Ready or not, the New Year is upon us. All of us have set ambitious sales goals for 2013 and have high expectations that they will be met. Realize however, that unless you have made improvements to your sales methods, your results will probably be no different than they were last year.
Therefore, avoid that famous definition of insanity and don’t expect better sales results in 2013 using the same sales methods you used in 2012. Make (and keep) these New Year’s sales resolutions and you’ll be on the right track for achieving your goals this year.
1. Build a sales revenue plan. A sales revenue plan aligns your company’s revenue goals with the required sales pipeline needed each quarter. A detailed target pipeline can then be developed so you know how many opportunities you need at each of your sales stages.
2. Take care of your weak links. Whiteboard your end-to-end sales process and identify the names of the people involved at each stage. Take immediate action on both the people and processes holding you back.
3. Prioritize your investments. Rank the investments you feel are needed to improve your sales engine. Apply a consistent ROI calculation to each as a way to separate the high-impact investments from the low. Also consider the time it will take each investment to generate the expected impact.
4. Establish a sales calendar. Companies that have a defined sales process—and follow it faithfully—outperform those that do not. Develop a basic sales calendar to help you manage your sales process.
5. Plan for setbacks. Not every forecasted deal will close. Rainmakers will sometimes leave your company. New competitors emerge with a game-changing offering. Your biggest customers may slow down their spending with you. Anticipate bad news and build a revenue plan to compensate for it.