Statistically speaking, this is the point in the month when many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions. Then again, most people aren’t salespeople. Whether you’re still going strong on your original New Year’s Resolution or are ready to reset, let’s keep the Resolutions going because salespeople never quit and never get tired of giving it their all. Because we know salespeople are just a teeny bit busy, we took the liberty of organizing the Resolutions we received into categories and top sales trends for 2019. And now, read on to learn what some of the top sales leaders are prioritizing for 2019. Then, don’t forget to check out our own Max Altschuler’s top sales predictions and see how they stacked up!
Trend 1: Sales Resolutions around Cross-Departmental Orchestration and Better Handoffs in the Buyer’s Journey
We at Sales Hacker absolutely love this trend because, at the end of the day, orchestration is really just Silicon Valley speak for empathy. We are amazed at how many sales leaders told us that their goal this year was basically, to stop being sales leaders, and start being leaders. Bravo. We got tons of feedback this year about sales leaders focusing on job shadowing, call shadowing, riding along, setting up weekly coffee or drinks in a concentrated effort to get visibility and build relationships outside of their own departmental level or silo. This is not only amazing for org health and alignment, but it’s also critically necessary. From a buyer perspective, a seamless buyer’s journey is the expectation now. Flawless orchestration is what it takes to deliver an optimal A-Z buyer experience. These sales leaders, ahem, leaders, are on the right track. Here’s what they said:
Jen Spencer – VP, Sales & Marketing, SmartBug Media
“My 2019 Sales Resolution is to spend more time with individuals on our Client Services team to better understand our customers. During the sales process, our job is to learn enough about the future customer to help them achieve their goals. Our Client Services team spends far more time collaborating with that customer. If I can better understand how our prescribed solution is helping (or isn’t helping) the new customer, that information can be transformed into better sales enablement for future customers.”
Mark Brooks, Director of Business Development, Bizzabo
“As a Director, my 2019 New Year’s Sales Resolution is to spend more time shadowing our reps. While we have managers whose job it is to do live coaching, being more directly in-tune with what our people face on a day-to-day basis is extremely important to me. Carving out at least two hours a week to ‘ride along’ with our salespeople will help me identify issues and more quickly iterate our processes. It will also help reinforce one of our core values: We are better together.”
Trend 2: Sales Resolutions around Sales Mindfulness and Self-care as a Path to Better Productivity.
We at Sales Hacker were blown away by the wildfire popularity of Alex Kremer’s recent post “What 365 Days of Meditation Taught Me About Sales.” It turns out; it wasn’t a fluke. Only in 2019 would sales leaders send in Resolutions that are less about quota attainment and forecasting and more about Quijong, sleep schedules, and digital detoxing. In the old days, Mark Benioff’s monks and meditation rooms were something of a punchline. Turns out; the guy was on to something. Sales companies like Outreach have weekly meditation sessions (taught by the VP of Data Science, no less) and LinkedIn now has a Chief Mindfulness Officer. Even Nike realizes that sometimes you need to take a break from “just doing it” and chill out in one of the company’s new relaxation rooms. What a time to be alive, right?! (Shameless plug: If you haven’t checked out Outreach’s Beyond the Number blog celebrating the human side of sales, this video is a must-watch.) Here is what they said:
Steven Broudy – Director of Global Business Operations, MuleSoft
“My 2019 resolution is to double down on being disciplined with my morning routine. The more deliberate I am about doing what I need to do to get energized for the day (meditate, work out, journal), the better equipped I am to deal with the curveballs the day inevitably throws my way. On top of that, being extremely deliberate about planning my day and sticking to my top priorities all but guarantees I can maximize how productive I am during the day. This discipline has the added benefit of setting an example for those I work with, as I know, from my own experience, it’s something many struggle to master.”
RELATED: Want to learn our own Max Altschuler’s morning routine? Check it out.
Brooke Bachesta – SDR Manager, Outreach
“My 2019 sales resolution is to own my day. Being a member of an SDR team means that there’s always more work to do. There’s always one more email to answer, one more prospect for my team to call, one more account to research, etc. I want to ensure that I set out concrete tasks for myself and my team each day so that we don’t get caught in the endless loop in SDR world of “busy, but not productive.”
Trend 3: Incorporate more data, machine learning, and A/B testing
Trish Bertuzzi – Founder & CEO, The Bridge Group INC
“My 2019 Sales Resolution is to spend even more time doing outbound prospecting. Why? Well, it’s the part of my job I love the most. More importantly, it is the part of every SDR and AE’s job that is the hardest. I want to explore new ways to engage with buyers in a way that is meaningful for both parties. Then, I want to share what I learn. I want to do a live A/B test for outbound!”
