With the New Year comes an opportunity for a fresh start for your sales organization. Indications are the economic climate is changing for the better and many organizations are looking to capitalize on the increased optimism of prospective clients. Many companies finished 2011 exceeding their own growth projections, and your sales organization should plan and execute for the same result in 2012.
At your Sales Team kickoff meeting the significance of this new outlook cannot be overemphasized. However, the theme shouldn’t be about “resolutions” – you must be focused exclusively on goals. Resolutions tend to fade faster than daylight in New England in January. Well defined goals are different. They are specific, measurable, attainable and for a finite period of time. Because they should be written down, ownership is established and maintained.
Too often goals are presented or “announced” by management—the classic top down approach. However, effective goals are developed with input from the bottom up. Failure to do so too often prevents true buy-in by the Sales Team.
Assuming your organizations’ goals have been developed properly, early in the year and as part of the roll-out, managers must meet individually with Team members. Sales leadership is about coaching and leading—not just managing.
Team meetings (as opposed to individual meetings) should take place at least quarterly. As you kick off the New Year, set expectations for these meetings and reference potential topics that should be of interest, such as competitive updates, sales practices – what works and what doesn’t, etc. Topics that are geared toward helping the Sales Team succeed will also help keep motivation high. Too often managers gear meetings toward only what is important to them.
This year, commit yourself to LEADING your Team to get the results you want. Let your competition make the mistake of simply managing….
- Goals—not resolutions
- Top down AND bottom up goal-setting
- Individual meetings to coach and lead (not manage)
- Develop Team meeting topics of importance to THEM—not you
- Commit yourself to leading this year