How to close the sales year and have a strong start to the new year

The end of the year can be a hectic time for Salespeople. December is a time when most people are focused on doing their Christmas shopping and making plans for the new year.

However, salespeople are concerned about hitting their yearly sales targets. If your end of year sales campaigns haven’t made much of an impact this year, it can make the holiday season a particularly stressful time.

But what if we told you that the year doesn’t have to end on a negative?

That’s right, with enough focus, a strategic plan, and an effective and experienced Sales Trainer, you can end the year on a positive note, and most of all, enjoy the holiday season.

End of year for Sales Leaders

For sales leaders, closing the sales year successfully and setting the stage for a strong start to the new year requires strategic planning, effective execution, and a focus on key areas. Firstly “plan your activity year. As a sales manager you should be planning to spend 60% of your time with your team, driving and pushing results.

  • Conduct a thorough review of the current year’s performance. Analyse sales metrics, revenue figures, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Understand what worked well and areas that need improvement.
  • Establish realistic and measurable sales goals for the upcoming year. Ensure that these goals align with overall company objectives.
  • Break down annual goals into quarterly, monthly, and weekly targets for better tracking and accountability.
  • Assess the effectiveness of current sales strategies and tactics. Identify what contributed to success and what needs adjustment.
  • Consider emerging trends, customer preferences, and changes in the market that might impact sales strategies.
  • Recognise and celebrate the achievements of the sales team during the current year. This boosts morale and motivation.
  • Conduct team-building activities to foster a positive and collaborative environment.
  • Identify areas where the sales team could benefit from additional sales training or skill development. This may include product knowledge, objection handling, or negotiation skills.
  • Invest in professional development programs to enhance the team’s capabilities.
  • Streamline and optimise sales processes to improve efficiency. This may involve updating CRM systems, revising sales scripts, or re-evaluating lead qualification criteria.
  • Seek feedback from the sales team to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
  • Develop strategies to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers, increasing the lifetime value of each client.
  • Introduce incentives and rewards for achieving specific sales targets. This could include bonuses, recognition, or other perks to motivate the sales team.
  • Consider running sales contests to add excitement and foster healthy competition.
  • Develop a detailed sales plan for the upcoming year that outlines strategies, tactics, and resource requirements.
  • Communicate the plan clearly to the sales team and ensure alignment with the overall business strategy.
  • Regularly monitor sales performance against set targets. Implement a system for tracking progress and adjusting strategies as needed.
  • Stay agile and be ready to adapt to changes in the market or internal dynamics.
Don't underestimate Sales Activity in December. Wrap up loose ends to close more sales before the end of year.

Don’t underestimate Sales Activity during December

Many salespeople make the mistake of thinking that sales slow down in December.

On the contrary, the best sales trainers will know that the last few weeks of December can have some of the highest conversion rates of the year.

While many salespeople choose to take time off during the holidays, they could be missing opportunities, as many people are still around for holiday sales!

There are always sales to be made, especially when businesses typically offer markdowns during this time. A good salesperson acknowledges that they will have to work a little harder during the holiday season to see results. While your prospects are slowing down, you can take this opportunity to make extra calls when possible and strengthen that emotional contract.

This will lead you to closing more deals before the end of the year. And if not, it will at least give you a starting point to pick up from in the new year!

The importance of Pipeline Management

Deals that you know for sure aren’t going to be closed in December can be a distraction.

Do you want to:

  • Improve Sales Performance?
  • Have more consistency with Sales numbers?

Pipeline Management is the answer you are looking for.

As we move towards the end of the year, having too many deals in your pipeline can be counter productive. It can lead your focus away from the right deals, and leave you wasting time on deals that are going to be a slow burn.

Here are some tips to consider when tidying up your December Pipeline:

  • Does the prospect want or need your product or service?
  • How urgently do they need your product or service – can it wait until the new year?

If you’re still unsure, consider a quick follow up call to decide if it is a ‘dead lead’ or not. Don’t be afraid to be direct. Save everyone time and ask the prospect whether it is likely they will make a decision before the end of year, or if you should follow them up next year – This will help with setting you up for a good start to the new year.

It’s always worth taking the time to tidy up your Pipeline, to help with keeping you on track towards the end of year and beyond.

Tidy up your Sales Pipeline at the end of the year.

Appreciate your Sales Team

It’s important to acknowledge and appreciate your sales team and the hard work they put in, especially at the end of the year.

Some benefits of showing appreciation to your sales team include:

  • Increasing morale – Salespeople love to receive recognition, particularly when they meet or exceed their targets or close a big deal.
  • Motivating your team – By ensuring your team are motivated, your employees will feel inspired to work harder towards reaching their goals.
  • Boosting confidence – When a salesperson is confident, they’re more likely to win leads, and not take it personally when they don’t.
  • Making the team feel valued – Sales Teams who feel valued are typically more motivated to succeed and have increased job satisfaction rates.

It’s a good idea to celebrate each person for what made them stand-out, rather than having just one ‘Salesperson of the year’.

Some ways you can show your appreciation to your team include:

  • Offering incentives
  • Rewarding success
  • Organising a team lunch or dinner
  • Organising unique awards for each person

Prepare for the New Year

The way you end the sales year can strongly impact your start to the new year.

The habits you make will likely carry over into next year, so it’s important that you end the year on a positive, to prepare you for the next.

Investing in professional development including Sales Training, Sales Management Training, or Sales Pipeline Training can be a great way to start the new year on a positive note, and get the team motivated for a great year of sales. Training is also a good way of getting the team to break old habits that may have held them back this year, and learn new strategies and techniques to boost their sales in the new year.

Don’t make the mistake of giving up on meeting sales targets before the end of the year.

Take the time to plan out how you are going to tackle the holiday season in sales to end the year on a high note and have a strong start to 2024. Engage with one of KONA’s Sales Trainers today!

Find out how KONA can help your Sales Team have a strong start to the new year by locking in your tailored Sales Training Program today!  

Call 1300 611 288 or Email [email protected]