So, you had SKO 2023 and rolled out a new GTM motion along with this year's sales territories. How's Q1 going so far?
This post is for the revenue leaders out there who spent Q4 in endless planning. The ones who have spent their January in SKOs and board meetings. The ones who are now getting down to business, to execute all their 2023 plans.
Any of this sound familiar?
- The approved financial plan has fewer heads than you hoped for, maybe even fewer than last year.
- Growth targets aren't as aggressive as 2022, but they definitely aren’t flat.
- That growth is supposed to come from new efficiencies that will result from a change in sales motion - going upmarket, focusing on a specific customer segment, leaning on install base expansions, doubling down on full-cycle reps in lieu of SDRs, relying on PLG.
- You've sold the new strategy hard at sales kickoff and convinced your team that this is a great opportunity for your company, how great sellers thrive in situations like, everyone is leaning into the new strategy, and you're going to crush it.
Now, it's time for reality. Time to execute. So what do revenue leaders need to focus on for the first few months of the year?
Closely monitor performance to identify quick opportunities for improvement
Don't wait for Q2 to tweak your new processes. Pay attention to major and minor KPIs now, so you can find issues as they happen - and before they show up in your attainment numbers.
Focus. Are your reps focused on the right accounts, the right activities? Are they motivated and excited?
Coverage. Are you covering your market the way your territory plan intended? Are you over or under-indexing in any areas?
Effectiveness. Are your early outreach tactics working? What kind of responses are you getting? Are you creating opportunities at an acceptable rate? How does inbound look so far this year?
Get serious about coaching
If you haven't yet, be sure your frontline managers get a coaching refresher. Equip them with the data and tools they need to provide actionable and customized feedback to each rep. A few areas to consider:
The accounts they're working. Just because an account is in a rep's territory or book, it doesn't mean that account is getting covered. And just because you coach reps to focus on specific areas, it doesn't mean they are. Teach managers to identify gaps and opportunities in reps' territory coverage.
The activities they do. Make sure you can see where reps are spending their time and how that impacts the number of accounts they're contacting and the depth of that engagement. Review it weekly with your team and coach to it. You should have some idea about how much and what kinds of activities are most highly correlated to success; be sure managers know that too and are coaching reps on how to do those activities.
The messages they're using. If you've updated your messaging or talking points for 2023, be sure managers are fluent in the new messaging and they're prepared to work with reps on it. It can take some time for new positioning to really sink in, so you'll need to work on this again and again.
Find opportunities for creativity
We know that creativity flourishes under constraint. If you're like many sales teams, you're probably facing a number of new constraints this year. Use these as an opportunity to get creative. Focus on a few areas where sellers can get really creative in their outreach, like these.
Compelling. It's going to be harder to sell right now. So your outreach needs to be as directly connected to positive, compelling outcomes as you can get it. Build a persuasive argument with data, testimonials, direct language, and more.
Relevant. As always, it's important to personalize sales outreach. If that means reps need to focus on fewer accounts to spend more time crafting relevant messages, that's okay. 10 highly targeted emails are probably better than 20 generic ones.
Unique. Make your outreach stand out. What can set your outreach apart from everything else prospects are getting right now? This is a great opportunity for sellers to flex their creative muscles and find interesting and new ways to make contact.
What else are you doing to succeed over the next few months?