What is your plan to start the year off right? Now it is time to start selling. Here’s a better way to start your selling this year.
Where is your plan?
Think of the start of the year as beginning your sales journey. You need a map to guide you along the way. That map is your list of prospects or who are the sources of your new business. Write down all your prospects along with the products or services you think they will buy from you. How much revenue do you forecast that they will generate? That plan is the map that will guide you this year.
Your plan quickly tells you who your most important prospects are. The ones with the largest revenue are clearly important to your sales success. Be sure to allocate your time accordingly. The largest accounts should get most of your time. You can make an exception if an account is going to contribute large margins or is strategic in another way.
You are not ready to start selling If you haven’t developed your prospecting plan.
Incorporate last year’s plan.
Look at this year’s business. Have you identified your most important accounts? Your most important accounts are the ones you should be spending the most time with and working for the hardest. Are these the same ones that you spent 80% of your time last year? If not, reevaluate your time and plan to spend it more wisely this year.
Just remember, most important customers are not just your largest accounts.
Most important accounts could be strategic for other reasons. They could be industry leaders who confer credibility to you and your business. They could be very profitable for you to serve despite buying less. They could be customers who you plan to increase your sales to by taking business away from your competitors. If you’re serious about increasing your business then you have to spend time with the customers who will help you meet your goals.
Where do you plan to focus? On customers or competitors?
Too many salespeople spend their time and a great deal of energy focusing on their competition. It’s fine to know who your competitors are and generally their strengths. You are missing some valuable information if you’re making sales strategy decisions only based on your competition. Why?
Your competitors don’t buy from you. Change your focus if you are looking too much at your competition. Talk with your customers and prospects to learn how they make buying decisions, what’s changing at their companies and how they are using your products. Ask them for their ideas on what you can do to improve.
Your customers are the ones who are looking for new answers to their problems. In business today you can be sure they’re experiencing new problems and challenges. You, not your competitors, can be who they speak with if you demonstrate that you want to know what they think and are willing to try to solve their problems.
You would never start an important trip without a plan. Your selling journey is no different. Get your sales plan done now so this year can be your best year yet!
Best wishes for a happy and successful selling new year!