As an entrepreneur, the start of a new year may be a good time to undertake sales planning. Ideally this is done before your new business year starts, but sometimes it sneaks into the next year. Here are a few sales planning tips to consider when looking at your sales strategy.
What worked and what didn’t work:
Look back at the last year and see where you had success. You can cross reference against the amount of effort or money that was spent. This can apply to tactics, targets, and much more. Two important sales planning tips are looking into your data analytics and customer buying behaviours to help guide your decisions. You can also get valuable insights from your sales people or customer service reps.
It is good to reflect on your ideal customer. Each year, you will learn more about your fit and gaps in the market. You could have new inbound clients finding you outside of your ideal target customers. It may make sense to put more focus on a new set of ideal customers and maybe less focus on previous target customers. Use your analytics when possible to help guide your decisions. Not all of your B2B sales prospects are equal.
A lot of things have changed in the last year due to the pandemic. This is an example of a major factor that could mean tweaking your value proposition. Use feedback from your sales team, customers, prospects, and things like open and clickthroughs on email to examine your value proposition.
Which of your sales tactics returned the best ROI this past year? How do your ideal customers, especially new targets, collect information used in their buying decisions? It may make sense to look at new tactics or to make changes to your existing processes. This could mean things like more LinkedIn navigator and less cold calling or even the opposite.
Your tactics may change and that coupled with new or improved tools could lead to a change in the tools you use. Is it the year for a new CRM? What is your email strategy? What role does LinkedIn play in your sales process? There could be some changes to your tools based on looking at your B2B sales strategy.
Learn from your peers:
Being an entrepreneur or sales leader for a growing company can make personal development a challenge. One of the ways I have improved my knowledge and skills, and to find out what’s new is to be part of Sales Peer2Peer groups. Two that I am part of and regularly attend are the Innovation Factory Sales and Marketing Peer2Peer and the Communitech Sales Leaders P2P.
Make your team better:
A small team can mean little internal training resources as well as limited funds. The great news is that there are lots of resources that are free or nearly free that your sales team can take advantage of. The HubSpot Academy has many courses related to sales. MaRS Discovery District also has a number of free online sales resources.
Happy selling for 2021 and if you need some help with your sales planning reach out with me for a conversation.