Performance Management

How To Start Your Sales Team Strong in 2017


It doesn’t take too many days into the New Year to realize that most of our resolutions won’t hold up. Your ClassPass free trial is already expired, your swear jar is full of change, and those pesky carbs have found their way back to your heart. But when it comes to your sales team, the New Year isn’t about making unrealistic changes, it’s about creating momentum that will drive you through the rest of the year. You don’t have to break records in January for it to be meaningful—focusing on that strong start will deliver results all on its own. Here are some great ways that you can get started on the right foot this year.  

Build Solid Teams

Building a great team is easier said than done. Few personalities are more dominant than sales folks, and someone that doesn’t fit well with your company’s culture can stand out in an instant. In fact, bad hires can cost a business something to the tune of $50K, according to Fast Company. But beyond the financial concerns, a good hire does a lot more than save a company money: they’re gaining you momentum. Have you ever gone to the gym with a friend since you got that new membership on January 1st? You’ve probably noticed that you work out a lot harder. That’s not an accident—it’s a part of human nature. Competition, as Entrepreneur says, inherently makes us stronger. When you create great teams, everyone’s more eager to push that much harder.  

Ask The Right Questions

There have already been a lot of articles this year (the introduction to this post notwithstanding) about how New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. So what’s the better path to self-improvement? Should we throw out this whole “New Year, New Me” concept altogether? Maybe not. It starts with asking yourself the right questions. Instead of promising yourself a new habit, ask what habits you could get rid of or improve? Are your reps prospecting every day? What’s wrong with your close rates? What has helped us grow every quarter? When you self-diagnose as a sales force, it helps you to chart a realistic path forward to improvement.  

Set Goals

Once you know what you do or don’t do well, then it’s time to set some goals for yourself. Whether it’s numbers that everyone needs to hit every month, or a competition that everyone can get in on, having a goal or endpoint that comes before the close of Q4 can be a majorly motivating factor for everyone on the floor.  

Keep Everybody Accountable

But at the end of the day, if you’re not holding your people to their goals, then they just won’t get done. Public accountability, answering to the whole team, can be a great way to get started. When people know that their word is on the line, and there’e someone (or a lot of someones) who can hold them to it, the motivation and energy you always knew were there tend to reveal themselves. Remember: whether 2016 was one you’ll always remember or a year you’re very eager to forget, you don’t have to completely transform yourself to have a great 2017. Focus on getting a strong burst in these crucial first weeks, and watch as that momentum brings you into a strong new year. Good luck!