Many people use the New Year as a time to reset. Whether it’s setting new health goals, or tackling a big project that’s been nagging at us, the New Year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, and hopefully, stick with these new routines long enough for them to develop into a lifelong habit.
Salespeople are no exception, and those who are serious about progressing in their career will use the New Year to adjust their approach and try to get a head start on their annual goals. We wanted to help salespeople start the year with a bang, so we’ve come up with a few tips that will ensure the first few weeks get off on the right foot.
Here are five things to do if you want 2022 to be your best sales year yet:
1. Make a list of the things from last year that you want to change
If you can’t identify the problem, then you’ll never come up with a solution. This is why figuring out the things you want to change is so important, and why taking the time to write them down can help you understand exactly what it is that you need to do. For some people, it might be more focus time throughout the day. For others, making prospecting a priority (highly recommended) will be the thing that they’ll want to work on. No matter what it is, you should take out a notepad (or Google Doc), and write out exactly where you want to improve. Going through this exercise alone will have benefits.
2. Develop new prospecting habits, and stick to them
As mentioned above, prospecting is the lifeblood of any successful sales rep’s career. When you have a full pipeline, there’s a lot that can go wrong and still leave you in a great place at the end of the quarter. That’s why making prospecting a top priority in 2022 can be so impactful. Dedicate a set amount of time to prospecting every single day, no matter what, and you’re likely to see big changes in your performance. If there’s one place you should focus this year, it’s here.
3. Check back in with those prospects who wanted to hold off
Remember all those people who said they were holding off until next year? Well now is the time to circle back and find out whether they’re ready to move forward. Of course, some of them only said they were going to wait until next year in an effort to politely decline the sale. But many others meant it, and if you’re the one sales reps who checks back in (you’d be surprised at how many others won’t), then you stand a great chance of earning their trust and closing their deal. January means it’s time to check back in, so don’t neglect those you’ve already spoken to in an effort to find new business.
4. Introduce something new into the equation
If you’re going to develop a new habit, then make sure it’s one that can move the needle for your career. Introducing something into your sales process that you currently don’t do can pay dividends over the course of the year, so don’t be afraid to try something different. Asking for referral business is a great example, as far too many sales reps and organizations neglect this obvious way to earn new business. Another example is finding an outside-the-box channel for new business — which will depend on your industry and customer type. No matter what it is, introducing something new into the equation can be a game changer, because it’s all upside.
5. Act with the same sense of urgency you had in Q4
This is one of the hardest things to do, but also the one that can be the most impactful. Miracles happen at the end of the quarter, and, especially, at the end of the year. But it can be difficult for people to act with the same sense of urgency year-round, as there is no impending deadline on the first day of January. Keeping this in mind, those who are able to self-motivate and behave as if every single day is the end of the year, will always come out a step ahead, as keeping up the momentum will lead to more prospecting, a greater sense of urgency, and more closed deals. So take a deep breath, look at the calendar, and get going — if you work as if you’re on a deadline now, you’ll be way past your goal when the real deadline arrives.