Year-End Questions for Sales Professionals as the Sun Sets on 2013

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I spent the past week reflecting back on 2013 and reviewing plans for the year ahead. Yesterday, some dear friends provided a tour of their favorite spots in the Florida Keys. While the Lobster Rueben sandwich, beaches and chocolate dipped frozen Key Lime Pie on a stick were beyond fantastic, the sunset pictured above (taken last night at the west edge of Marathon Key) was the highlight of the day and inspired this post.

Sales leaders and sales professionals, as the sun sets on 2013, here are a few questions for reflection:

1.  If you were truly honest, what percent of your work time did you truly own in 2013? Said differently, how much of your time was spent on your highest payoff revenue-creating activity vs. the amount of time doing everything else? And how did this allocation of time effect your results?

2.  Which strategies you tried to implement in 2013 failed to produce the desired outcome? Would you be wiser to abandon those strategies or recommit to them going forward?

3.  What were your biggest “time-suckers” in 2013? Who or what is draining your energy, stealing your time or filling up your calendar with the wrong things? And how can you prevent the same from occurring in 2014?

4.  Who were your go-to resources in 2013? Who was on your team? Or who should’ve been? Michael Hyatt, in his book Platform, talks about the importance of his Pit Crew. That concept really challenged me last year. Who should be on your Pit Crew?

5.  What time were you waking up this past year? Did you spend your early mornings feeding your brain and body, and tackling high-value activities, or responding to emails? I’ve been studying how many high-performers spend their early mornings and was intrigued how almost all of them have a similar routine. (And that routine looks nothing like how most sales managers and salespeople spend their mornings.)

6.  Did you write and regularly refer back to an Individual Business Plan for 2013? Were your specific goals in writing along with key strategies and activities you committed to executing?

7.  How did you invest in your own personal and professional development in 2013? As my old business partner would say, “if you are not growing, then you are dying.” If you consider yourself a professional, there is zero excuse to not invest in your own growth.

8.  Regarding your own new business development sales process in 2013, did you have…

a)  A finite, focused, written, workable Target List (of prospects, accounts, customers, clients, referral sources, etc.)?

b)  A succinct, compelling, customer-issue-focused, differentiating sales story?

c)  Time in your calendar blocked for prospecting and proactively pursuing new pieces of business?


I am asking myself and those around me these questions, and I hope you are, too. Thank you, again, for a fantastic 2013. Wishing you and yours a truly happy, joy-filled, productive, profitable and meaningful New Year!


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