New Year's eve isn't the only time you can set resolutions for yourself or your business. When you're noticing a slump in performance, a lack of motivation, or an opportunity to grow in your career, try putting some business resolutions in place to get back on track.
In this post, we give you 10 of the most revitalizing business resolutions to work toward this year.
Business Resolutions for Salespeople
Commit to your why, what, and how. Form an SLA with the marketing team. Form an SLA with the service team. Commit to prospecting a percentage of your leads. Track your sales pipeline. Automate your workflow. Join a book club. Commit to mentoring new reps. Grow your network. Measure your performance.
1. Commit to your why, what, and how.
From the outside looking in, sales can seem like a stroke of luck rather than a skill that's practiced over time. The truth is, to become a successful salesperson you need to understand why you're selling.
Take a moment away from the phones, your quota, and your team to reflect on why you chose sales as a career path, why you chose the company you work for, and why you believe in the product you're selling.
Your personal why will put your what and how into perspective.
From there, be consistent. And to be consistent, you need to set benchmarks — that's your what.
Creating a sales plan gives you a way to organize these benchmarks into goals, objectives, and tactics.
Keep in mind that setting your goals and benchmarks is not the same as planning a list of tasks for the week. When you lead with your sales plan, you're leading with what you need to accomplish on a macro level. From there, you can decide how to accomplish your plan on a micro level.
This framework puts first things first and helps you become a more agile professional. As long as your why and what are fixed, you can adapt your how to to meet the needs of the business.
2. Form an SLA with the marketing team.
There's no such thing as "enough" leads that marketing could supply to the sales team, and sales would love to close deals every hour if they could. But thanks to reality, that just can't happen. But both teams can get relatively close to this by creating a customer flywheel. This happens when marketing and sales are moving in lockstep.
When the marketing team attracts prospects, they pass the baton to the sales team to engage them. Over time, your business will consistently deliver a remarkable customer experience.
A positive relationship between marketing and sales is paramount to the success of the business. This year, make a commitment to forming an SLA with the marketing team so that everyone understands who's responsible for what.
3. Form an SLA with the service team.
Remember the customer flywheel we mentioned earlier? One third of it includes your customer service team.
The handoff of a customer's account from the sales team to the service team can reveal a lot about the customer culture of your business.
A smooth handoff can indicate that your sales and service teams are working in tandem to serve the customer. A frictional handoff can expose some gaps in your sales and onboarding process, leaving customers to pick up the pieces.
To avoid a frictional handoff between these two teams, take a day or two to workshop an SLA with the service team and revisit it often to make sure it's serving its purpose.
4. Commit to prospecting a percentage of your leads.
Now that you have a business resolution for developing a marketing SLA, that means you can watch the leads roll in right? Not exactly.
Your sales goals should be your main priority and as a result, you'll want to hold some control over how you meet them. Making a commitment to prospecting some of your leads not only gives you more control over your pipeline, but you'll build your network as well. We know that not every prospect becomes a lead, but they may be able to make referrals for a person who is a better fit for what you sell.
5. Track your sales pipeline.
Sending out a series of emails to prospects and keeping your messages in the same thread is not the same as tracking your pipeline. Tracking your pipeline is a way to view, in real time, how close you are to meeting your goals.
To do this effectively, start with a sales software that you can use to track each prospect through the entire sales process. HubSpot's Sales Hub is an affordable CRM that you can set up quickly to start this new year on the right foot.
With a tool like this, you can add new prospects manually or set up a workflow to automate the process for you. As you move through each step with the customer, you can set automated tasks on their account like "Check in with Sandra on April 11th" or "Include the CFO on the meeting invite with ABS Enterprise", that way, you never miss an opportunity to close a deal.
6. Automate your workflow.
Speaking of automation, automating your sales workflow should be top of mind as you set your business resolutions for the year. Work smarter, not harder by creating workflows, email sequences, and chat conversations.
Each of these touch points is an opportunity to engage a prospect to become a lead who, in turn, becomes a customer. And all of this can be accomplished without manual work on your end.
That means you can spend more time making genuine connections with potential customers and less time on administrative tasks.
7. Join a book club.
How many times have you heard a friend say they wanted to read more in the new year? Reading more books is a popular resolution for folks of all career paths, including salespeople.
If you want to read more but aren't sure where to start, set a resolution to join a book club. Whether it's through work, a social book club, or one with your family and friends, you lean on your support system to achieve your goal of reading more.
Plus, reading in community can help you form a deeper understanding of the content and make connections you otherwise wouldn't have on your own. If you're looking to strengthen your emotional intelligence with your prospects and leads, this is the way to do it.
8. Commit to mentoring new reps.
New sales reps don't start the job knowing all the tips, tricks, and best practices for selling — especially if they've never sold or even used your product before. But all too often, new reps are expected to learn on the job and fail forward.
Even if you're not a sales manager, make a resolution to mentor a new rep on your team. Showing them the ropes will only help your team become more successful.
Taking on this extra responsibility can help your career as well by giving you leadership experience and showing your higher ups that you're a true team player.
9. Grow your network.
This one's obvious, but it's worth a spot on your new year's resolutions list. Growing your network is a goal that you shouldn't dismiss as a passive outcome of selling. It's an opportunity to actively give back to your community both virtually and in person.
Expanding your network should be altruistic. Serving others with your content, ideas, stories, and even your own network can have tremendous benefits for you in the long run when it's time to close a deal.
Wouldn't it be nice if a customer came to you ready to make a purchase because they heard great things about you from a friend? That's what growing your network is all about.
10. Measure your performance.
The final business resolution we recommend for sales reps is to measure your performance. You can take a three-pronged approach to this:
- Track your metrics using your CRM software. You'll want to review numbers like your closed-won deals, and time-to-close. This gives you a black and white view of whether or not you're meeting your goals.
- Next, get more subjective feedback from your manager and team. Are you a team player? How are your deals affecting the larger team's KPIs? What could you be doing better in their eyes? Measuring your soft skills in this way keeps them top of mind so that you don't sacrifice them in order to hit your numbers.
- Check-in with your family , friends, and other non-work stakeholders in your life. Are you showing up for them or is your work standing in the way? There's no right answer here, but it's worth checking in to see if you're happy with your work-life balance or if your other resolutions should be revisited.
Measuring your performance in each of these areas is sure to give you a well-rounded view of how you're really doing both in and outside of work.
By setting business resolutions now, you have an opportunity to become an even better salesperson for this year and the years ahead. Don't get too ambitious, however — choose one to three goals this year and add more as you achieve them. Soon enough, you'll be on your way to your most successful year in sales yet.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in [Month Year] and has been updated for comprehensiveness.