Three Musts to Ensure the Happ-Happiest Sales New Year

Happy New Year! It’s that time to start fresh and make it a great year.

So, leaders and managers, how can you ensure this year actually is a happy sales year? Just address these three specific actions and it will be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

1. Analyze what happened last year:

  • Where did the leads come from?
  • Where did the closed opportunities come from?
  • Identify your profit by product or service and identify areas where price increases are warranted.
  • How long did it take to close business and was it different by product or service?
  • Which are the most profitable clients?
  • Which are the least profitable clients (and determine why)?
  • What are the similarities among the closed pieces of business?
  • What are the similarities among the lost pieces of business?
  • At what point in the sales cycle did opportunities drop off and what can be done to figure that out earlier?
  • Identify the math of success based on all new business – in other words, what is the average sale size and what percentage of first appointments turned into closed business?

2. Set the budget and get busy with the plan:

  • A good starting place is to complete the Simple Profitability Plan which is designed for leaders of companies, divisions, and teams.
  • Have each salesperson create their own goals and their own Math of Success Feel free to use this tool Sales Action Planning Playbook which includes the ability for each to calculate their own Math of Success and plan to achieve their goals.
  • Ask each salesperson to focus on their own growth, then document on a quarterly calendar which skillset or mindset they will commit to improve for the first quarter and what they need from you to help them.
  • Execute price increases where appropriate and make sure everyone on the team is comfortable communicating the value delivered. This Price Objections Workbook might help.
  • Require that each individual identify their target list of prospects and prioritize them based on the analysis previously conducted.
  • Review each individual’s plan of attack and either approve or ask for tweaks before approving it.
  • Institute a qualifying scorecard that requires specific questions to be answered before moving an opportunity forward in the pipeline.
  • Institute a repeatable plan to hire sales talent based on science and data. Do not just rely on gut feelings.

3. Ensure adherence to the plan (the ongoing heavy lifting):

  • Schedule regular meetings with each individual to keep focus on their adherence to the action plan they committed to. Be prepared to impose consequences (fewer leads for example) if they don’t follow their action plan.
  • Facilitate regular team sales meetings where sales discussions are analyzed, practice is conducted, and team members help each other improve.
  • Schedule regular coaching and sales observations of individuals. These should include debriefing for skill and mindset improvement consistent with their development plan.
  • Require written call planning and debriefing on an ongoing basis.
  • Analyze profit by salesperson on a regular basis and work with those that discount or ask for discounts (Price Objections Workbook).
  • Expand your bench of potential new sales hires in the event one of your stars leaves or you plan to add salespeople.
  • Commit to asking rather than telling salespeople by using these phrases:
    • “Why do you think that is?”
    • “What are you going to do differently next time?”
    • “What do you think you should do (or what do you think I would suggest you do)?”
    • “Tell me more.”
    • “What did the prospect agree to do next?”
  • Provide ongoing and timely feedback about how individuals are executing on all fronts. Be sure that includes activity, growth and development, and sales execution on both the numbers and how they are conducting sales conversations

Follow these three steps and you will have the happ-happiest sales year ever! If you are lost or stuck with any of the items mentioned, we have solutions and experts to help you. Just ask.