As we close the book on sales plan 2018 and look forward to the New Year, check out seven ideas to make 2019 a great sales year. Your company has a sales plan to reach their goals. Each salesperson needs to have a personal sales plan too.
Review this year’s sales plan
What worked? What didn’t go according to the sales plan? Take an inventory of the successes and failures of this year and set the strategy for the next year’s sales plan.
Thank your customers
Tell your customers how much you appreciated their business. This is a good time to also check to see they are still pleased with you and your company. If they have concerns, take care of them immediately. If they are glad to be doing business with you ask for referrals. Set a sales plan strategy to win new business from the referrals.
Predict the future
I don’t mean be a savant. Get a sense of what is expected in your markets for the coming year. Talk to centers of influence in the markets you target. Check in with your customers to see what their plans are for 2019. Are there new prospects in your market to sell to in the coming year? Can you see weaknesses in the competition you can exploit? Will your company be rolling out new products or services. How will these affect your personal sales plan? Use this information in the sales plan for the coming year.
Take a personal selling skills inventory
The best sales people are always working on personal improvement. Over the past year did you increase competence it selling? Which techniques improved? As you look back over the sales plan for 2018, what could you have done better? Which selling skills will you work on to improve over the coming year? Are there changes in the product mix you sell? What new skills will be needed to sell the new products? Write a personal sales plan to insure you meet your personal goals in support of the corporate goals.
Check in with your mentor
Now is the time to get with your mentor to look over the past year and talk about the next. Mentors are valuable to sales people. If you don’t have one get one. Look for someone either within your company or in your network who has an interest in seeing you become successful. A mentor has the experience and wisdom of years and can help you see aspects of your professional life invisible to you. Ask your mentor to review your sales plan. A good mentor will challenge you on the various aspects of your role in achieving the goals in the sales plan.
Refine your vision
There is a lyric from the song Happy Talk in the Musical South Pacific: “You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true?”
Vision or dream, whatever you call it, how you want to see the future is important. Your sales plan is written to make your dream come true. Take some time now to reflect on and revise your vision. How long has it been since you wrote your vision? Yes wrote it! Of course it’s nice to have the dream but when you commit it to paper something happens. It might be magical but those who have taken the time to write out their vision and step-by-step goals to achieve it are those who succeed. The vision and goals is the substance of your personal and corporate sales plan.
Sales management year-end review
If you are a sales manager at whatever level and have sales teams reporting to you, encourage your sales people to take these steps to prepare for the coming year. Meet with your team individually or in groups to make sure they are ready for the coming year. Take a look at the members of your sales team. Even your top performers need coaching to improve their skills. Evaluate everyone’s activities, behaviors and attitudes and offer constructive feedback on ways to improve.
To learn more sales secrets about your sales plan, see Chapter Eighteen, Setting Your Goals, in Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling. For even more sales help, join our FREE Sales Club! “See” you next week.
Don Crawford & Lois Carter Crawford