Don’t let that be you. If you do, the result of not preparing now means you will be scrambling to catch up on January 2nd, and that’s not the best way to start off your sales year.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. ― Benjamin Franklin
Here are my 3 suggested strategies for kicking the new sales year off right.
Evaluate your target list carefully.
You’ll need to ask yourself some tough questions as your refresh your target list.
- What’s makes this prospect a good prospect for what you sell?
- If your company has designed a buyer persona, does this person/company fit the
- What do you know about the company and their business initiatives that would indicate a need for your service?
- Is the person you are contacting the right decision maker? How do you know?
- Have you tried multiple contact approaches with someone and you never get a response? Could be a clue to move along.
While answering these questions you might notice that some of those seemingly good prospects you’ve been working on lately aren’t going to move forward.
Although technically anyone can buy from you, casting a wide net means you will waste a lot of time trying to engage people who will never become a customer.
Time is one of the most precious assets we have. Spend it wisely. A narrower, more focused target prospect list will yield better sales outcomes.
Go deeper into current accounts.
Companies tend to push their sales teams to constantly acquire new customers, even though on average that can cost the company 7 times more than making time to develop sales opportunities with existing customers. The start of a new year is a good way to get into the habit of conducting quarterly business reviews with your top producing accounts.
Using the Companies by Revenue Source report in HubSpot CRM, I am able to quickly determine which customers produced the most revenue this year and which services they bought. I then narrow my list to the top 10 and book a business review with them first.
I have three goals for these reviews:
One, I want to stay connected with my customers because if I don’t stay visible, a competitor can sneak their way in. Full disclosure… it has happened!
Two, I want to make sure that customers are getting the most value for their financial investment. I’d like them to buy from me again, and I’ll bet you do too. This is especially important if you sell a product that has renewal date attached to it. You will want to know sooner rather than later if your customer feels the money they spent with you is or isn’t worth it.
Three, these reviews provide a perfect opportunity to talk with customers about their current and future initiatives. Armed with that information, you can educate them about other products or services that may help them achieve their upcoming business objectives.
“Call me in January” means acting now.
Perhaps you’ve recently contacted some people and the interest was there but the timing for a call wasn’t right. When someone tells me to follow up with them in January, I mark my notes and calendar to follow up 30-days earlier.
After your target buyers return from some holiday downtime, they will be swamped catching up. If you wait until that first week of January to try to book appointments, it will only delay the time it takes to get a meeting scheduled.
What I do is send my January meeting request emails in the early part of December, including my HubSpot Sales Meeting link. I particularly like this tool because it helps me avoid the back-and-forth emails trying to book time when we’re both available, especially when we are crossing multiple time zones.
In my email, I first provide some context for my follow up; i.e. I contacted them about one of our services, they expressed interest and asked me to contact them at the first of the year. Then, I say that I’m being proactive booking the time now knowing that they’ll be swamped catching up after the holidays. This approach will do two things for you. One, you’ll be able to lock meetings on the calendar and be ahead of the curve come the first of the year. Two, you’ll be able to determine if these prospects truly have an interest or were just trying to get you off their back by telling you to follow up later.
In the best of scenario’s, everyone who said to follow up will schedule a call with you. The second-best outcome is that you will learn that some of these folks aren’t interested, the timing isn’t right or both. Better to scrub them off your priority target list and move them back into marketing nurture mode.
Remember that information without application is useless.
Right now, block planning time on your calendar before 2017 runs out.
You might have to do the work in a couple of chunks but if you block the time and commit yourself to completing the planning, you’ll feel less stress knowing you are ready to go on day one of the New Year!
By the way, have you tried out HubSpot Sales?
A few months ago, I wrote about how I was using HubSpot CRM and HubSpot Sales to increase my productivity and efficiency. The positive results have exceeded my expectations! If you haven’t checked out HubSpot Sales, which includes CRM, I highly recommend you take a test drive now.