Most experienced salespeople know how to start their selling year, they gather their team, explain the expectations for the following year and determine the sales strategies and processes.
But what do you do when you’re a startup and you just assembled your future sales superheroes, where do you start?
Here we are going to take you step by step through starting a sales process on a good foot even though we’re coming close to the second month of Q1.
Here’s what to do:
The beginning of your sales year is the perfect time to establish your sales model and strategy, set your quarterly and annual sales goals and quotas. This is the time to discuss what you should improve and how realistic those expectations are. Each and every member of your team needs to leave the meeting knowing exactly what is their goal and how to achieve it.
Make sure you focus on your company’s weaknesses as well, so that your sales reps are prepared for the most difficult questions prospects may ask. Additionally, ensure that your sales team knows who their competition is, what they can learn from them and how they can be better.
This is your opportunity to help your salespeople set personal goals and quotas. Help them determine their average deal size and an average length of sales cycle so that they know how many deals they have to close to achieve their number. Reviewing their fails and successes will help them clean out the pipeline and not waste time on deals that won’t close.
Remind them to revisit the prospects that weren’t interested before but could use your product or service now.
If you’re feeling pretty creative you can even have a themed Kickoff Meeting and organize it like a football season or a lemonade stand.
Hopefully, members of your team have told you during the meeting where they might have some issues and where they need additional help.
Some of them may lack the experience and will need a senior to guide them throughout the Q1, some have just started in the sales department and will need all the education they can get.
This quarter is the best time for you to provide as much knowledge as possible for your sales reps because everything after that will be a waste of time and money.
Teaching your employees to act as a trusted advisor and not a sales bot will result in long-term relationships with your potential and existing customers.
Teach them that not everyone inside a company is a decision maker and that they need to approach a selected few with knowledge and solution to their problems.
Maybe your sales reps need an extensive product or service training so that they can be able to answer any question the prospect may ask or upsell. Don’t risk looking unprofessional, just because you skipped on the training of your salespeople!
Forrester Research shows that 88% of decision makers feel that salespeople speak knowledgeable about the product or service they’re selling, but only 24% of salespeople actually understand the customer’s business needs.
Investing in your employees is never money wasted. The more they know, the more they will sell.
Highly Targeted Lead List
Before you start your sales the right way, you will need the right lead list.
Make sure you’ve created your Ideal Buyer Persona profile or that you already have some clients that fit that profile. Then you can start your search for the similar companies and decision makers within those companies.
In case you don’t have time to do this yourself and want your team to focus only on selling, you can outsource your lead generation efforts to a specialized agency or get an Account Based Selling tool.
Whatever you choose, just don’t buy contact lists in bulk because scraped contact lists are usually outdated and therefore useless.
If you have an old contact list, make sure the data is fresh and updated as not to waste any time on contacts that may have changed their jobs in the meantime.
Create Superb Cold Sales Emails
Your lead list will turn into customer list only and only if you know how to write superb cold sales emails. This is the time you will send most of them since most of your new contacts don’t know who you are and what you offer.
Cold sales emails are your opportunity to present yourself and your company in the best possible manner.
We wrote several blog posts regarding DOs and DON’Ts of a perfect cold sales email and subject lines. You can even download our Ultimate Guide To Cold Sales Emails and get over 40 ideas and templates for your cold email efforts.
Keeping The Office Morale
Even as early as Q1 the morale of your salespeople may begin to drop. Most contacts are at the top of the sales funnel, they don’t know your company and are not ready to buy, which can discourage even the top performers in your sales team. But morale directly affects the success of your team.
Try to defeat the salespeople’s two biggest enemies – depression and self-doubt. Give your team members the tools to cope with daily stress and shortcomings and award them whenever possible with whatever possible. Show them that you have a firm future plan that they can always rely on no matter how hard the times.
Occasional sessions of success stories of your salespeople who won big accounts can be of great help because they can share tips and tricks used to achieve that success.
And don’t forget the good old fun. Anything that can wipe away the stress and show the funny side of sales is more than welcome.
It’s up to you as a team leader or CEO to keep the morale high.
Measure and Tweak
It’s never too early to start measuring your email efforts. The sooner you start measuring your sales efforts, the better your future results will be. Start measuring your open rates, your CTRs and replies to see what works and what doesn’t work, so you can tweak your next efforts.
Follow the time of day and week, the subject and opening lines, the messaging and let the successful examples guide you.
The results you receive after each quarter or even a month can help you modify your sales model if necessary, better target your buyer profile and reevaluate your sales quota if need be.
Do you have any Q1 sales tips to share with us?
We would love to hear some new examples of what practices worked for you.
Let us know at the beginning of Q2 did these tactics help you or if you need any more help with your sales outreach.