As we enter a new year, it’s a time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. This year especially, most of us are ready to turn the page and focus on what’s ahead. Here’s our advice to get you motivated, invigorated, and ready to start the new year!
What are your Goals?
Think about both your professional and personal goals for the year and write them down. Goals are the first step towards planning for the future, and consciously setting and adjusting goals can significantly impact performance. Professionally, you probably want to crush your quota, while personally you may want to balance your time at work with personal time.
Dig in and understand what it will take to meet your quota. Our research shows that 69% of B2B salespeople say they do not have enough leads in their pipeline to meet quota, and the three biggest obstacles that impact sales quota attainment are having enough sales pipeline, having the right sales process, and the ability to communicate value to the prospect or customer. Rather than just setting a broad professional goal of meeting or exceeding quota, it may be more helpful to set specific goals to avoid or overcome these obstacles.
Business and personal goals are often intertwined. When you methodically follow the right sales process, you become more efficient. A rigorous qualification of leads lets you make the best use of your time. Therefore, being disciplined about your professional goals can also give you more time to focus on your personal goals.
Where is your Starting Point?
As you enter the new year, assess your starting point. Do you have a solid pipeline of leads? To achieve higher win rates, critically examine any unqualified opportunities and let them go, starting fresh for the new year.
Determine if your remaining pipeline is large enough to meet your sales goals, or if you need to broaden it to reach your desired number of deals. Once you understand where you want to go, the next step is to find and retain the ideal customers to get you there. Set up a realistic prospecting plan and cadence today – again with very specific goals. Revisit it periodically to ensure you are on track to achieve your objectives.
To achieve your goals, you’ll need to be smart in your prospecting efforts. What does your ideal customer look like? What are their specific issues and characteristics? What industries and business issues are they concerned about? How do they prefer to interact with you? The answers to these questions will help to build an in-depth profile, focused on the top prospects to target.
To prospect intelligently, it’s important to do your research. Start with online research and tap into your existing networks of past clients, peers, and colleagues who might give you a referral. Use available research tools to compile lists of target prospects based on a set of criteria such as industry, revenue, and team size. Be sure to brush up on company history, annual reports, and business associations. When you understand your prospect’s business, their industry, and their role, you can focus on how you can add value and engage with your prospect.
Apply Lessons Learned from Virtual Selling
According to McKinsey & Company’s latest research, interacting remotely is now preferred by 70% to 80% of B2B customers. This is also a lesson we’ve learned while conducting business in the COVID-19 era. Decision makers prefer virtual human interactions or digital self-service because of the ease of scheduling, savings on travel expenses, and safety.
The data shows that B2B buyers are now comfortable making both large new purchases and reorders online. Prevailing wisdom used to be that e-commerce was mainly for smaller-ticket items, however, 70 percent of B2B decision makers say they are open to making self-serve or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27 percent would spend more than $500,000 via self-serve or remote buying processes.
This information emphasizes the fact that virtual selling is here to stay. Even once the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror, we anticipate that many prospects and customers will continue to embrace the benefits of a remote buying process. ValueSelling Associates has the tools to support virtual selling. In fact, we’ve been honored with a Stevie Award for Most Valuable COVID-19 response with our pivot to engaging and collaborative Virtual Instructor-Led Training offerings. These offerings are built on the ValueSelling Framework and reinforce how to move deals forward despite a lack of face time and help you reduce your buyer’s risk as they navigate turbulent times.
As Always, Add Value
The final and ultimate goal to set for yourself is to add value and develop deeper relationships to be viewed as a trusted partner or advisor, rather than just another vendor.
Trust is the make-or-break difference for brands; 70% of people surveyed by Edelman respond that trusting a brand is more important today than in the past. Brands are trusted because of what they do, what they say, what they solve for the customer, and what they solve for society. As a result, trust builds loyalty, engagement, and advocacy.
When you engage with executives, you should be able to offer added value based on the research you've done. Tailor your message to demonstrate relevance and your research. Connect your added value to your prospect’s financial metrics whenever possible. If you can catch their attention by showing you understand them and can offer something mutually beneficial, you have a much greater opportunity for success.
What will you do to create opportunities, engage and qualify potential buyers, and communicate value this year? Set your goals and work to achieve them!