No leader knows what the future holds, and no coach can fully predict every move their opponents could potentially make. That’s why they need to be ready for any situation and future-proof their strategy. They need a game plan, so here it is!
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 to achieve objectives.
“Those teams that have been most successful are the ones that have demonstrated the greatest commitment to their people.” – Bill Walsh, former Head Coach, San Francisco 49ers.
Looking for a game-changer strategy? Here are your touchdown plays:
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 smart goals for sales success, as well as analytical insight, and guided 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.
- Actual New
It’s a new year, so introduce more than just new goals. Introduce new value. This includes, but isn’t limited to, new products, processes, and tools. 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.
- We’ve Got Spirit
Every game has its own pep talk. A moment of motivation, a reminder to the team about who they are, how they got here, and the goals they need to achieve if they are to progress. 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 to motivate action.
No coach would send a team onto the field armed with just inspiration. They would provide each player with practical steps to accelerate 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.
- 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.
“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” – Vince Lombardi, legendary NFL Head Coach.
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, just 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 them.
Lou Holtz, former Head Coach of the New York Jets, once said, “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.”
Just as the year is reaching the end zone and dust has settled over the 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 experience, and get near real-time feedback to better understand what worked and what can be improved. Get the insight you need to keep on track and sustain the momentum for the rest of the year.
“Every experience, good or bad, you have to learn from.” – Patrick Mahomes, KC Chiefs Quarterback.