Start by bending it

One way to perhaps ‘break the hockey stick’, is to put a kink in it. By this I mean to shift the start point of the curve – to make it happen earlier in the quarter.
By incentivising the sales team to get results earlier – and tapering those incentives as the true end-of-quarter approaches, it is possible to access the creativity of sales people to make win-win deals with their customers – deals that happen out-of-cycle. Of course, it is necessary that the new incentive-driven timing of sales closure is moved around over time so as to prevent the establishment of a new ‘1/4 cycle’ – by varying this inflection point one can effectively destroy the hockey stick by repetitive stress fracture.
An important point to make here is that effective incentives are not restricted to money – in fact many sales people respond better to other forms (recognition is a STRONG desire of most sales-folk).