You just closed out Q4. 2014 is over, and you blew it out of the water. But before you have a minute to relax …
The new year starts. You get a brand new goal for 2015 — and it’s significantly higher than last year’s. A few weeks ago, your annual quota was met (and then some). But now, you’re back at square one. Time to do it all over again.
It’s no wonder that a new year can make sales reps feel exhausted. It’s like finishing a marathon only to be asked to run a second, even longer race immediately afterwards. Do you have it in you?
According to sales leader Phil Harrell, you absolutely do. In his opinion, hitting goal is all a matter of the right preparation. These are the nine steps he suggested tackling within the first 30 days of 2015 to set yourself up for another quota-crushing year.
1) Reflect on your 2014.
Before you do anything else, take some time to look back. What worked for you last year? What didn’t work? Phil recommended analyzing your activity to see where the sticking points were, and what they were due to. Drop the practices that didn’t get you anywhere, and double down on the ones that brought you success.
2) Break down your goal.
A giant number is always intimidating, but Phil pointed out that if you break it down, it suddenly seems more doable. Break down your annual goal into quarterly and maybe even monthly goals.
3) Break down your activity.
Once you have those numbers, determine how much activity you will need to produce to hit them. If you know you close one of every five customers you present to, then how many presentations will you need to do? And how many calls will you have to make to generate the adequate number of presentations? Work backwards until you have revenue and activity goals for each quarter and/or month.
4) Clean out your pipeline.
Odds are, you have some deals left in your pipeline that didn’t close in 2014. And Phil said a new year calls for spring cleaning. Take a hard look at your pipeline, separate the deals that have a chance of closing from those that are dead, and unclutter your CRM accordingly.
5) Consider your customers.
Think about all the deals you signed last year. Are there customers you could go back and sell more to? If so, add those to your revenue projection for 2015.
6) Formulate a plan.
Once you’ve moved the 2014 deals that are likely to close forward and taken account of the customers you could sell more to, you’ll have a starting forecasted revenue number. From there, Phil suggested subtracting the amount from your goal to get a target of how much new brand business you will need to bring in to make your year. Break this number down into quarterly and monthly amounts. Add some more on top of these targets if you want to exceed your goal.
7) Meet with your manager.
Set up a meeting with your manager within the first month of the new year to present your plan for achieving your goal, and ask for their input. According to Phil, they can help you identify any gaps or hurdles you haven’t thought about. At the end of the coaching session, get their sign off on your go-forward plan.
8) Investigate social selling.
While Phil acknowledged that social selling is an overused term, he said that doesn’t mean it’s all hype. Prospects are inundated with cold calls and emails, so reps who can start to incorporate social media into their sales processes will set themselves apart. He suggested researching social selling tactics espoused by experts such as Jill Rowley and Koka Sexton, and weaving them into your day-to-day.
9) Pat yourself on the back.
Most importantly, take some time to celebrate your accomplishments in the past year. Phil pointed out that salespeople are always running to the next goal, and they sometimes don’t properly congratulate themselves on the ones they’ve achieved. It’s hard to jump into a new year when you haven’t celebrated the last — toast your victories before diving into your next challenge.