I cut my hair off the other day after growing it out for last year and a half.
My long, wild hair brought back memories of my highschool years, hanging out and cruising around with friends in my mom’s Chevette*. In my imagination, I looked like Brad Pitt in Troy**.
But having long hair hair was a hassle. It was always all over the place, getting in my eyes and my mouth. When I exercised, no configuration of headbands could keep it from getting out of control. If it was windy out, I needed to stuff it under a hat. Washing it took forever. To top it off, I’m way too lazy to spend time styling it.
Then last week I had an epiphany. I realized that I liked the idea of having long hair much better than the experience. Despite the fact that I had “invested” more than a year growing it, it was time to make a change that better aligned with my goals – namely ease of maintenance and exercise friendly. After coming to this conclusion, I buzzed it off.
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time for each of us to assess what we’ve been doing all year to answer the question, “Am I achieving the results I want?”
Are you trying to increase sales using high volume cold-calling BDRs but finding that your target prospects in higher education and government are not responding well?
Have inbound leads dried up despite your increased spending on Google Adwords?
Has your attempt to move upmarket from transactional SMB Sales to Enterprise Sales delivered the desired revenues?
If everything is going great, then keep doing what you are doing. But if not, it might be time to reassess and hit the reset button.
How to Reassess
Note: I’ve included links below to specific articles which you may find helpful. However, I wouldn’t read all of them – just focus on the ones that apply to you.
We’ll start by thinking about your 3 Big Rocks.
- How have you performed against these? Try to be as objective as possible using real data to compare performance vs. goals.
- Are these still your most important goals? Or have business conditions shifted, making a change necessary?
Now let’s think about the upcoming year. There’s hundreds of places we consider, so I like to break it down into these three main categories:
People – Do you the right reps on your team? The right managers? Is everyone delivering 100%? Do you love managing your team? Do you have some reps you dread working with? Imagine what it be like if every rep on your team was an All Star. How would that change your business?
Processes – How is recruiting, interviewing and onboarding going? Are your reps receiving regular coaching and training? Is the quality and volume of leads sufficient? How well is outbound prospecting working? Are you spending enough time mentoring your reps?
Systems – What metrics are you using to manage the business? Is your CRM easy for reps and management to use? Are presentations solid? What about remote access software? How long does it take to generate Proposals? Quotes? Invoices? Is there any software that would enable you or your reps to focus on what’s most important?
Be sure to make a list as you go along. Write down what’s working well and what’s not in each category. If you an idea pops into your head, make sure to write it down before you forget.
Narrow Your New List Down to 3 Big Rocks
When finished, your list may seem daunting.
The good news is that we’re only going to focus on the 3 Big Rocks which will make the greatest impact next year. You may be focusing on a mix of areas. Some will be where things are going well but could be much better. Others will be where things are totally failing.
We’ll start by categorizing everything on your list into these 3 groups:
- Critical items that will have the greatest impact
- Important items that will measurably improve the business
- Nice to Have items that will make the business more pleasant
Obviously it would be great to accomplish everything on the list but it WILL NEVER HAPPEN. With that in mind, here’s what we’ll do:
- We will ignore everything in Category 3.
- We will ignore everything in Category 2.
- Look at Category 1. Rank these in order of importance.
The top three are your 3 Big Rocks for the upcoming year. Make sure you discuss these and get buy-in from your manager too. He may have different ideas and input that will impact your Rocks.
You should sound like a broken record, repeating these to your team constantly so the team’s mission and focus is clear.
What about all of the good ideas that didn’t make the cut?
Your other items in Category 1 are projects you can assign to select members of your team to help them develop new skills. Pick one from your top 10 and assign it to the rep you are grooming as your replacement.
If you have another budding All Star who needs to be challenged, assign him one too.
Don’t assign any more than these two because you’ll be involved in mentoring these reps and will not be able handle more than that.
At the end of each Quarter, I recommend you review your 3 Big Rocks to determine if any changes are needed. Then discuss this with your manager and present your conclusions to your team in your Quarterly QBR, Wrap Up or Kick Off meeting.
You might possibly get to a few other Category 1 items over the next year if you are able to accomplish your Big Rocks and find you have time to spare.
More than likely, if you’ve selected your Big Rocks wisely, you will not. That’s OK. The results will speak for themselves.
*Mom’s 1983 Chevy Chevette – the crappiest car ever built. But, I could fit 12 of my teenage friends in it at one time.
**If you think I look like Brad Pitt or any other really handsome celebrity be sure to let me know.
If you want some help building your sales team or improving sales, contact me here. I’d love to hear from you.
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