As the year winds down, whether you are a CEO, CMO, CSO, VP of Sales or just a sales rep you should have a tactical close to your sales year. It’s most unprofessional to just close shops and take a holiday without well-structured end of term activities. Most sales reviews are done over every quarter and fortunately December ends the quarter as well as the year.
Here are seven things you should do to have a sweet close and get yourself to a decent beginning in 2018:
1. Take a Budget Appraisal– When the year started; a budget was cut for you. Whether or not your organization appraises you, appraise yourself. And the blessing here is that you can be more honest with yourself. The reason for this is simple; you want to be able to focus more on your strengths. In cutting next budget you can advise management appropriately about your strengths. As a banker it was a lot easier for me to mobilize demand deposit and get contingent liabilities than other deliverables. My budgets were thus usually skewed more in favor of CASA. If your organization allows you to do your budget yourself this will be helpful and if they don’t you should be able to walk up to Performance Management Unit and explain your strength and ask for a budget skewed more towards your strength. In a sane organization they’ll allow you to play to your strength. Budgeting is where your success or failure begins.
2. Do Deal Examination– While you examine the deals you did in 2017 you need to group them under 3 categories- size, sector and ease. You should do a case by case analysis of your five to ten best deals. What made them easy? What helped you to close them? What did you say? Who was involved in the process? Why would it have slipped? You must identify the sectors where you enjoyed relative ease of deals closure. Examine why some other deals did not close. And please do this: Reach out to the prospects that disappointed you the most. I’m talking here about deals that almost closed and then slipped. Ask the prospects genuine questions about why they eventually did not buy. You may let them know this is part of your yearly personal improvement procedure so they can be encouraged to tell you the whole truth.
3. Competence Assessment– Now, you must be really honest with yourself here: How competent are you at selling? How better are you this year than the last? What parts of the sales process are you very good at? Are you an excellent opener or a perfect closer? You should know. Sales managers and other seniors need to take particular notice of these differences and be guided by them in the deployment of sales talents. There are reps who do a lot better at opening than closing.
4. Customer Appraisal– For prospects whom you have converted to customer you should ask the following questions:
· Do they make repeat sales after initial purchases
· What is the trend of growth of your revenue per customer- is it positive or negative? Are you able to retain customers long term?
· Who are your best customers? What is their sector, age, level of education etc?
5. Say thank you– Never end this year without calling your customers to say thank you. Say your thank you in a very creative way. It helps if you personally deliver a gift to the best customers with a card. Not doing so is taking them for granted.
6. Identify personal speed breaks– If you will grow faster in 2018 you must identify the most snarling speed breaks of 2017. Sales people must understand that time is money. The best sales guys are always those who manage time the best. There must have been a few things that ate away your time this year. In many cases they are leads that are not sales-qualified. It might be prospects making buying commitments they don’t have authority to make. It might even be having too little deals in the pipeline. One of your most important goals in 2018 must be to improve your speed of selling and this will entail understanding your cycle.
7. Create a learning plan– Nothing destroys value as much as ignorance. After discovering 1-6 you must learn how to improve, create a plan of improvement and execute them. Nothing changes by mere wishful thinking you must get to work. Enroll for trainings. Read books and act on them.
If you will like to enroll for my Quarterly Sales Master Class for January you may check here for more details @ Sales Master Class. If you sell anything, by all means start your new year with this
Corporate Vision Retreat also holds on January 23. You may check here @ Corporate Vision Retreat 2018. If you are a business leader you should do your very best not to miss it
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