Now — not later — is the time to sit down with pen and paper and thoroughly answer the below questions honestly. Your 2016 will be better for it!
1. What did I change in my sales process this past year and what do I need to change going forward?
2. Do I know how I would replace the business if my biggest customer were to stop buying from me ? Where is the new business I need to get in the 1st quarter?
3. Do I know the financial health of my biggest customers and could they experience a problem this year that could affect my abiity to sell to them?
4. Is my calendar going to allow me to focus my time in the 1st quarter on the big opportunites that are going to take 6 – 9 months to close? I want this business on the books in 2016, so what do I need to do now?
5. What are the biggest reasons my customers did business with me this past year and will that be the same in 2016? If so, how do I leverage it more? If not, what do I need to change?
6. What are the big issues in my industry? How could they impact my business and, more importantly, what can I do to ensure I can take advantage of them?
7. What can I learn from the negotiating I had to this past year with customers? What can I do differently early in the sales process to reduce the amount of effort I have to put into negotiating?
8. Who are the customers I want my manager to visit early in the year to help uncover new strategic opportunities?
9. Who are the key contacts in my accounts who I need to aggressively connect with to develop deeper relationships?
10. Do I have a plan that will allow me to not only make quota in 2016, but also go past it to ensure I have a great year?
I hope at least a few of these questions have challenged your thinking and will enable you to be more prepared for next year.
Copyright 2016, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.