1. Is your sales team full of relationship or challenger sales people?
Greater business complexity and uncertainty is driving a rapid shift in the way customers are buying. Logically this is also rapidly changing the requirements from you and your sales team to achieve success. The perception is that the requirements for a successful sales person in the current business environment is one that has a close, friendly relationship with the customer. However, research as part of the book “The Challenger Sale” by CEB have demonstrated that those sales people who are “The Relationship Builders make up just 7% of the top performers in sales while those they define as “The Challengers” make up 39%. The Challengers have a deeper understanding of the customers industry, challenge their views and love to debate. So while it is great to have close relationships with customers ensure you and your sales team adopt a “challenger” style approach to gain greater success in 2014.
2. Are you trying to be all things to all people? Multitask.
Too often leaders in business are expected to be brilliant mentors, visionary, financially aware, sales savy, great presenters, strategic and much more in a long list of attributes. It’s near on impossible to be all of those things wrapped up in one neat package as a leader. However, socially that is typically the perception when you pick up a magazine or read a blog article relating to a business success story. The most effective leaders are those that have a great self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. They focus on their strengths and surround themselves with quality people to cover their weaknesses. Be careful of the trap of trying to be all things to all people and get clear on your strengths for the year ahead.
3. What’s on your technology stop doing list for 2014?
At this time of the year it’s always a fantastic time to look at what are the 20% of things you do that create 80% of the benefit and what therefore of the remaining 80% of things you do could you delegate or stop doing all together. Many do this for the various day-to-day activities / processes they are involved with but have you done a similar exercise with regard to the technology you have embraced? Between time on smart phones, blog posts, twitter accounts, email checking, phone calls, logging activity into CRM’s, posting to project management systems there is a huge amount of waste. Why not apply the stop doing logic to your current technology usage when planning for 2014 and reap the benefits of a dramatic increase in time / capacity.