New Year’s Resolutions: Sales Leaders Share Tips for a Successful 2015

Discover how sales leaders plan to kick off 2015, improve sales performance, and ensure the New Year brings lasting positive change to their work force.

January 20, 2015

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Whether it’s dropping a bad habit or starting a good one, there’s no time like the New Year to make meaningful changes. It’s an excellent time to reflect on what worked in the previous year and set a course that will make the next year even better. To help you make 2015 your best year yet, we recently asked several business leaders to share their plans for kicking off the New Year. They delivered, providing insights that can help you use social selling to meet organizational goals this year.

Plan a Kickoff Meeting

Without buy-in, your New Year’s sales resolution could last as long as many people’s perennial health transformation goals.

Robert Joines, Business Travel Cost Reduction Specialist for Corporate Traveller UK, describes his firm’s goals for a successful kickoff meeting. “Our main objectives are to get the team ‘on the same page’ and to make sure everyone knows what the end result is going to look like,” says Joines. “It is also essential to make sure we have everyone motivated and engaged with the plan ahead.”

One way to make sure the objectives for the meeting are clear is to prepare your team for the meeting ahead of time. Larry Broderick of Extended Stay Hotels suggests “preparing the team prior to the kickoff with a VERY specific agenda.”

It can be tricky to get the team motivated for what some may view as just another “boring” meeting. According to Broderick, the best way to combat boredom is to “bring everyone out of their comfort zones. Have each person presenting something in front of the group or finishing a task they are unaccustomed to doing.” Having each team member actively participate in the meeting will help to ensure the key takeaways resonate.

Prep Your Team for Success

Once you’ve successfully discouraged complacency and engaged the team, it’s time to get them all on the same page. But what does that page look like? What are some potentially useful strategies for improving sales performance? For Broderick, it’s simple: “create value and become a better consultant, not a sales person.” Robert Joines echoes that sentiment: “I think improvement will come with more people embracing social selling. I am a massive advocate of LinkedIn and Sales Navigator and rave about it to my team whenever possible.”

Discovia’s Casey Van Veen plans to “huddle up quarterly and look at goals so team members can adjust as necessary with help from a mentor or executive. Have a system!” Teaching and collaborating across the organizational structure can be an efficient and effective way to improve your team’s performance.

Encourage Lasting Change

Once the team has been engaged with a successful kickoff and given goals (and the tools to meet these goals), it’s about making sure each team member keeps their New Year’s resolution. Robert Joines advocates ongoing, regular reinforcement to keep the team on track. “As a team, we have weekly business meetings to keep all the goals fresh in everyone’s mind. I also have monthly one-to-one meetings with all my team to chat on an individual level,” says Joines.

Van Veen strongly encourages tracking social selling metrics to help your team realize success. “Metrics need to be real and you need to be held accountable for them,” says Van Veen. “Memorialize them on a vision board that you see every day. Use Sales Navigator to post great articles, research more accounts for warm referrals, ask for referrals every day.”

Intacct’s Lynn Crofton also stresses the importance of adopting sales tools and metrics to achieve success. “There should not be reporting done outside of the Sales Navigator and the CRM system,” says Crofton. “Pipeline and sales process should match at each stage level in order to achieve a repeatable process.”

We all know how difficult it can be to keep a New Year’s resolution. You can help your team succeed in 2015 with a memorable kickoff meeting, clear objectives, and a system that picks team members up when they stumble. If you haven’t already, get that kick-off meeting on the calendar and start prepping.

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