The hustle and bustle of the holiday season may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean revenue teams should slow down going into a new year. There are three things we as leaders can do to help keep momentum as we transition into a new year.
Analyze and prioritize leftover deals
Q4 is crunch time for many orgs, like mine, and even when we try our hardest you won’t close every deal in your pipeline by December 31st. I’ve never seen it happen.
So, as you start the new year with updated strategies and goals, don’t let those old opportunities fall through the cracks. As everyone gets back from the holidays, be realistic about your remaining 2022 pipeline and be clear about what your number one goal should be for 2023.
To stay realistic, take all the deals still sitting in your funnel and determine which deals can likely be closed. I recommend prioritizing the customers in your pipeline into four categories:
- Deals your team will definitely close
- Deals that aren’t definite but have a high likelihood of closing
- Deals that are a stretch
- Deals that are placeholders in your funnel, whether knowingly or unknowingly
Once you’ve identified those groups, get your team on the same page and avoid missing opportunities because of the holiday break.
Take the time to review where each deal is at and who is responsible for the next steps. You don’t want anyone on your team confused about who is supposed to be pushing a deal forward. You also want your team to have an accurate idea of which deals are likely to close in Q1.
Lots of deals about to cross the finish line? Get excited about how you have the chance to do even better than expected that quarter. Were a lot of the deals sitting in the pipeline actually unlikely to close? Now your sales team will know not to rely on those deals to hit their
Q1 goals while your marketing team can repurpose those prospects into a nurturing campaign. Keeping your GTM team motivated and aligned will reduce the January sales ramp period.
Implement team and customer feedback
During the end of the year, you likely gathered feedback from your team and customers. (If you haven’t already surveyed your company and customers on what you can do better, no time like the present!)
Now it’s time to work on implementing that feedback and suggested improvements. Here’s a few to think through:
- Do your sales reps need better support?
- Are customers asking for your solution to be packaged differently?
- Are customers requesting multiple payment options to keep your service?
- Are too few people involved in closing a deal? Too many?
- What has changed in your go-to-market strategy?
As you start the year, set aside time for getting new initiatives off the ground. Block off a couple of hours on your calendar and use the time to give clear instructions about the changes to everyone who will be making them and an explanation for why they are happening. Let your team know you’ll be checking back in to hear how the process is going.
The promise of the check-in is essential. Changing any process is difficult. The unfamiliar makes everyone a little anxious. People naturally want to stick to what makes them feel comfortable and where they already know they get positive results. But, by sharing the importance and reasoning behind the changes, you motivate your team. A future check-in helps keep everyone accountable and can address any issues which pop up.
Remembering all the balls you have in the air is impossible. Either set a reminder to check-in in a couple of weeks or a month. Or, draft a check-in email and schedule it now. The feedback and changes have a better chance of being implemented, and you can move on to the next task.
Instill confidence across the board
Your number one goal for 2023 should be to instill confidence in your team, prospects, and customers. The last couple of years has been defined by unexpected events, anxiety, and rapid adjustments and this year doesn’t seem to be letting up on those headwinds. By setting a clear prioritization path for deals and feedback implementation, you’ve already helped your team know what they should be doing and how they should approach it.
But what about your prospects and customers? In these macroeconomic times, there’s a great deal of uncertainty, especially from buyers. As much as you’re struggling to make decisions, their choices are exponentially more difficult. You can remedy this by instilling confidence – in your product, support, and team.
First, have your customer success team involved in deals from the beginning. When a prospect can experience the level of service that a customer would, it makes the transition easier and safer. The fears of being left high and dry begin to melt away.
Second, guarantee customer feedback and needs are getting the same attention as team and prospect needs. We can easily get distracted by new deals, but your current customers are the ones who are already trusting, paying, and committing to you. Retention depends on both holding up your end of the deal and continuing to impress the customer.
By helping your team, prospects, and customers feel heard, cared for, and valuable, you will lead everyone in the right direction for the new year.
Heading into the new year, your plan for success should start with these three items. We likely won’t be doing all of this work on our own (and we shouldn’t), but we can serve as a guide to our organizations to keep focused on what will ultimately help us win in 2023.
- Analyze and prioritize leftover deals
- Implement team and customer feedback
- Instill confidence across the board