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5 Elements to a Winning 2023 Sales Game Plan

Every leader needs a game plan. This time of year, football teams (and fans) gear up for the Super Bowl. Coaches are busy developing strategies that will lead their players to ultimate success. Sales leaders are much like coaches. They need to set clear goals and empower their teams to crush them. They need a game plan.

A new year is full of potential. Armed with the previous year’s lessons and successes, team members can up their game as they reach higher than ever. Just like in football, the short game is about hitting targets and scoring goals. The long game is about team empowerment and professional growth. 

There’s a lot riding on Sales strategy, and it’s more than just setting the right goals. It’s about empowering a team, promoting collaboration, and providing the right tools and skills.

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For a game-changer strategy, consider these touchdown plays: 

  1. Huddle: Every sales organization has its own structure, and each team has its own DNA. That said, try to include everyone across the organization when you openly share goals, numbers, and strategy for the upcoming year. It’s important that all team members are included, and that each feels they have a voice. It’s just as important that all teams have a clear understanding of the past year, and a transparent view of the goals of the one to come.
  1. The Right Stuff: It’s a new year, so introduce more than just new goals. Offer new value. This includes, but isn’t limited to, new products, processes, and tools. Sales enablement is an ongoing process that should include building on existing skills while acquiring new ones. If you’ve updated your product offering, improved your processes, or consolidated your sales tech stack, now is the perfect time to get everyone on the same page. 
  1. We’ve Got Spirit: Every game has its own pep talk. A moment of motivation, a reminder to the team who they are, how they got here, and the goals they need to achieve more. The beginning of a new calendar year is the Super Bowl of pep talks. It’s a golden opportunity to reflect back on the past year, look ahead at the next, and provide inspiration. No self-respecting coach would ever send their team onto the field armed with just inspiration alone. They would provide each player with the right gear to empower their success. Sales leaders are no different. Don’t let a good pep talk go to waste. Get your team the right sales tools to empower their success and keep them driven throughout the year. 
  1. Team Building: Whether they’re chatting over lunch, or clinking glasses at Happy Hour, facilitate the connection between team members. Give them opportunities to get to know each other and understand different roles and how they fit into the organization as a whole. Connection goes beyond person-to-person. It’s about linking management and field, aligning various locations and positions, and cultivating a sense of belonging and team spirit to fuel the future. 
  1. Fun: The number one reason kids quit sports is because ‘it’s not fun anymore’. It’s true for grownups in the workplace, too. All work and no play makes for a very dull team, and also, for a tough organization to stay in. View your end-of-year as a celebration of accomplishments. Showcase success stories, throw a good party, and more than anything, remember to have fun. The Journal of Managerial Psychology ran a meta-analysis on positive humor in the workplace. Turns out, having a fun atmosphere at work reduces stress, encourages personal bonding, and improves mental health. It also helps defuse disagreements and increases the sense of belonging. Another good reason to have fun is better-perceived leader-performance. In giving your team an opportunity to have fun, you’re not giving up leadership and authority, you’re actually strengthening it. 

As the year is reaching the end zone and dust has settled over the Q4 field, the scoreboard is reset. This is the perfect time for post-game analysis. This isn’t a Monday morning quarterback move. It’s a strategic one. Learn from the experience, and get near real-time feedback to better understand what worked and what can be improved. Get the insight you need to keep the momentum going for the rest of the year, and come back bigger and better than ever before. 

Sales

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