The holidays are officially behind us, and it’s safe to say enough time has passed that we can finally move on and forget about the 15 different ways of “how to make eating turkey leftovers ‘somewhat’ bearable.”
It’s now January 2017, which means we’ve made it through yet another year; and for many organizations, January is the perfect time to reflect on the past year, as well as an opportunity for fresh starts, refocusing, and preparing for a successful year ahead.
For many of us, it’s also the time of year where we start making our New Year’s resolutions. Although those resolutions are typically made for personal and lifestyle goals (eating healthier, saving more money, getting fit, or giving up smoking), they are just as applicable in the workplace to motivate and encourage performance throughout the upcoming sales quarters.
As a sales professional, why not commit to beefing up your sales?
Here are five actionable New Year’s resolutions sales professionals can address head on to help drive better performance throughout 2017 and beyond.
1) Time to Get Social
There’s still a lot of buzz around social selling. Social Selling is another way that sales reps can stay top-of-mind with prospects. But it’s important to remember that you need to build and nurture those relationships being made through social channels. Sales reps must fight the tendencies to make a connection and then immediately pounce. Following someone on a social platform and then immediately trying to pitch them is not only creepy, it’s ineffective.
Sales reps can use social media in every stage of the sales process, from networking and prospecting to customer service. With information gained through digital channels, sales reps can quickly and effectively drive an engaging and meaningful conversation. But equally important to remember, do not abandon other prospecting, networking, relationship-building and selling methodologies. Social selling is additive to the process not a replacement.
2) Set Attainable Goals
If you’ve been smoking for 30 years, starting off the new year with a resolution of “I’m going to stop smoking by February” just isn’t realistic. Set real, achievable goals.
This year, don’t be reactive but instead be proactive with a game plan and follow through. Identify what you want to achieve across the next 30 days, quarter, 6 months and year, and identify how. After that, determine how you will measure success. Is it creating a certain number of emails or phone calls? Is it scheduling a certain number of meetings? Is it achieving a certain pipeline conversation rate? Or generating “X” amount of revenue across the different periods?
Saying I want to hit my sales quota for the quarter isn’t enough.
3) Review and Audit your Sales Processes
Okay, so maybe this isn’t breaking out the sexy. But keep in mind, much like your personal goal of getting fit or losing weight in the new year, there is no substitute for putting in the effort and hard work. There is no magic pill or ointment that’s going to make things “just happen” on their own. That’s where sales processes come into play.
Maybe you already have a good sales process that you follow? But come on, honestly, couldn’t it be better? It’s a new year, and it’s time to investigate what’s working and what’s not working.
Reviewing your sales process is difficult enough, but doing it while trying to sell and meet goals is asking a lot. I get it, as human beings, we want instant gratification and this sounds like something that might possibly produce results “somewhere” down the road. And yes, that’s true. But if you get this done in Q1, you can watch the results grow in Q2, Q3 and perhaps more importantly Q4 when it really matters as you’re trying to close things out for year end.
Goals? Check. Sales processes? Check.
4) Be More Persistent
In 2017, it’s time to become a shark. Stand up tall, sit up straight, be confident and be more persistent.
“But I’m already giving it my all, what more can I do?”
Really? If everyone is already being as persistent as they can, how come a crazy stat like this exists:
- 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up.
- 80% of sales require five follow-ups.
Do you understand what that means? 44% of salespeople have an 80% probability they won’t close the deal.
Still thinking sales people can’t be more persistent in 2017?
Making a sale requires trust, and trust is built over time. It doesn’t come with a single phone call or one email blast. That’s why you need to be persistent and follow up… often. If you don’t make a sale on the first attempt, remember, that initial touch point is only the beginning of the process, not the end.
5) Use Tools and Technology Effectively
Using the right tools in your sales process can often make or break a deal, so don’t be afraid to embrace new technology. Look for ways to automate those long, repetitive and boring manual tasks that can’t be ignored. Also, make sure your tools work well together. Adding an arsenal of tools using a Frankenstein approach where everything is a one off and nothing integrates seamlessly will often create a hindrance and throw a monkey wrench into your processes. Remember, the goal is to improve efficiency and make you more effective at your job. If you’re spending an extra 2+ hours a day just trying to manage a poorly conceived mashup set of tools, technology has failed you.
A sales enablement tool such as the mobile collaboration app from Recapify, as an example, can help sales reps be more productive, efficient and effective by saving time and allowing more meetings to be scheduled per day; communicating meeting deliverables rapidly across the organization; and removing the manual process of updating CRM systems with a single click of a button.
Talk. Tap. Snap.
Recapify Turns Sales Teams into Finely-Tuned Communication, Accountability & Teamwork Machines while reducing Administrative and Data Entry Burdens.