The year may be coming to a close, but there is plenty of opportunity left for those who wish to pursue it.

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