I’m going to provide a weekly post on what to do NOW to set up an unbelievably successful first quarter for 2013.

Right now most salespeople are focused on closing out 2012 strong. They are doing the right things to capture stalled sales and squeeze in every order they can.

Yet the TOP sellers are doing more, they are taking action now that will pay off next year.

The first thing you can incorporate into your activities is to ask for feedback.

Ask for feedback now so that you can use it in 2013.

Ask your clients/customers for feedback about you, your solution, and your company.

  • What do they value?
  • What do they wish was different?
  • How could you serve them even better?

Ask your manager for feedback about your activities, communication, and overall performance.

  • What do they see you doing well?
  • What do they think you could do better? What do they see as obstacles that you possibly create?
  • How else can they support you in your efforts?

Ask your colleagues for feedback/information about their best practices and the competition.

  • What did you do this year that paid off?  Will you do it again next year?
  • How are you using the tools/resources to your advantage?
  • What are you doing to differentiate yourself from the competition in your area?
  • What is one thing you learned this year that has been helpful?
  • How do you __________ (fill in the blank for whatever best practice you want to capture)?

Ask your product developers or marketers for feedback on current solutions and developing solutions.

  • What type of data do you have access to about the performance of our current products (or a specific product/service)?
  • What are the capabilities of the products that  think/feel are underutilized by our customers?
  • What product/service is on the horizon? What type of problem, opportunity, want or need will that address for our customers?
  • What are the obstacles you face in providing the best solutions? (What constraints do they have internally for example.)

The responses to this feedback will help you identify:

  • Your priorities for the first 60 days of 2013.
  • The development you may need to seek to be in top form personally.
  • The type of conversations you need to have with your prospects and clients now to open up opportunities for new products, repositioned products, changes in products.
  • The viability of your forecast.
  • Partnership possibilities.

What else? What other questions should you be asking now to set up your sales success for 2013?