I don’t mean take a shower or clean off your desk (which you likely need to do), I mean evaluate your tech stack. Are there programs you’re currently paying for that you no longer utilize? If so, do a deep dive and weed through the necessary and unnecessary expenditures, then set yourself up for an A-game level process. While you’re cleaning up, take a dive into your CRM. Are there prospects that are no longer relevant still sitting in your opportunities pipeline? Clear them out. Are there prospects that need to be updated or followed up with? Shoot them a message to catch up. Take a portion of your day and devote it to tidying up every aspect of your business so that next year begins with an airtight process that can’t be shaken by stress.
Evaluate your past year. Take stock of what did and didn’t work, evaluate your personal wins and losses, and set goals. The goals you set should define everything you hope to do this coming year. If you have your sights set on a major promotion, look for chances to exert your leadership next year. If you want to double your success in the new year, take stock of what scored major wins this year and hone in on our process. Peel back the layers and create a plan for success. The key to success is creating a repeatable process – so begin your work.
I’m sure you’re proud of your collateral. After all, you wouldn’t be using it if you didn’t think it was great! But it’s important to refresh what you’re sending out to potential clients on a regular basis. Take this time to go through your current decks, case studies, and one-sheeters and evaluate what resonated best with prospects throughout the year. Did you receive specific questions from prospects that new marketing materials would answer? If so, now’s the time to pull new content together and refresh your material. While you’re at it, make sure to get rid of any old content that you’re no longer using. Outdated content on your computer only causes confusion (have you ever sent the wrong document by mistake?) and takes up unnecessary space.
You read that correctly. Make a list of things you need to tackle before the new year begins, but also make a list of things to never repeat. Examine your failed opportunities, slip ups, and any neglectful moments that lost you potential opportunity. Then, compile a list of those slip-ups and add them to your “to-don’t” list. This is incredibly useful to evaluate what you aren’t as great at and reminds you what you are great at and where you should be focusing the majority of your time.
November and December are notorious for being the slowest of the year. Getting prospects to respond is hard enough, getting a phone call booked seems nearly impossible. They’re probably wrapping up their final projects, much like you, and simply rushing to hit their goals for the year and solidify their approach for the coming year. So rather than letting them be marked as “not interested”, start reaching out to them at the beginning of the year. Create a campaign specifically geared towards pushing those busy prospects to a phone call for early part of Q1. Evaluate if they’re truly a fit and if moving forward makes sense for you and them. Don’t let prospects go cold without actually giving them a fair push.
Have a colleague or someone within your department sit in and listen to one of your calls. Have those listening give you ideas on areas you could improve upon. This will shed light on any holes in your presentation and help you understand the areas that need to be improved upon. While no one enjoys having their performance critiqued, this direct contextual feedback will always be more useful than simply wondering what went wrong on sales calls.
Take a look at your most successful clients. If they’ve been satisfied with your performance to date there is no reason to assume they would be displeased giving a review or testimonial on your company. In fact, chances are they also have a professional network that could use your services as well. Never neglect the opportunity to have conversations with customers you have the best relationships with to see if they can also help with your brand’s growth and success.
It’s imperative to create a representation of your ideal prospect. Conduct an analysis of all of the accounts you landed this year and what exactly made them the ideal account for you. Were all of your accounts employing more than 200 people? Did every account you landed have a similar sales cycle? Did you receive the most engagement and land the most deals with businesses in the SaaS space? These are all aspects you should dig into so you can truly understand why your clients have signed onto working with you. If you can understand the common link between each account you have working with you and identify common patterns, you can create a repeatable selling process based around your perfect fit. Before your new selling cycle begins, it’s important to know who you should be reaching out to.
Create a document that lists all of the issues that happen throughout the year. Similar to the “to-don’t” list, this helps you keep track of all of your missteps so that they don’t happen in the future. Use this document department wide so everyone has accountability. If you notice an error someone in your department made, keep track of it on the shared document and create a system for everyone to build each other up by working together to ensure the healthiest and most successful working environment possible.
You don’t have to have everything together going into the new year to achieve success. But the more you can plan and account for ahead of time, the better shape you’ll be in. It’s important to remember that you can only do as much as you allow yourself to do. Get everything in line so you can execute the next 12 months to the best of your ability.