Recurring Revenue Models Amplify The Already Urgent Need For A Strong Start

A dollar booked in January is worth exponentially more in revenue than a dollar booked in December. This is particularly true for businesses with a subscription/recurring revenue model. A slow start puts sales executives behind the eight ball right from the get go. As a result, those sales leaders will be fighting the rest of the year to close the revenue gap. Therefore, getting off to a fast start is critical for sales leaders to have a successful 2022.

Many sales leaders, however, likely drained most, if not all, of their pipelines by closing end-of-year deals. To help start the year on the right foot, we’ve identified four things sales leaders should do in January to ensure a strong start to 2022.

1. Hold An Effective And Inspiring Sales Kickoff

Successful sales kickoffs serve as a platform from which to launch into the new year. Effective sales kickoffs arm sellers with the information and energy to win and ultimately achieve their revenue and booking goals. Forrester has identified five key components of effective sales kickoffs:

  • Hold your sales kickoff meeting as early in the year as you can.
  • Motivate your sellers with an engaging, energetic, and memorable sales kickoff.
  • Train sellers on new product launches and new processes/tools.
  • Roll out new territories and seller compensations plans.
  • Share the 2022 playbook that simplifies what sellers should be focused on in 2022 to win.

2. Close Leftover Deals From Last Year … Quickly

Invariably, there were deals in last year’s pipeline that pushed into 2022. Sales leaders should encourage their teams to reengage those opportunities that could realistically close in January and remove obstacles that kept them from closing in 2021. Consider being more aggressive on terms to move a deal over the goal line, since it’s better in many cases to close a smaller deal now than to risk something changing in hopes of capturing a bigger deal later. Converting these “leftovers” to wins will go a long way toward achieving this year’s revenue goals.

3. Hold Teams Accountable For Rebuilding Pipelines Via Demand Generation Efforts

Success in the previous year often results in empty pipelines to start the new year. Effective pipeline generation is a critical element to a fast start in sales. To do this, the entire revenue organization (sales, marketing, tele, and channel/partners) must collaborate and align around the shared goals of contributing qualified opportunities that quickly close. All go-to-market resources (time, money, effort) should be focused on developing new opportunities early in the year.

4. Implement An SPIF To Incentivize Early Wins

Closing deals at the beginning of the year is difficult. Buyers are not motivated to fully utilize their budgets like they typically are at the end of a fiscal year, and sales pipelines are often depleted. Therefore, sales leaders should consider launching a fast-start SPIF (sales performance incentive fund) to motivate sellers to generate new opportunities and close deals early.

Leverage Forrester’s Sales Executive Research Team To Ensure A Fast Start For Sales

Forrester’s sales executive clients can leverage The Demand Contribution Framework: How To Ensure Opportunity Source Accountability. This research outlines how each revenue subfunction should be held accountable for generating the amount of quality opportunities necessary to achieve and surpass their revenue goals. Additionally, sales executive clients can connect with myself and my team here!

Both clients and nonclients can access the following blogs, as well as the Ask A Sales Leader podcast: