Time to start planning for the next sales year!
It seems crazy but it is true. The longer you wait to plan for the new year, the less time you have to proactively plan and your planning turns into reacting. With a new year comes new inspiration, new challenges, new trends and often times in sales, a new sales strategy. We understand the challenges adopting and executing a new sales strategy can present today’s sales leaders. So today we are starting a three part series aimed at helping sales leaders prepare for and drive successful execution of new sales strategies in the new year.
Getting off to a quick start
In order to get off to a quick start next year, you want to begin by shifting the new sales strategy from an internal focus on your organization to an external focus on the business needs of your customers. As you look to finalize sales plans, assign quotas and communicate compensation, it is easy to drift into that internal focus. The key to success is to quickly turn attention now to the customer as actions and activities today will drive the results next year.
It’s also very important to ensure focus on the strategy early on in this process. We see it all the time, sales leaders believe this is absolutely the direction they must head to achieve their goals, but they don’t know how to get buy-in from their teams or how to ensure they are 100% focused on the strategy. Whenever an organization institutes a new sales strategy, this question will arise. Sales leaders know that if their people are not 100% focused on the new strategy that human nature will lead them back to what is familiar, the old strategy. If you want to ensure successful adoption and execution of a new sales strategy this year, you must ensure your people’s focus is on the new strategy all the time.
Accomplishing full focus
In order to accomplish full focus, it’s extremely important to guarantee the strategy is clear and is devoid of any vague messaging. If your sales reps cannot communicate the strategy back to you clearly in one or two sentences, your strategy isn’t clear. To drive even greater focus on the new strategy, clearly communicate what activities your team needs to both start and stop doing now to make the strategy a success in the future. Adding more to your team’s plate without clarifying what is no longer a priority reduces focus and slows down execution.
It’s also imperative that your leaders do just that, lead by example. For the strategy to be a success, the sales leaders in the organization must exhibit the focus and behavior necessary for the strategy to be successful. They must communicate and demonstrate the strategy to the managers in their actions. If your front-line sales managers don’t “walk the talk”, the sales team will quickly pick-up on a lack of alignment between the views of their managers and sales leaders, and the new strategy will quickly fade away.
Ensuring a focus on the customer as well as complete focus from your organization on the new strategy early on will allow your sales team to finish the year strong and guarantee they come firing out of the gates next year! Tune in next time as we discuss communicating the strategy and connecting to compensation.