Starting 2015 Strong – A Round-Up of Advice from the Top Sales Influencers

2015 is officially under way. By now you’ve probably chosen a few resolutions, or habits, you’d like to achieve in 2015. Whether it’s surpassing last year’s quota, or signing that named account you’ve been going after; we’ve rounded up some tips from the top sales leaders to help you start 2015 strong. With insight from Mark Hunter, Anthony Iannarino, Jonathan Farrington and Colleen Francis, here’s what you should focus on and what you should leave behind in 2015.

Focus on

Continuing the momentum into 2015

The Sales Hunter: If you’ve been putting in work between the holiday and New Year, don’t slow down. Keep the prospecting momentum going into 2015. View this time as an opportunity to connect with people who you otherwise would have difficulty reaching at other times in the year. You’d be surprised who you can reach. Then, set some time up with them later in January.

Setting realistic goals:

The Sales Hunter: Goals are designed to help us achieve outcomes, not merely numbers we can measure. Think big, but keep it realistic. And don’t go for the thing you can easily associate a number to and measure. Big outcomes are not easily defined. Think about what it’s going to take, then you’ll start seeing smaller goals you can measure.

Building relationships:

Colleen Francis: Top salespeople are focused on value, not cost. By building a relationship with your customers, you’re creating value. If the cost of a product is the reason customers buy, they fail to appreciate the real value you provide. One isn’t possible without the other, nor is it sustainable over the long term. 

Personalizing the customer experience:

The Sales Hunter: Customers want a level of engagement from the companies and people with which they do business with. 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience. In today’s high-tech society, a little personalization can make you stand out. Take the time to make a connection, it will set yourself apart and has the potential to earn great rewards.

Taking action:

Anthony Iannarino: Knowing vs. doing. You can read a good book on selling. You can read the words, you can understand the script, but until you ask a prospective client sitting across from you to sign an agreement, you won’t have any idea what that experience feels like. You know enough already, but are you taking enough action?

Return on Investment:

Colleen Francis: Top salespeople are focused on ROI, not activity input. This seems like a no-brainer, yet year after year salespeople focus on activity thinking it will produce results. Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful.

Leave Behind

2014 mistakes:

Colleen Francis: Don’t focus on everything that went wrong in 2014. It’s beneficial to revisit obstacles or failures you’ve faced and learn from them. We all make mistakes. We all fail. But after you’ve done that…move on!

The idea there isn’t enough time:

The Sales Hunter:

By the time we reach the end of the year, many look back and say, “There wasn’t enough time to achieve my goal, it was an insanely busy year.” Time is your most valuable asset. Doesn’t it make sense to align all of your other resources in a manner that allows you to maximize the time you have? It’s the only thing you can’t get more of.

Selling on Price:

The Sales Hunter: It’s never going to work. It will attract customers who will never buy from you at full price. And, they will never appreciate the value of your product. Be prepared for them to nag you for additional deals and services and ask yourself if that’s how you want to spend the rest of the year.

Selling to a prospect:

Jonathan Farrington: Successful selling demands that human relations be dominant over human nature – but you probably guessed that already. Selling is also not something you do to a prospect, but something you do with the prospect, in a process of discovery and interaction. This is human relations at work.

Indecisive action:

Colleen Francis: Top salespeople take immediate and decisive action and make decisions quickly. The sales funnel is evolving whether you like it or not. Customers are entering at different stages in no particular order. You need to be prepared to take action.

Activity input:

The Sales Hunter: If all you’re doing is passing information along to the customer, updating trivial activities in Salesforce, and doing admin work, then you’re not needed. Yes, customer service is important, but sales is about helping the customer see things they didn’t realize were possible. It’s an incremental business. If you don’t have activity that creates incremental sales, then get ready to be replaced.

What’s one thing you’re focused on and would like to achieve in 2015? Let us know in the comments below!


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