Ahh, the New Year. January is the month we, as sales reps, start anew. Often times, we try to embrace new methods of thinking and better ways of doing things – all with the intention of bigger and brighter things ahead.
But instead of setting lofty goals that might not make it to February, focus on refining your skills and setting a clear plan to get to your goal. The beginning of the year is typically a time where you either get a new territory or simply start from scratch with your current one. How do you best take action on your territory plan? What should you be doing in order to hit your numbers?
Here are three actionable techniques to use when getting started with your territory plan and working toward crushing your goals in 2019.
1. Make sure your territory plan has action items that are time sensitive.
You need to organize your territory plan with specific and tangible time goals. For example, “I want to have an on-site marketing event with these top accounts on this date.” This is an action item that has a clear end-date and requires a specified amount of time until you hit this goal. Your next step is to prospect into your accounts and work to get as many RSVPs as you can for the event. Clear goal, clear expiration date to hit it.
Territory plans without time commitments are just good intentions for the year. Without deadlines, there is no driving force or urgency, and could prove disastrous for your year.
2. Close the loop on any action items.
There needs to be a way to close the loop on any action items. For example, if one of your action item goals for this quarter was to have meetings with 20 of your top accounts, but you only manage to get meetings with 10 of those targeted accounts – what is the consequence? What do you do next?
Make sure there is follow-up to your action items. You don’t want to make the mistake of letting those goals go, especially the ones you haven’t reached. By letting unmet goals go by the wayside, you’ll eventually get to a point where you won’t prioritize or even make those goals. Setting clear follow-up tasks for your goals will ensure commitment and focus on your action items and territory plan.
3. Ask a colleague to poke holes in your plan.
My final piece of advice is to collaborate with your colleagues. Ask your colleague to poke holes in your territory plan. Not a manager, but a fellow rep. Go to your co-worker, present your territory plan and ask them, “If you were my boss, how would you blow up my plan?”
Working with your team will surface things you never expected, and allow you to see your territory from an outsider’s perspective. Working with a co-worker takes the pressure off and promotes peer collaboration and learning. If you were to go to your manager, or VP, you wouldn’t be able to get the same amount of unbiased feedback, as they’re concerned with quotas, numbers and bigger company goals.
Don’t settle for a disorganized start to your sales year. Start 2019 off with these guiding principles to clearly define next steps with your territory plan. You’ll see your pipeline grow, your productivity skyrocket and guaranteed success for 2019.