Believe it or not, 2013 is in the books and here we are off to a fresh start to 2014. But before you go off to the races, it’s important to reflect on the work you accomplished in 2013.
- What went well this year?
- What are some areas for improvement?
- What are you most proud of this year? Why?
- How can you repeat that in 2014?
- Where can you cut back?
- Where should you spend more time?
- What is your new year’s resolution?
Now use your answers to move forward.
How are you going to set the bar for yourself in 2014? If you are a sales rep early in your career it is especially imperative to make conscious efforts to continue to grow and develop professionally. Each year should bring you closer to the next chapter, deal, and milestone in your career.
Unsure of where to start this year? We surveyed business development reps (BDRs) from our portfolio to find out what improvements and skills they are focusing on developing in 2014. Here’s what they said.
Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Business Development Reps
1) Boost your technical knowledge
Make 2014 the year of the product. Focus on getting a 360 picture of your technology so that you can speak to it in terms relatable to your leads (and actually know what you are talking about!).
2) Eliminate hot air
Are buzzwords your safety blanket? Take out the mumbo-jumbo and focus on clear, concise messaging. Record yourself in a role play, transcribe the conversation, and then eliminate the extraneous words.
Get your fellow BDRs onboard with your resolution too! Have an internal competition — who can articulate the value prop of your product in the least amount of words?
3) No more filler
Similar to your buzzwords, fillers like “cool,” “umm,” “sure,” and “you know” can become killers for BDRs. Make it your goal to eliminate these words from your vocabulary in 2014. This may leave you with some uncomfortable silences, but that is when the magic happens.
4) Always leave the conversation with something
Every time someone picks up the phone, leave the conversation with something. Anything is better than nothing. Don’t let them hang up without agreeing to receive your newsletter, giving you a better time to call, providing you with a referral, or sharing any tiny nugget of info (no matter how small) that could help in the future.
Just make sure you never have to write, “hung up on me, didn’t get any info.”
5) Focus on conversations, not dials
Call goals are important, but they mean nothing if they aren’t resulting in quality conversations! Make it your goal in 2014 to have as many quality conversations with leads as possible. If you don’t have them already, set goals with your manager, and really hold yourself accountable. Don’t leave the office until you hit your goal (even if that means making a few extra dials!).
6) Never “check in” or “follow up” again
Always have a reason for calling. The days of checking in and touching base are over. Make sure that every time you call a lead, you are adding value.
7) Set a reach goal
Whether it is eight partnerships, 25 new customers, or 100 opportunities, set a number-driven goal for yourself, different (and might I add, higher) than the goals set by management. Keep this number to yourself, and make it your goal for 2014 to hit it!
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2014? Share them in the comments below.
Photo credit: deadcurious.com