Ashley Philipps – Sales Enablement Manager, MindTickle
“My Sales Enablement Resolution for 2019 is to enhance our onboarding. First, I want to use data to better analyze my onboarding programs to get my reps closing deals more quickly. The same goes for leveraging our partnerships to expand our reach and help our customers get the sales readiness solution they need. Second, I want to analyze where I can continue to take traditional face-to-face Instructor Led Training (ILT) sessions and activities, and leverage MindTickle to host virtual sessions. This will save the company in cost and also give reps back the travel time, allowing them to practice and execute on more selling activities. Happy selling, everyone!”
Lars Nilsson – CEO, SalesSource
“My New Year’s ‘business’ resolutions, just like my personal resolutions typically repeat year after year. This year is no different: In 2019, I want to end the year with cleaner sales data then when I started. To that end, I also do not want to rely on 100% sales rep. CRM adoption, because that does not happen anymore. What I do want are standards and conventions authored, built and enabled around account, opportunity, contact and lead creation. I want a hyper-accurate account and lead data-append tools. I want to find an all-encompassing sales 3.0 tool that automates standard and custom CRM field fill-in from the sales exhaust that reps leave in their emails, calendars, and phone calls. All up, I guess that means I want less reliance on human interaction and more on AI and ML for sales data.”
Trend 4: More personal branding and social selling
Christien Louviere – Managing Partner at Sell Personal
“My 2019 Sales Resolution is to both build my personal brand and nurture my network, so I can help focus and influence how customers decide to buy. Specifically, I plan to build my network by further creating and distributing thought leadership content, while using my personal branding strategy to engage the audience. In the end, I have an educated, happy customer who wants to come back for more.”
RELATED: A recent Sales Hacker study found that the use of personalized 1 to 1 video for branding is on the rise! Check out this guide to using 1 to 1 video in sales.
Honorable Mentions: These Resolutions didn’t fit into any particular trend but were so awesome, we had to include them!
Andrew A. Mowat – VP of Growth Operations at Culture Amp
“I resolve to go even deeper to leverage the power of our “people geek” community to amplify our sales efforts. I am going to break this goal down into several specific tactics:
- Continue to invest in our events
- Follow our champions as they grow in their careers
- Launch our community hub to allow our customers to collaborate together (coming soon!)
- Become the go-to location for people operations + people partners to invest in their people skill
By keeping it specific, I know I have a higher chance of success.”
Jeremy Boudinet – Principal at Boudinet Media
My 2019 Sales Resolution is to zero in on my ideal client profile, companies who are guaranteed to receive high return-on-investment from my services, become lifetime clients and evangelists and renew and expand their relationships (and dollars spent) with me. Overall, be strict on targeting, qualification, and scope of services offered.
Greg McBeth – Head of Revenue at Node.io
My 2019 Sales Resolution is to make 2019 a year of continual learning for both myself and my team. As sales professionals (as with any profession) it’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed with the day-to-day and only focus on what’s in front of us. However, by investing the upfront time in learning and development, it makes us more effective at navigating the day-to-day challenges that face us. We will be incorporating structured learning activities into team meetings, corporate objectives, and personal and professional “homework.”
Amy Volas – Founder & CEO, Avenue Talent Partners
“My 2019 Sales Resolution is to delegate more. I’ve deluded myself into thinking my hands need to be in every single pot all of the time. It’s important for me to be involved, but even more important to continue to allow my team to learn, grow, and thrive so I can focus on key strategic initiatives while always being a lifeline when they need me. While I will never be too far removed, I celebrate the fact that I have smart, capable, badass people on my team doing tremendous work every single day. It’s time for more of the trust fall in 2019!”
Michael Morris – Senior Director of Sales, Bizzabo
“As Senior Director of Sales at Bizzabo, I’m making a resolution, or a PACT, with the sales team to focus on four areas:
- Processes: clearing the way to sell more efficiently
- Assets: persona-based collateral and enablement for every step in the buyer journey
- Coaching: personalized attention that goes beyond the numbers and continues to find 360 improvement areas
- Training: focused and collaborative weekly sessions with managers and reps
Blake Johnston – CEO at OutboundView
“My 2019 Sales Resolution is to implement a formal sales referral process for OutboundView as well as our clients. When done purposefully, sales referrals are typically the highest converting sales opportunities. January is a great time to schedule formal business review meetings with your clients to understand your impact and areas of improvement. As a part of our annual review meetings, we will be asking if there are other Sales and Marketing leaders that could benefit from our services. I believe being more formal in this process will lead to happier existing clients and more potential future clients!”
What does your resolution look like? Let us know in the comments.