You’ve spent Q4 meticulously working through your sales plan. You’ve defined territories, segmented accounts, set targets, and planned roles. The plan is ready to go. Yet every first quarter, rep productivity is at its lowest. At the start of each fiscal year, the sales team is unsure of their patch and their quota. The team is so focused on determining their targets and territories, they don’t spend time selling. And as you hire new reps at the first of the year, ramp time and territory handoffs drain momentum.
How can you solve this?
1. Lock patches down a month before the fiscal year. This gives your reps a month to learn their new territory and prepare to jump into Q1.
2. Use the balance of the month to fine-tune patch and quota for the year. Using current performance is a great way to determine future goals and ensure growth goals are attainable and easily understood.
3. If you’re planning to hire more reps in the new year, over-carve territories in the planning phase. This ensures your new reps have a territory assigned when they onboard and you’re not removing accounts from existing reps in the first quarter.
4. To offset unproductivity while your new reps onboard, assign current reps as temporary owners to your over-carved territories. Specifying temporary territory ensures a smooth handoff to the new rep.
5. Define a holdout policy for reps covering patches temporarily. This ensures reps will be credited for a deal if a new rep takes over an active opportunity, motivating reps to work their temporary territory. It also prevents turf wars and enables you to split opportunities.
6. Anticipate ramp for each role you’re hiring. Knowing the productivity ramp of each role sets realistic goals to manage target versus attainment for the year.
Sales planning is a stressful, complicated time. It’s easy to take shortcuts or ignore steps that save time in the long-run. Hopefully, these quick tips are easy to implement into your planning process and give your reps the boost they need to hit Q1 at full force. Read more of our tips for sales planning.