It’s good to be back, right? Sure, you could have spent a few more days of vacation lounging around, but New Year’s resolutions are still fresh and as the Rolling Stones put it so eloquently, “Time waits for no one”.
We’ll jump straight into it. Better to rip the festive season band-aid off than to peel it slowly. So the question is, how do you get your 2021 off to a winning start?
As a sales leader, you need to ensure Q1 success, and by extension set up your sales organization for a goal-skyrocketing year. The following 3 steps have been applied successfully by sales leaders to strategically construct a winning formula.
Survey the landscape
Let’s look at an example that’s as far away from sales as possible: surfing. Imagine a surfer in Hawaii running barefoot through the lush tropical forest to the soft sandy beach. Does she run straight into the water, paddle out and expect to catch the first wave?
Tell me you didn’t say “Yes!”. Because any surfer worth their salt knows that the first thing you do is assess the conditions, note the swell, time your entry and only then jump in.
It’s the same thing when it comes to your 2021 sales strategy. Now’s the time to assess where you are, where you’re going, and what you need to get there. It’s the time for some “Blue Sky” thinking, looking at best practices, and what did and didn’t work in 2020.
Continuing the theme of assessment and setting up the foundations for success: look inward at your sales organization. What positions do you have, and what positions are missing? Is everyone pulling in the same direction? Are incentives aligned with goals? What positions do you need to recruit for, and where does your current team need upskilling?
Personally, how can you motivate, inspire and set the correct strategy in order for your department to achieve their goals?
A great example of this attitude is from Elon Musk. Say what you want about the man, but his leadership is inspiring. Musk says: "Your title makes you a manager but your people make you a leader...leading at any level at SpaceX, we stress that your team is not there to serve you. You are there to serve your team and help them do the best possible job for the company. This applies to me most of all."
Hopefully you won’t need to throw rocks at windows this year to make your point.
...And then look outward
Once you have looked inward at the resources at your disposal, the gaps that exist and how you will bridge them, it’s time to focus outward. Do you have the external tools to achieve your lofty goals for 2021?
Technology, for example, is one such area where engaging with the right product can have an outsize impact on your performance. Take the critical area of the product demo. Will you go old school, and leave each team member to their own devices when it comes to this critical point in the sales process?
Or will you take a scientifically proven approach to success by using a tech-enabled Demo Personalization solution? A product such as this can ensure a demo that’s perfect for each client, works smoothly every time, and is proven to lead to better conversion rates.
Unfortunately, some sales teams are still using the former approach (they’re also probably still using Internet Explorer). The most incredible technology developed specifically for sales organizations is out there – it’s just a matter of bringing it in to your company.
A successful Q4 starts now
We don’t just say that willy nilly. We also don’t say willy nilly very often, but now’s one of those times when it’s completely justified.
You can’t expect a successful year, including an off-the-charts Q4, without the proper planning and strategy that goes into a measured playbook for success.
Assess the conditions, look inwards at your team, look outwards at resources you can leverage, and may 2021 be your best year ever.