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Getting Ready for Q1 2014: 10 Steps to Preparedness

"Ken, are you crazy? I have not even finished the fourth quarter yet!"

As budget planning begins and business strategies begin to be set, it is your responsibility to be ready for 2014. What do you need to have on your to-do list for the next 60 days? I have listed the top 10 -- e-mail or comment below to let me know what I have missed or what is on your own list. 

  1. What are your revenue objectives for each quarter in 2014?

  2. Review your existing teams carefully -- analyze each person's strengths and weaknesses. Rank them on the following criteria on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 meaning great). Are they good enough to stay on your team for 2014?
    • Sales skills
    • Product/industry knowledge
    • Operational knowledge
    • Sales planning

  3. How many new people do you need to recruit? When do you need them fully ready and trained? Hint: Hire them now.

  4. Review your marketing/sales operational teams. Do they really understand your market, your customers and the benefits you bring to them? What do you need to do to improve their business knowledge?

  5. Is your compensation plan effective? Did it achieve the results you wanted? Have your business objectives changed? If they have, your 2014 compensation plans may need to be altered. (Take our sales compensation assessment on our Web site.)

  6. Re-assess your CRM/sales metric dashboards for the entire year. What trends can you find or what activities need to be enhanced? Hold an individual salesperson review meeting to assess performance.

  7. What will be your "theme" for 2014? Define the top three objectives that you need to focus on during the first and second quarters?

  8. Schedule a "personal self-assessment" meeting, either with your manager or your peer team, or even perform a confidential 360-degree analysis by using your sales team to comment on what you are doing well and what needs to be improved.

  9. What new elements within your sales training plans for 2014 do you need to plan for? Outside training? A book club? More role playing? What do you need to do to improve the professionalism of your team?

  10. When is your 2014 Sales Kick-Off Meeting? Where will it be held? What will you announce and how will you energize your team with vision, fun and direction? 

Posted by Ken Thoreson on September 23, 2013