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As we head for the holiday period how many emails do you think you’ll come back to after the Christmas break?

How many deals will need attention straight away? How many follow up tasks will you have?

Are you worried that you’ll start the year already playing catchup?

If so, it’s time to kick the year off with a bang.

The last thing you want to do is ease your way into the year. It’s an easy mistake to make – “My prospects are too busy as they are busy catching up.” That mindset indicates you aren’t confident in creating value. You should feel confident to reach out to prospects at any time of the year, and those who start the year slow, often end the year slow.

So, instead of thinking that January is going to be a slow month and nobody has time to take a sales call, spend your time wisely. This will avoid necessary stress as the year progresses.

Do these tasks instead.

Review your sales plan

You want to be able to prioritise your time early on, and reviewing your sales plan is a key part of it. You want to know which existing customers have more opportunities, which are your key prospects, how are you going to engage with them, which prospects present the best opportunities, and so on. This kind of strategic planning puts you ahead of the curve and enables you to be more productive.

 Call your existing clients

It’s a no-brainer to get in touch with your existing customers, particularly if you want to be seen as more of a strategic partner than simply a salesperson. Even if it’s just to say happy New Year, call your customers to get an update on how they are getting on and what they might need from you during the year. Make them feel loved, and opportunities will arise from those conversations.

Assess how you use trends to create value – The obvious changes in the business world are the remote working adoption following the pandemic and the pressure on costs. Think about how you can create value from trending news. Spend time getting up to speed about the ins and outs in the business world and your industry and think about how you can use news stories and trends to your advantage to provide additional value to your prospects.

Get in touch with every active opportunity

Create a list of every active deal you have, some of which will have been active for days or weeks, some perhaps a lot longer, and aim to move the process forward, even if it’s just to get an update. Start with the hottest opportunities first, call the main contacts associated with the deal, and aim to confirm the next step.

Kickstart your nurture sequence

If you aren’t getting much luck on the phones, focus your efforts on building value by providing prospects with insights and ideas via email and social media. It takes more time, but it’ll set you apart from the rest and help to build your credibility.

When the prospect is then ready to buy, you’ll be in their thoughts if you’ve consistently given them useful insights. Focus on engagement, rather than the pure sales cycle, and use all the channels at your disposal.

Starting slowly puts a lot of pressure on your performance at the end of the quarter, and it shouldn’t be that way. Just because some people have early year meetings and admin to go through, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call them.

Plan, prioritise and execute to get ahead of the competition and start building better relationships if you are struggling to build pipeline. That way, you’ll benefit in the months ahead when they are ready to take your call. Don’t play catch up, start 2023 at pace.

If you’re interested in building your own strategic sales plan for 2023 to generate better results, then get in touch.


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