Savvy sales leaders understand the rhythm of selling in a calendar year...in the first quarter (after territories and quotas are communicated to the field), sales people should be researching and prioritizing their accounts and planning their engagements.
In the second quarter opportunities should be developed, discovery conducted and value established. For larger accounts, account planning should be planned and held (with the customer's active participation. Your customers do attend your account planning sessions, right?)
In the third opportunities should be de-risked and customer commitments nailed down. Account planning should be continued. Executive briefings should be planned and hosted.
And...in the fourth quarter, deals should be closed.
There's only three challenges with this approach.
First, that's a lot of "shoulds."
With a formal structure in place, at the field level, and effective process facilitation, these important activities will happen, with effectiveness and impact.
Second, customers don't subscribe to the sales calendar...they have their own rhythm of business, whether their fiscal year ends in June, they have a fourth quarter freeze, or they simply have needs that aren't calendar bound.
Third, sales teams have a constant inflow and outflow of talent that requires retraining, new enablement and learning facilitation.
How much of this are you leaving to chance? Are you counting on a manager named Should to ensure the success of your team through the course of the year?
How did that work out for you last year?
What are you doing to ensure that these actions actually happen, with expediency and effectiveness?
If you'd like help ensuring success this year please reach out for an initial conversation.