Goal KickThe New Year is well and truly here. The world has awoken from the year-end slump and everyone is back to business, almost forgetting that the holiday period was just a few weeks ago. Consumers are once again emerging from the financial hibernation that followed December’s over-spending and are ready to buy. Companies are operating in full force and ready to get down to business, including purchasing products and services that will help them achieve their year’s goals. As a salesperson it is your job to seek out the buyers, and now is the time for you to spend some time strategizing your own goals and ambitions for 2015.

Today, we’ll discuss 5 strategies you need to implement to kick-start your sales for the New Year.

#1 Goal Setting: Out with the old, in with the new

January and February are the two most important months for you as a salesperson when starting the New Year. It’s a time to set and finalize your goals, and strategize your plan of action to reach those goals.

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favour.”

Brian Tracy

When looking back at 2014, forget about the goals you didn’t achieve and rather focus on what you did achieve. Consider the strategies that helped you achieve those goals and see how you can make those a part of your 2015 plan of action. Let go of the outdated goals, as well as the strategies that didn’t work, and start with a clean slate.

A fantastic goal setting strategy which we suggest is building revenue predictions. You can do it in two ways:

1) From the bottom up

Take a look at the size of your current market, the size and capacity of your sales team and your average conversion rates, and add to that a realistic growth rate. Depending on your marketing strategies, seasonal fluctuations, and industry-specific factors, your growth rate may vary.

2) Goal based

Create a list of expenses, setting aside an additional figure for unexpected and variable expenses (such as consulting fees, replacement of technology, etc.) and a profit margin. Use this figure to base your marketing activity on.

Create goals for each quarter of the year, bearing in mind last year’s seasonal trends and the effects they had on your sales over 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. You can then create a detailed marketing strategy with seasonal themes where applicable, to help you reach those goals.

Tip: Got a good idea for a sales or marketing campaign? See if you can tie it in with another reason for celebration or press, such as a holiday, to ride that wave and maximize exposure.

“Goals aren’t enough. You need goals plus deadlines: goals big enough to get excited about and deadline to make you run. One isn’t much good without the other, but together they can be tremendous.”

Ben Feldman

Financial analysis

#2 Finding Customers: Start with your warm market

New customers are the lifeblood of any business, but don’t overlook your existing base. As an established business, you already have a warm market on your books. As Donna Fenn highlights, ‘acquiring new customers is expensive (five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one), and the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67 percent more than a new one.’ Save on the cost and effort involved with generating new business by drumming up sales from your existing clients.

Here’s how:

  • Create attractive up-sell opportunities
  • Sell complementary services and products
  • Incentivise your clients for referrals or regular orders

Inc.com shared some stories about how companies created new business through their old customers – you may want to read this post.

#3 Be Ready and Go Mobile

Telemetrics and xAd did a study of the mobile behaviours of 2,000 users in 2014, which found that 46% of these consumers use their mobile devices as their primary tool in making purchase decisions.

The study also showed that less than 20% of the respondents had a goal when turning to their mobile devices, which showed that 80% were open to influence – and that’s where your marketing strategy comes in.

Since the bulk of the population uses mobile, your company needs to reach out to your target audience via mobile.

  • Have a mobile responsive website
  • Send out mobile responsive emails
  • Create a mobile app for your company or product/service
  • Do screen sharing presentations to mobile

In a different study performed by comScore, it was found that in 2012, 82% of mobile media time was spent on apps, and therefore you should definitely consider whether an app is suitable to your company.

Your potential customers are attached to their phones and tablets, so if you wish to invite them to an online meeting or presentation you may see a rise in the number of prospects who want to join from their mobile devices. Are your sales reps prepared for this? Mikogo provides native mobile apps for iOS and Android as well as the HTML Viewer for your prospects to join screen sharing sessions from.

Mikogo customer and Director of Easy Street Financial Services, Ian Symmonds, is very familiar with this. In a recent FT Adviser interview, he spoke of how he would host screen sharing meetings with clients who would join from an iPhone or other smartphones.

Mobile customer

#4 Invest in Sales Tools

While it’s great that there are so many tools out there, on the other hand it can be time consuming to assess them all and decide which are worth investing in and not.

Instead of casting them all by the wayside and sticking to old school sales methods, I want to encourage you to spare a thought for your audience: Modern consumers are highly focused on user experience, especially when they decide where they want to spend their money, and it’s up to you to create a memorable (or at least seamless) user experience. It’s a matter of bringing together systems that make it easier to communicate with the users and to make it easy for them to spend their money with you.

Automation is the key when it comes to enhancing the capabilities of the sales process, from lead generation through to after-sales service, but without becoming too robotic and losing the ever-important human personal touch. Consider how you can make the process flow more smoothly, while saving your sales team time in the process, thus increasing their capacity to handle more leads in a day.

#5 Surprise & Be Personal

You have probably heard about surprise and delight marketing, a trend started by Westjet Airlines, when they made their passengers’ Christmas wishes a reality.

Now you may not have their budget, but you could still do those little things that matter through your marketing and with your existing customers.

“Make a customer, not a sale.”

Katherine Barchetti

Decent service is not enough. Consumers expect good service, and therefore it doesn’t surprise them. It’s about going the extra mile and improving on it time and again. Think how you can exceed your customers’ expectations.

Following on from #4 above, with so much technology at our disposal, it is easy to fall into the trap of becoming too automated. While automation saves time, it can cause your reps to lose the human element needed to connect with your customers on a personal level.

Don’t be fooled, customers are clued up on what’s automated and what’s real and they miss that personal touch and one-to-one communication.

Clients appreciate that special effort that you make to give them an old-fashioned phone call, which many online companies don’t do. Use that to your advantage and stand out from the competition by offering your clients something that will surprise and delight them.

It can be a bit of a balancing act between automation and personal touch and this is something sales teams will need to take into account.

With these 5 points in mind, you can now consider how you will improve on 2014’s results by building a better strategy for 2015. Please share your thoughts (and any additional tips) in the comments, below.

(For the source of the above sales quotes, click here.)