5 New Year’s resolutions for sales leaders

By Graham Collins
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5 New Year’s resolutions for sales leaders

Even though it’s possible to change or improve your habits at any time, having a new year seems like a perfect time to do so. It’s a brand new calendar, you’re typically coming off a vacation, and everyone around you will be talking about resolutions. So here are a few ideas for New Year’s resolutions if you manage salespeople.

Coach more, close less

If you manage a sales team, you probably have a background in exceeding your own personal quotas. You’re likely a great salesperson, so when a deal gets stuck for someone on your team it’s second nature to jump in and get it closed. Starting this new year, when your rep is struggling, step back and explain the best way to get it closed. It will help them learn the process and save you time in the long run.

Prioritize your weekly one-on-ones

Don’t let your one-on-one meeting time fall to the wayside. This is a very important block of time for the people on your team, as it’s their time to give feedback and share their voice. Don’t control the flow of the one-on-one, instead focus on what they want to talk about, how they feel they could improve, and what they want to change. If there’s time after they have said everything they want to say, you can jump in and give feedback or tell them what’s on your mind.

Recognize and invest in your teams’ strengths

Say you need to run training on negotiating to kick off 2020, but everyone on the team is tired of your old Powerpoint. This is a perfect opportunity to grab your top negotiator and ask them to run the training. Not only does it make them feel good about being recognized for their skills, but it also allows your team a wider base of knowledge.

Improve transparency and align the team

The best way to keep your team accountable is to measure them. While this can easily grow out of control, (I’m imagining a sales floor filled floor to ceiling with Minority Report style screens) a good amount of transparency is always a good thing.

Take time to reflect. This year, did all of your reps know how they stack up against their peers? Did they know how much each deal was earning them? How close the team was to their team goal? Quick plug for QuotaPath, because with QuotaPath you can see all of that automatically… and free!

Never stop learning

If I’m being honest, I’ve never been a very strong reader. I’m the kind of person who would rather get a Cliffsnotes version of The Great Gatsby than force myself to sit down and focus on it. However, when I started managing people I discovered that if I listen to an audiobook version and read along to a physical book I can fly through books and retain nearly all of it. Most of my management knowledge comes from books, listening to podcasts, reading articles, and meetups with my peers.

If you’re looking to kick off the new year with some books, here is the list from my blog post My favorite sales books: Sales Acceleration Formula, The Challenger Sale, Extreme Ownership, and How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling.

Remember, New Year’s resolutions are all about improvement, not perfection. That’s why we focus on ways to keep improving, not a hard left turn from the way you’re currently managing your sales team. Get better every single day and by the time next year rolls around you’ll be a totally different manager! If you have some resolutions that have worked for you in the past, I’d love to hear them. You can always email me at graham@quotapath.com.

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