Congratulations! You’ve made it through to the end of 2014, with your business surviving and hopefully thriving.
Now’s a great time to regroup so that you can start off 2015 even better. Most organizations are looking at their sales metrics and making plans for the future as the year comes to an end. Here’s what we think you should focus on to make 2015 the best year ever for your company.
Focus on Execution You have a plan, now it’s time to execute. We suggest prioritizing these key factors to accelerate your execution efforts:
- Departmental Alignment: Educate each team on their part in the overall strategy and how their performance can help or hinder the organization’s goals.
- Take Headcount Goals Seriously: The best plans will falter without a fully staffed team. Work closely with your HR team leader to allocate the resources needed to quickly fill headcount goals.
- Execution Measurement: Identify metrics that measure how quickly new initiatives are deployed. Consistently reference these executional metrics and make sure team leaders understand that their performance is evaluated based on moving the executional needle.
Optimize Your Marketing Strategy As you may realize, your sales strategy drives your marketing strategy and vice versa. Now that you’ve figured out strategies to sell more product, you need to create marketing that reflects the same priorities so that you can reach the customers most likely to buy from you.
- Focus on differentiation. A key aspect of marketing strategy is differentiation from competitors. Look at your sales strategy for ideas about what makes you different–and better–than other businesses competing for the same share of the market. Then look at how those businesses are attempting to reach their audience and resolve to do something different and more effective.
- Marketing / Sales Alignment: Consider how your marketing team can contribute to your company. Marketing should not be isolated from sales or from other aspects of your company’s operations. Look for ways you can better integrate marketing with the rest of your activities to strengthen its effectiveness.
- Examine resource allocation. Whether you’re considering financial resources or manpower, it’s vital that the greatest number of resources are given to the most effective elements of your strategy. Make sure you are allocating resources effectively; change your strategy wherever you find yourself pouring resources into activities that don’t result in reaching conversion or sales goals.
Examine Sales Structure The sales structure--how many reps you have and who’s doing what–is the foundation of sales success. Once you’ve got your sales and marketing strategies in place, consider what it takes to get you where you want to go.
- Determine how many reps you need. Perhaps you have too few or too many working in a particular area. Adjust the number of reps, moving people around as needed or hiring new reps if you don’t have enough to go around.
- Look at sales figures per product. Your sales structure impacts how many of each product you sell and your sales impacts the efficiency of your product lines. Pay careful attention to products that aren’t selling as well as expected. Determine what is causing the problem and take action to change it.
- Match talent with positions. Make sure you aren’t trying to fit square pegs into round holes. If you have a sales rep who is a specialist in one product trying to sell a product he is less familiar with, that probably will not be effective. Make sure you can map talents and abilities onto your current sales structure and change it if you can’t.
Ready to make some last-minute changes so that you can start the New Year off right? Make sure you download the SBI podcast on your mobile device, tablet, or computer so you can get exclusive insights into sales and marketing strategies, profiles of industry leaders and premium sales, and marketing content wherever you are.