Take your Time
The holidays are a crazy time for businesses that catch most professionals by surprise even though it rolls around at the same time every year. To finish our series on selling improved during the Yuletide, Etc, we will examine how to assess last year and prepare for the season approaching. First, let the dust of the holidays settle. The last major deal must be completed. Every week that passes creates a clearer picture of the events that transpired because hindsight is 20/20. Time removed from the situation removes any emotions raised in the heat of the moment. Comb through any available data for insights. Only examine recorded data points. Doing so will create empirical observations, free of bias memories, that will be used as cold hard facts to advance the sales machine. Next, summarize what happened from memory. Write out how the entire season felt. The more aspects and angles the better. A great example of an effective data gathering tool is a Fleet Management platform like the Carmine System.
Compare to Years Past
Summarize what happened in the previous two years. If you can remember what happened in years before that, summarize those as well. Even without any intentionally recorded data points, a simple assessment of each year will bring context as to the scope of last year. Go through any CRM notes or call notes from those years and add that to what you remember. Single calls can often be a microcosm of the entire season. If you use Fleet Management, trip logs to customers can do the same thing. Reviewing those records can also spark more memories of the nature of those sales seasons. What worked? Make a short list of what it was and possible why it worked. What didn’t? Perform the same exercise. Throughout, try to be as objective as possible without any regret or what-ifs. Lastly, get a little meta by noting where there were weaknesses in recording information. By comparing it to last year’s data gathering efforts, this coming year’s data can be vastly more substantial and, consequentially, more effective. Improving data gathering year over year is key to making improvement.
Make a new plan
Create a plan for the upcoming year based on the observations just made. Last year was probably your first serious attempt to gather data and act on it. Once your plan for the coming year is set, follow it as closely as possible when the holidays arrive once more. Additionally, create a data recording pipeline to streamline data collecting. Collection should not get in the way of selling and serving customers, nor should it be a herculean task to gather and distill when the holidays subside. A few tweaks to your team’s or your personal workflow should do the trick. Now is a great time to add data gathering tools like Fleet Management to your portfolio of tools. Lastly, we would be remiss without mentioning that the lessons learned from this effort can be applied to the rest of the year. The holidays require special preparation because they can get out of control compared to the rest of the year, however improving regular operations is a silver-lining to the efforts. Remember the key to be able to create a new successful plan is to have all the tools available in order to assess performances of year’s past. For a company that has vehicles as part of the operations, it is important to have a great fleet management system in place in order to record the data and then review it in order to develop a new plan with improvements.
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