With 2016 in the books, it's time for salespeople to look forward and begin planning for 2017! Whether 2016 was your year or not, it's still very important to reflect on it and use it to improve in 2017. It doesn't matter if you read this in early 2017 or in November of 2017, remember that it's never too late to set goals. These goals will help you improve and you should constantly be looking for opportunities to grow as a sales person.
Set Your Sales Goals
The most important step you can take as a salesperson in order to have a successful 2017 is to set the tone. This means setting the right sales goals, or, realistic sales goals.
Did you have a below-average sales year in 2016? Did you have a superb sales year in 2016? Set your goals accordingly. If you had a down year, this could be for various reasons. One of the reasons could be that you set your sales goals way too high. In other words, your goals were unrealistic and you set yourself up for failure from the start. If you had a superb sales year in 2017, ask yourself: "Did I challenge myself enough?" You may have crushed your goals simply because the bar was not set high enough. Make sure to set a goal that challenges you.
The secret here is setting a sales goal that you can likely meet, but will still challenge you. Finding this balance is definitely challenging and a skill that takes time to master. This will also require that you be honest with yourself and your ability to meet your own expectations However, once you have this step nailed down, you're on your way to a better you in 2017.
Equip Yourself With The Necessary Sales Tools
HubSpot and Salesforce released two great reports in 2016 that analyzed the performance and key drivers for hundreds of sales teams (check out our blog post for a summary on the HubSpot and Salesforce reports). Both reports confirmed that salespeople are actively using various sales apps/software to empower them to sell more efficiently & effectively. This should come as no surprise as reports in 2015 showed that the adoption rate of sales technology tools was on a steady increase. In 2017, it will be very important to keep leveraging these tools and begin to use new ones that may help you with your sales goals.
With the new age of sales driven by technology that is among us, it is essential for you to make it a priority to equip yourself with the right sales tools. Some salespeople are already doing this, and if this means you, that's fantastic! However, for those of you who are reluctant to depend on technology for your performance, I challenge you to make 2017 the year where you try something new. In the end, your ability to sell is what will truly decide whether or not you win deals. These tools are only meant to make the process of winning leads much easier to manage.
In 2016, we wrote a blog post on the 6 sales tools that can be used to save time and improve performance for sales people. HubSpot has also provided an extensive list of different apps & tools that sales people should have on their phone. I highly recommend you take a deep dive into these lists. These sales tools were built to empower the everyday salesman.
Establish A Sales Support Group
As salespeople, we will go on streaks. These streaks could be winning streaks or even losing streaks. Regardless of which type of streak you are on, it's very important to have a sales support group. This support group should be one you feel comfortable enough to celebrate your highs and to share your lows with.
While a support group may sound strange and even unnecessary, they are used by almost all successful business people in any industry. This group could be one, two or even up to 10 people. The people in this group should be constructive and receptive. So, it is important to keep this group relatively small.
For some, this group of one is their husband, wife, parent or relative. For others, this group consists of various of CEOs or sales experts who share or have shared the same challenges. The advantage of having a support group of people who are in a similar industry is that they can provide relevant insights to your business or sales situation. You will also find yourself in situations where you can return the favor and provide your own advice to them. A support group can truly be a great community once established and one that drives personal and professional growth. Entrepreneur.com did a great job detailing how to form a business success group.
Make 2017 a year to remember! A year where you can depend on both your sales tools and support group to crush your sales goals. See how they tie in nicely?
Feel free to reach out and let us know about your sales goals, which sales tools you are using and how you set up your support group. We'd love to hear from you!