In this Article 10 Questions To Ask Your Sales & Marketing Managers Before the Year Begins1. Is your Ideal Client Profile (ICP) Properly Defined?2. Does the Market need your product or service?3. Have you established a Sales Training Program?4. Do you have a Winning Sales Strategy?5. Is your Selling Process Defined?6. Is your Sales Support Structure in Place?7. Do you have the Right Sales Team in Place?8. Are your Sales Goals Aligned with the Corporate Goals?9. Keeping clients is less expensive than acquiring new clients.10. Sales training is not something that comes in a can! It is not something that is done in a week!Conclusion Introduction If you didn’t adjust your selling tactics in 2022, don’t wait any longer! Now is the time to adjust and prepare for the upcoming year. We remain optimistic about the economy and know that those planning are ahead of the sales game and will thrive in 2023. Be ready; the New Year is right around the corner! 2022 was full of surprises and disappointments, but it also offered many opportunities as they adjusted their businesses and focused on what they could control. These difficult times call for a strong tactical plan for the New Year. Read further to find out the questions you need to ask managers before the year begins. 10 Questions To Ask Your Sales & Marketing Managers Before the Year Begins As a new year approaches, businesses must set the stage for success by aligning their sales and marketing strategies. Engaging in open and collaborative discussions with your sales and marketing managers is essential to ensure a strong start. By asking the right questions, you can gain valuable insights, identify potential challenges, and establish clear objectives for the upcoming year. 1. Is your Ideal Client Profile (ICP) Properly Defined? Defining or profiling your organization’s ideal client is important to ensure focus and consistency. By defining your target, salespeople can have a laser-like direction in pursuing new business, and managers know what is good and bad. Taking on business is important in down economic times, but taking good business is more important. To survive, many companies deviate from their targets; this may work in the short run, but without a focus, salespeople may drift away from profitable business, or management may take too many risks to achieve growth. Stay within your profile; the company and your salespeople will find success much more rewarding. 2. Does the Market need your product or service? Over the years, many entrepreneurs have approached us knowing they had the best idea ever. Some ideas seem great, but others are too advanced for the average user to understand. Many ideas are strong, but the targeted market application wouldn’t bear fruit. Even if you’ve been in business for years, you must evaluate your position in the market. You must know if your customers still demand your product or have the competition has grown beyond your capabilities. 3. Have you established a Sales Training Program? Sales Training programs need to develop consistency throughout the sales team. Each sales professional typically has nuances that make them successful, which I would never change, but delivering the message consistently and touching all the key points in the sales process is essential. Sales training should reinforce the positives and work towards strengthening their weaknesses. Focus on specific areas of concern, then take immediate corrective actions so bad habits don’t formulate. Even the top sales professionals should welcome new ideas and look forward to gaining tips and ideas to win new business. Use your top salespeople as guides to help your underperforming reps. Remember, training is a lifetime event, not a weekend seminar! 4. Do you have a Winning Sales Strategy? Before each year, the sales strategy needs to be analyzed for 5 key elements – Target, Direction, Methods, Management, and Success. Are you aiming at the right target? Has your direction been laid out, and is it understood? Have you prepared your team with the right methods and tools? Do you have methods of measurement to monitor success, and have you hired the right people? Can you verify where you’ve been successful, and are you celebrating your success? Selling is difficult enough, so remember to find your target, align your goals, measure your success, and celebrate your victories. 5. Is your Selling Process Defined? Managers need to align their processes to meet corporate expectations. To effectively manage sales and grow an organization, the selling process must be properly communicated and educated to the front line and the support team. I’ve seen 24-step and 4-step sales processes within organizations. Neither is right unless the result can be effectively and efficiently communicated and managed. Managers, Executives, and Board Members rely on the consistency and accuracy of the sales team, so proper alignment is essential to growth and stability. 6. Is your Sales Support Structure in Place? Sales professionals are only as successful as the support team around them. Sales support includes finance for pricing, technical assistance for the bits and bytes talk, marketing for lead generation and communication, proposal and research teamwork, and executive support to close the deals. Sales will not be effective if the team is not complete. Working as a team is the key to future success. 7. Do you have the Right Sales Team in Place? Have you spent the necessary time evaluating the hiring process within your organization? Have you formally reviewed each salesperson’s semi- and annual performance? Have you implemented a sales training program that is continual throughout the year and reinforces your established selling process? Hiring the right people eliminates struggles further down the road. You’ll be ready to succeed if you have dedicated professionals with a targeted focus. 8. Are your Sales Goals Aligned with the Corporate Goals? Review and verify your sales incentives. Many times, sales goals are not aligned to meet real corporate requirements. If your company needs to achieve a higher result in a specific area, confirm you’ve placed enough performance-based incentives on the targeted area. Salespeople sell where they make money; it’s that simple. Sales will lean towards individual financial success if incentives are weighed toward achieving financial success versus corporate requirements. Each year quotas and commission plans should be evaluated and tested. 9. Keeping clients is less expensive than acquiring new clients. It is imperative to work directly with your existing clients and make sure you are exceeding their expectations. Working closely right now is the most important time you can spend. 10. Sales training is not something that comes in a can! It is not something that is done in a week! Proper sales training is ongoing and focuses on your company, client, product, and process. Beware of sales training that fits every company. Training a team of sales professionals depends on many factors and must be ongoing and reinforced throughout the year. Making adjustments to your team will ensure earlier success for next year. Reducing sales cycles and eliminating non-selling activity should be a focus for the management team. Increasing effectiveness through proper hiring practices targeted marketing campaigns, and ongoing training programs will result in success for 2023, which can’t wait until next month. Conclusion We are the sales outsourcing pioneers and have developed the industry’s most effective and proven process. Our repeatable S.O.L.D.™ methodology has been implemented in many Fortune 500 companies and within small and mid-sized organizations across the globe. Our success speaks for itself and has resulted in well over $15B in revenue generated for our clients since our founding in 1998.