Three Sales Resolutions You Can Make for 2018 — and Actually Keep

Sure, you could be like the 37 percent of Americans who resolve to eat better, exercise more, and save money in the New Year, but we all know how that ends. By the time Groundhog Day rolls around in February, 92 percent of us have resumed our usual bad habits and the resolutions go back on the shelf to gather dust for another year. But, work resolutions are different. Right? Right.

Psychologists suggest the majority of us fail to keep our personal resolutions because we set the bar too high, or have unrealistic expectations. So we’re not going to do that. We’re going to make three (not five, not ten) totally doable resolutions that will not only transform how you execute sales this year, but may even free up some extra time for that morning run you promised yourself you’d start doing come January 1st. Ready? Here we go:

1. Slash your CRM admin time.

Your reps spend way too many hours populating opportunity fields and documenting deal status in CRM when they could actually be in the field — making sales. There’s a better way to capture deal progress and customer communications, one that will significantly reduce the  administrative burden on your reps. Start by making it super simple for them to quickly update their deals, focusing on just a select set of fields that really matter, instead of boiling the ocean. And of course mobile access is key, so reps can record important exchanges, the minute they exit a meeting — in the cab on the way to the airport, while everything is still fresh in their mind. No more waiting until they’re back in the office (or at home after putting the kids to bed) to recap meeting particulars.

Remember the 92 percent that resume their bad habits just a few weeks into the new year? That’s less likely to happen here because much of your reps’ activity data is recorded for them — automatically harvested from their emails and calendar. That means they no longer have to manually record every meeting and email exchange. By eliminating all the tedious data entry, you free up your reps to spend more time - selling. And, because data is captured in real time, you get the added bonus of immediate visibility into the true health of deals. Win/win. 

2. Do more coaching and less interrogating.

Now that you’ve freed up your reps’ time, make sure you’re not spending it playing catch up during your 1:1 meetings, scrutinizing every detail of every opportunity.

Your 1:1 meetings with your reps are your chance to talk strategy and coach them to cultivate those deals with the best chance of closing. With resolution #1 above you’ll have more complete and up-to-date deal data, so you won’t have to squander valuable 1:1 time grilling your reps for details. So, how do you do that? You review the status of deals and leverage AI and predictive insights to flag opportunities that may be at risk. You review slipped deals and figure out next plays to possibly bring those deals in early next quarter. With real-time insights at your fingertips, you don’t need the play by play from your rep. You can just get on with your 1:1 and focus on  guiding your team and motivating them to crush quota. 

3. Stay on top of your pipeline.

Resolve to keep a pulse on the health of your patch. Today a lot of it relies on chasing your reps, but AI and machine learning are increasingly adding historical context and predictive insights that provide visibility like never before. With AI-based opportunity scoring, you can quickly see which deals are likely to  close and which may be at risk and require more attention. You can also compare the health of each deal against actual activity to ensure reps are spending time on the opportunities with the best chance of closing. You can even go as far as understanding exactly how much pipeline you need to generate to hit your number next quarter. Sure, you still have to do your homework, and use your instincts, but with better pipeline visibility (fueled by real-time data and AI) you can make sure your patch is always set up for success — this quarter and next.

Your sales execution relies on these resolutions and they are all achievable. In fact, by this time next year, your sales execution process can be so efficient, you may have to actually join a gym to take advantage of all that spare time. Find out how Clari can help you ace your sales goals for 2018!

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