Position Yourself For Success In the New Year With These Tips

the new year

No matter how the previous year went, there’s always an opportunity for success in the new year. With thoughtful planning, motivation and effort, you can make this new year your best yet. 

New year, new opportunities for success

Erica Schultz, from RAIN Group, recently shared a whopping 66 tips for salespeople that will help them boost efficiency, productivity and, of course, sales. “…while there isn’t one thing that’ll magically transform your sales ability, there are many (mostly simple) things you can do to help boost your overall sales performance,” she explains. 

Schultz even groups her tips into categories that target different aspects of selling and sellers. 

New sellers

Are you new to the sales profession? You’re in luck because there are tips that specifically cater to new sellers. This new year, Schultz recommends making a concentrated effort to adopt specific strategies as a newbie. Below are a couple of highlights:

  • Focus on solutions. It can be easy to get swept up in touting benefits and features, especially when you’re new to selling. Instead, focus on showing prospects how your product or service can specifically help them. This year, strive to let solutions lead your efforts.
  • Prospecting is important. Forget the old-​school mindset of “Always Be Closing.” Instead, put an emphasis on prospecting. “The best way to get over a lost sale is to move onto the next sale in your pipeline,” Schultz explains. “If your pipeline is empty, it’s much more difficult to recover. Top performers are always working to fill the front end of their pipelines by creating new conversations every day.” As you start this year, make it a habit to always keep prospecting top of mind.

Virtual sellers

Likely, there will be even more opportunities for virtual selling this year. Are you prepared? Are you confident in your skills? As January starts, take time to consider your virtual selling strategies. To make sure you are ready for digital success in the new year, check out this must-​do from Schultz: 

  • Determine your “virtual advantage.” When you sell virtually, what experience are you giving buyers? Every aspect, from the lighting to engagement options, impact this experience. This year, boost your digital selling by determining what experience you specifically can deliver. “Using visuals, audio, and content—such as video, screen shares, screen annotation, and virtual whiteboards—effectively will create an engaging experience for buyers and help you gain a virtual advantage over other sellers,” Schultz advises. 

Needs discovery

Pledge to improve your needs discovery process this year. Doing so will help ensure that you uncover the real needs and challenges of prospects so that you can offer a truly perfect solution for each. Consider Schultz’s suggestions for needs discovery, including these two tips:

  • Ask the right questions. Make this the year you ask the right questions. To truly uncover each prospect’s unique pain points, you have to ask thoughtful questions. Schultz recommends asking a broad mix of questions. “Ask both afflictions-​based (pain) and future-​seeking (aspirational) questions about hopes, goals, and objectives,” she writes. “This will allow you to uncover the broadest set of buyer needs.” Also, be proactive and send out questions prior to a call or meeting; this allows you to look over the responses for a thoughtful discussion later. For more questions to add to your discovery process this year, check out these past articles from SalesFuel
  • Practice cadence. If you haven’t considered the tempo of your needs discovery, now is the time. You must balance discussions to avoid overwhelming the prospect and ensure you’re staying on track with the discovery. As Schultz suggests, “Hook buyers with a solution, case study, or fascinating facts within the first 30 seconds of your meetings. Then, keep them engaged with additional needs discovery questions every three minutes.”

Just the beginning for a stellar year

These tips, along with the many more that Schultz provides, can help you make this new year a successful one, for both you and your prospects.

Photo by Metro Creative Graphics, Inc. 

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision-​makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.