SALES

Sales Advice for the New Fiscal Year

These nine steps to make certain the next quarter bring increased revenue and profit.
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Here's a list of must-do activities that every company (and salesperson) should take at the beginning of every year (and every quarter) adapted from Bill Stinnett's top-notch book, Selling Results!

1. Requalify each opportunity.

Determine what you know and don't know about each account to prompt you to consider your customer's current state, desired future state, and vision of the ideal solution.

2. Resize each opportunity. 

Determine your client's appetite for investment from the people who are responsible for earning a return on whatever capital they decide to invest.

3. Reforecast each opportunity.

Determine when they need to arrive at their desired future state and what will happen if they don't arrive.  Then estimate when this customer will buy based on their urgency.

4. Revise your revenue projection. 

Revise your sales forecasts based upon the information above so that your ability to influence next quarter's revenue results lies in the actions you take today!

5. Reevaluate what it will take to achieve your goals. 

Plan what you need to do in terms of monthly and weekly business development activity goals that will ensure you achieve your revenue objective.

6. Prepare to broaden your relationship footprint. 

Identify who you currently know within each account and then decide who else you need to meet as the opportunity changes and grows.

7. Develop a plan to move each opportunity forward.

Create brief project plans (with dates) for each event that identifies the people who to be involved from your company and each client's company.

8. Resolve to better plan your customer meetings. 

Each interaction with your customer should move the sales opportunity forward.  Commit yourself to doing pre-call planning and research.

9. Retune your marketing message.

Better align your marketing with your sales by revising sales tools and marketing collateral so that they speak from the customer's viewpoint.

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Last updated: Jul 1, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James was recently named a "Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Master" by Forbes, and his blog has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. His writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Brandweek, and Men's Health, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Tao of Programming, Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite, and, most recently, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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