As a former Sales Manager and General Manager, December was always an interesting month. And the reason why: it was BONUS month. It was the month to prod, cajole, incentivize, and yes even beg the sellers to get out there and close the year strong!
2013 is Over
There was only one problem with that. The year was over. Yes, I know, empathize, and frankly agree that if you are only a few dollars short of getting your year-end bonus, you should do everything within your power to do so.
However, the fact of the matter was most years I knew it was highly unlikely, improbable, and even impossible to reach that year-end bonus money. But even if that was the case, we should do everything within our power to squeeze every dime we can out of the year. Right? Wrong!!
You see while we continue to push and push for every dime this year, we are stepping over next year’s dollar to pick up that dime. Intellectually everyone agrees that you reap the fruits of your labor 60 to 90 days later. Unfortunately when we try to get every possible dime out of the year, we are in fact impacting our level of success for the first quarter of the next year. And everyone can agree that if you start the year behind, it makes it doubly tough to catch up.
So here are some suggestions for this year that will impact next year’s business:
- Focus your December efforts on making sure your sellers are executing and implementing their 2014 key account growth plans.
- Make sure to meet with all of your top clients and do more than just thank them for their business. Ask about their challenges, their expectations of you and your company for 2014, and their level of comfort with your service in 2013.
- This December make sure your sellers are talking to their key clients about any big events that could impact marketing and their digital needs for 2014.
- This December make sure your sellers are completing and executing their annual success planning.
- Focus on first quarter and all of 2014 sales.
- Use the slower time during the holidays to invest in your people. If you have not done so recently, redo your management plans for all of your sellers.
- What are your biggest opportunities for 2014 and what is your plan to make it happen?
- Seek advice and suggestions for improvement from those you work with on a consistent basis: your clients, your supervisor, your peers, your mentor, and yes, your direct reports.
Because face it; the year is over. 2013 is in the books. 2014 is where the big money is.
So don’t step over a 2014 dollar to pick up a 2013 dime. And next year, have that bonus in the bag in October.
Does each one of your salespeople have a growth plan for their largest accounts? Download our Key Account Growth Plan and get started!