increasing sales

2016 New Year’s Resolutions for the Sales Professional in All of Us

With the end of the year fast approaching, 2016 sales initiatives are well underway at organizations across the country. If you and your sales team crushed (or are about to crush) your 2015 quota/goals…congratulations! If you didn’t, I encourage you to ask yourself what you intend to do differently in 2016 in order to get back on track. Getting specific about the changes you’re going to make will help immensely–as Einstein says, the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.

Here are a few thoughts as you start planning for 2016:

1. Hire Better Sales Professionals…Start Testing!

Many of us (myself included) feel we excel at reading people, and typically make personnel decisions based off of our “gut.” After several bad hires that we initially thought were a perfect fit–we realized that science and technology are probably better predictors of sales success than we are. Lucky for us, there are several great testing solutions out there that can complement and strengthen your existing hiring process. We currently use the Wonderlic cognitive ability, motivation, and personality tests and have seen great results!

2. Sales Role Specialization

In his book Predictable Revenue, author Aaron Ross talks about how forward-thinking sales companies like moved to a specialized sales role model of selling (for example, Sales Development Representative (SDRs), Business Development Manager, Customer Success Managers, etc.). By breaking up the sales process into chunks and running it like an assembly line, organizations are seeing vastly increased efficiency and greater sales numbers.

3. Invest in Marketing/ Lead Generation

You could have the best car (your sales organization) out there, but if it doesn’t have any gas (marketing/lead gen) it’s not getting very far. Many organizations succumb to the misguided idea that increasing their sales requires hiring more sales people. Instead, I encourage you to think about whether or not your current team is getting enough qualified at bats. If not, you may want to look into investing in more marketing to arm your team with winnable opportunities.

4. Concentrate on Client Retention

In football, many coaches subscribe to the motto “the best offense is a great defense!” Sales is no different. If you are great at bringing on new business, but can’t retain your clients–then it’s a net zero gain. Making sure your clients are happy and stay with you for a long time should be a huge priority for every sales organization.

Hopefully these ideas get the wheels turning for what should be a great 2016.

Happy Selling!