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5 Things All B2B Sales Leaders Need to do Before Year-End

Since the start of the pandemic, the role of sales leaders in every organization was turned on its head.From slashed budgets, to rapid changes in demand, to shifting all or most meetings with clients virtually, a lot has changed this year and may continue to change into 2021. While overseeing a team whose success is directly tied to that of the company's, B2B sales leaders have been working in overdrive to find new and creative ways to drive revenue and support the business.  

Especially in the midst of a volatile economy, it is crucial that sales leaders start planning now for 2021to best prepare for varying potential scenarios, make effective goals, and strategize for selling in the new normal. As a starting point, sales leaders should check these five things off their list before year-end.

Budget Reviews:  

This year, many organizations were hit hard financially and it’s likely that many forecasts and budgets changed drastically at the drop of a hat. While goals are typically tracked throughout the year, so much changed week by week in 2020, making it even more important to reevaluate your team’s performance and comb through the successes and downfalls of this year. Look back at the year as a whole and evaluate where you and the team ended up towards budget, then break the timeline down further to determine if anything could have been done differently. What are the key takeaways for how to improve next year, and how can you set yourself and your team up for growth in 2021?  

 

Forecast the Upcoming Year: 

Once you’ve reviewed the current budget, it’s time to forecast the budget and quota for 2021. This is best done towards the end of the year as opposed to Q1 2021 so you’re not already behind come January 1. With so much uncertainty going into 2021, many organizations have elected to break down 2021 goals to focus on quarters or the first half of the year, rather than the year as a whole. Work with your accounting and analytics team to get reports on trends over the last 12 months to determine how best to forecast next year, given the abnormalities of the current year and potential for a second COVID-19 wave. Additionally, meet with your marketing team to ensure they understand your team’s initiatives so they can best support the sales goal. If selling virtually or partially virtually, ensure marketing materials are updated and best formatted for the new way of selling. 

End-of-Year Client Reviews:

As you forecast for the year ahead, don’t forget to take your clients into consideration. Schedule year-end meetings to not only gather feedback on your organization, sales team and individuals who worked on the account, but also to get a pulse on what lies ahead for their company. This knowledge will help you determine where to focus your efforts and how to gain more business. While your typical end-of-year touchpoints, such as holiday parties or meetings, may look different this year, consider creative ways to reengage with clients in a meaningful and personal way. Retaining clients now is more important than ever, so emphasize client appreciation with your team and come up with ways to stay connected

Gut Check on Your Staff:

As we approach the end of a very hectic and challenging year, know that things have probably shifted both personally and professionally for your people. Meet with each member of your team to understand where they’re at, what changed within the past year, what their motivators are and how to best engage them moving forward. Especially if working remotely, consider ways to reconnect with staff personally and set aside time for team bonding to boost morale.

Build a Roadmap:

After completing all of the above tasks, it’s finally time to map out a plan for 2021 based on the information gathered. Be sure to also prepare a contingency plan in case of a second wave or market crash, considering how business needs may change. Short-term goal setting and planning may be necessary.  

While creating a roadmap, consider the following questions: Where do you need to add headcount on your team? What metrics need to be adjusted? How is your technology? Does your CRM need to be updated? Do you need certain types of online content or updated marketing materials? What clients will be strong for 2021 and which ones need to be reengaged?  

Once your plan is in place for the sales team, break it down by individual and by month so everyone understands how they are expected to contribute to hit the coming year’s budget in manageable pieces, allowing for adjustments as necessary.

If you check these items off your list, you and your team will be better prepared to head into 2021 ready to hit the ground runningIf you’re looking to add to your team now or in the New Year, let us help you! Click here for more information on how.


 

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