Depending on when you’re reading this, there are limited business days left in 2019. Wouldn’t it be great to use that time to help your company get a fast start to the best sales ever this coming year?

Here are five things to do now to guarantee your best sales start to 2020 revenue.

1. The Right Sales Leader

A strong sales leader is the most important cog in the whole sales engine. One step removed from the customer and directly responsible for all results, this is the person to whom you turn to explain why sales are going well (or not so well).

The sales leader’s goal orientation, work ethic, sales prowess, and attitude are reflected by the team and to the customer. So it’s up to you to make sure that leader is the right person for your company. Make sure you’ve made your expectations crystal clear, and that you have complete buy-in to your business plan for 2020. If not, now is a good time to consider alternatives.

On the flip side, if you have high confidence in your sales leader, now is the time to thank them in advance for their work in the coming year. Company-wide recognition and the opportunity to earn bonus money will pay you back two-fold in 2020.

2. Clear Sales Goals that Everyone Understands

Sit down with your whole sales team and make sure they understand your business goals. Translate what success for the company will mean for them: money, recognition, happy clients, and/or advancement. Help your team visualize what great results will look like!

Then you or your sales leader should break down success into SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Time-bound. Those will be different for every company, but an example is, “two new accounts worth $100,000 each, closed by March 15 and implemented by March 31, from the target list we qualified in December.”

3. Reporting That Creates Visibility and Accountability

Make sure you have a sales reporting methodology that reflects your vision. A business intelligence dashboard, for example, that puts company goals front and center while showing results in real time helps you keep tabs on progress.
A successful CRM dashboard is one that is customized to fit your business needs. You don’t want your sales team overwhelmed by data; you want them incentivized by the ability to organize and access the information that matters most to them.

4. Effective Sales Management Practices

What’s your company culture? What are your sales expectations? Is your sales manager reflecting those things in their leadership? What can they do better to get better results?

It’s important that everyone on your sales team understand how well they’re meeting expectations, and that each person gets heard. To that end, team members need one-on-one time with their manager at least every two weeks. Your whole sales team should get together at least once a month, and all meetings need purposeful agendas.

Your sales leader will get better results if these conversations are forward looking, tied to key sales metrics, and supported by sales data. Before the end of the year, work with your sales leader to plan an approach for supporting each team member as well as the whole team.

5. The Right Sales Team Members

Just like you revisited the effectiveness of your sales leader, you’ll want to evaluate the members of your team. Your company can’t afford to have people responsible for revenue generation who are unable or unwilling to perform at the level you need.

In the book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, Jim Collins writes that business is like a bus and the leader is like the bus driver. You have to make sure you have the right people, in the right seats, taking the trip. Or you have to get them off your bus.

Don’t wait – work with your sales leader to think through who should be on your bus and who shouldn’t, and then start doing something about it. And don’t be afraid to make changes where they are needed.

Are you having difficulty breaking through to the next level in revenue growth? Could you use an experienced, outside perspective to diagnose your sales issues and build a plan to address them?

Sometimes, you need a guide to find the right path forward.

Sales Growth Advisors provides outsourced sales leadership services for small and mid-sized businesses – so your sales engine runs the way it is supposed to.

Contact us today to learn more.