Well, 2016 is now history and all that matters now to any business is how the coming year develops and will the desired results be achieved. We all know the saying, “if you keep doing what you have always done the results will be the same”. Each year unless sales increase your business will go backwards as costs have a habit of continually rising.

No doubt, for the coming year, budgets and targets have been set, as they were last year, and only time will tell if the results aimed for will be achieved. Today more than ever businesses are being effected by many factors well out if their control, no longer is it just local businesses but worldwide companies are being effected by global events. It is in this environment businesses must take stock to review what and how they conducting their sales activity.

It’s a normal reaction to push salespeople harder and the hope that what they are currently doing is the right approach. Generally, it is not, otherwise it would be working with sales and profit increasing. In most cases, there is the feeling that all that could be done and is being done.

However, this is not the case as there are always some things that can be changed and improved. To get started review the following four important activities for your business and then plan to make changes. The important thing to remember is that all the information to action the points below are generally already available within your business.

1.Your Current Clients and Customers:

Rate the value of all your clients and customers and target those that have the most potential for continuing and increasing sales as they are the most valuable to your business. It is vital to know exactly where your business is coming from and why they are dealing with you and not the competition. It is important to be continually talking to clients and customers, they must not forget you and you must not forget them.

2.Your Competition:

It is difficult to plan a sales strategy and process without knowing about your competition. Identify who are your main competitors and get some intelligence on how they operate. For example, phone them to see how they answer their calls. Discover prospects reasons for not buying from you and with existing clients discover why they buy from you and plan to build on your strengths.

3.Your Sales Prospecting:

Identify and plan a new call and or contact schedule based on step1. Spending the time and following up will build better relationships with clients and customers and win new business. For salespeople monitor and set KPI’s to ensure changed plans are carried out as per the plan. Prospecting can take many forms and it is vital to use all the resources available to budget for and set up a regular program that will carry on during all market fluctuations.

4.Your Marketing:

Review all your current marketing activity and compare it with what the competition is doing, be different, avoid becoming a “me too”. Ensure sales and marketing work together as your storey must be the same between the two activities of the business. Too often there is disconnect between these two areas of the business so it needs to be kept in mind their goals are the same.

How well your business does in selling its products and services is a measure of its success. Failure to not give this area of the business the full attention it deserves will result in falling cashflow and profits. To bullet proof your sales and have a successful 2017 look closely at the sales and marketing areas of your business and make the necessary changes to ensure the next twelve months are profitable.