As we start a new year, our B2B and B2C sales training clients in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto are focused on making 2020 a great sales year. Here’s our 6 step plan that we’re sharing with them. While there is no one easy solution that will guarantee success, here’s what the best Salespeople in every business category are doing to start the year strong.
#1. Assess your Current Account Base
This is your priority in setting the foundation for making 2020 a great sales year. Place every client that you did business within 2019 on a spreadsheet. Here’s the information you want to capture.
- Total 2019 Sales volume (in descending order)
- List of products and services purchased with appropriate volumes per client
- Strategy to increase sales volume or manage risk if they are an At-Risk Account
- Tactics (actionable steps) and timelines that need to be fulfilled within the strategy
- Estimated 2020 Sales Volume.
- Columns to indicate the sales volume difference from 2019 – in dollars and percentage.
One of the easiest exercises is to look for additional sales opportunities based on product lines that each client is not purchasing. Fight the urge to think that your buyer is 100% committed to buying that product line from a different supplier based on long term relationships. If you aren’t eating someone else’s lunch, they’re probably eating yours without your knowledge.
Here’s one of the most familiar statements your client will make as you start to investigate new product sales…
“I didn’t know you carried that line.”
Figure out how many product lines your client is buying from you based on all the different products they order in your business category. Suddenly, that large Key Account has double or triple the purchasing potential because you’re focusing on what they aren’t buying from you in addition to what they already are.
Smart Salespeople know that their current client base always has the greatest upside potential in making 2020 a great sales year based on the existing relationship.
#2. Devise a Target Account Strategy for New Business Acquisition
“I’m going to go after more new business this year.” OK, that’s a great idea. How are you going to do it? Avoid buzzword strategies that are vague like “I’m going to prospect more.” Make sure you drill down to specific action steps to quantify and measure your progress.
“I’m going to schedule my prospecting efforts with 50% cold calling by phone, 25% in-person and 25% via LinkedIn. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to Noon, I will schedule a New Business Acquisition appointment in my schedule and keep that commitment. I will track my progress in my CRM Program and make adjustments in my approach along the way when required.”
This includes not allowing your Key Accounts to book you during that time. Smart Salespeople know that prospecting is a necessary function in making 2020 a great sales year. Tell your buyers that you’re already booked at that time. Virtually every client is agreeable. Your ability to have self-discipline is crucial in this area as all Salespeople know that new business development is practicing delayed gratification. It’s easy to get side-tracked quickly especially when you’re trying to establish new relationships that are not solicited.
#3. Know your Competitive Advantage
Great product knowledge isn’t just being an expert on your products – it’s also being well educated on your competitors. Be prepared for what every buyer wants to know – Why would I want to meet with you and consider your products? Top producing Salespeople have that 10-second speech memorized like the password to their CRM program.
That doesn’t mean trashing the competition. It means knowing your competitive advantage and referencing it from your buyer’s perspective.
#4. Assess your Skill Set and Address Areas for Growth
What steps in the sales cycle are you great at, good at and in need of work? Every top producing Salesperson pushes themselves for professional growth on a consistent basis. What areas do you need training or coaching in? Is there a veteran Salesperson who is great in the areas you need help in? Take them for lunch and ask them for their advice.
Seek coaching assistance from a mentor. Perhaps that’s your Sales Manager. Buy a book or watch some sales videos on YouTube. Don’t wait for the company to invest in training you. Make the investment in yourself and your clients by being proactive in improving your overall skills to drive sales. Save the receipt for tax purposes and write it off against your commissions.
#5. Use all Sales Tools at your Disposal
Take stock and use all the tools at your disposal. Are you aware of all the sales support material at your disposal? Don’t have enough? Talk to your Sales Manager. If you have a valuable sales tool that could be created, then talk to your Sales manager and lead the effort to get it done. Every Sales Manager needs leaders to spearhead new initiatives.
Are there product experts inside your building that can go out on calls with you? There are few sales tools more powerful than the expertise within your company. Leverage it.
Use your CRM daily and keep it up to date. It’s like having an administrative assistant at your disposal. Log your sales activity and use it for task management. Start and end your day with your CRM and you’ll quickly see what it’s capable of doing.
#6. Get Your Sales Manager’s Buy-In and Assistance
Why go it alone? The smartest Salespeople are always asking for input from their Sales Manager. Having another person give you an experienced opinion on your strategies, tactics and action plan is another asset at your disposal.
Ask for a regular meeting with your Sales Manager in person or via web-conferencing if you work remotely. Ask your Sales Manager for their time and effort in fueling your success. That’s exactly what they want to see for you, and your company.
If you leveraged each of these 6 Steps, how could you not have a great sales year in 2020? You will drive more sales and commissions. You’ll feel like you’re in control of your billings and you’ll see a huge increase in personal confidence with your hard work.
What do you think? Do you have any more suggestions? I’d love to hear them.
Build Your Sales Skills To Have A Great Sales Year in 2020
If you’re interested in taking the next step to increase your sales skills, check out the free trial of our online course The Sales Skills Incubator for $199 CAD including tax. We’re also in the final stages of producing our latest online sales training course, Negotiating 2 Party Payoffs. Every great Salesperson wants to learn the skills of being a great negotiator. If you wish to be notified when the course is being launched or future sales ensure that you are signed up to receive the PROSALESGUY BLOG by email. If you prefer reading, check out our book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Amazon.
If you are a Sales Manager who is interested in retaining your Salespeople, we offer Group and Individual Sales Training in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. Please give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to speak with you.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY