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How to Plan Your 2018 Sales Strategy

3 min readJanuary 15, 2018

Define Your Specific Goals

Harvard University found that those who stick to a specific, goal-oriented, plan performed 30 percent better than those who don’t. So, to truly perform this year, you must create a highly defined plan for 2018. Outside of numbers like revenue, set goals for activities that lead to wins. Look back at your biggest wins of 2017 and reverse engineer success. How many phone calls did it take to contact them? How many emails were sent? What contacts lead to decisions? Set goals around the number of calls you want to make this year, the amount of conversations you want to have, or the number of quotes you want to send.

It’s almost cliché to say, but your goals have to be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, if you look at 2017 and see that all your biggest wins originated from a cold call, make it a goal to dial more often. To make it a S.M.A.R.T goal, set a specific number of calls per day that is within your ability to reach.

Prioritize your goals

Next, prioritize your activity and revenue goals. Consider which goals contribute the most value when hit, and aim to achieve those first. Find which activities directly trace to the most revenue. You can also weigh the ROI on certain goals. A very time-intensive goal may provide the most value, but can it overcome an activity that can be done at scale? For example, spending 30 minutes crafting a extremely personalized one-off email will likely increase your response rate. But, even if you dedicated an entire eight hour work day to creating them, you’d only be able to send 16. Compare that that to an email program with some level of personalization. You can likely send several hundred in less than an hour.

Divide and Conquer

Plan 2018 GoalsNow that you have your goals prioritized, break them down into halves, quarters, months, weeks, and days. Setting micro-goals in the form of number of calls, emails, or conversations per day helps you focus on the small steps. By breaking down your goals, you know the numbers you need to hit every week and month to make your year, which serves as a built-in review process. It is important to be flexible however. You must consider slower times of the year like popular vacation dates and holidays, but you can also use tradeshow months as an accelerator.

Set Defined review periods

Speaking of review periods, it’s important to schedule specific times to meet with your sales manager. Examine your current progress versus your overall goals. If you’re off track, work with your manager to adjust your strategy. Also, working with your sales manager allows them to see the investments that need to be made into you as an individual, as well as you team.

Find the Investments that You Need

Working with your sales manager, see if there are any tools or trainings that can help improve your performance in 2018. Dialers increase efficiency, and productivity applications alleviate many of the administrative tasks reps must perform after each call. By streamlining your sales process, you can spend more time selling.