Back to Blog 5 Tips for Sales Managers to Start out the Quarter and the Year with a BANG! by Millie Liu on January 7th, 2016 The start of the year is a critical time for executives and sales managers. Will you begin 2016 by exceeding your goals or are you just settling in for a cold winter? Here are five sales manager tips to make sure you’re seeing green in the new year. 1. Have your team stack rank its prospects. With so many deals in the pipeline, it can be difficult for sales managers to know where they can reliably get revenue. Ask your salespeople to stack rank their prospects from 1 to 4, with 4 being highly likely to close by the end of the quarter and 1 being not very likely. Make sure that they are realistic with their rankings. At this point, make sure that your team focuses only on the 3s and 4s that have a higher likelihood of making your quarter. 2. Do your own research. It’s not enough to take what your sales reps give you at face value. Do some digging of your own to see if those 3s and 4s are truly what they seem to be. It could be that some of them need to be taken down a peg to a 1 or 2. Keep in mind that your reps have varying levels of experience and may not be able to identify when a deal is truly progressing or when it’s actually dead in the water. Dig into your CRM software or sales analytics tool to find out what’s really going on. 3. Step in to help. One of the most effective sales strategies is for you or an executive to reach out to an executive at a prospect’s company. This tactic gives prospects a different point of contact and makes them feel that their business matters to you. 4. Keep ill-fitting clients out. It may be tempting to expand your customer outreach to clients outside of your sweet spot to hit your numbers, but this is not a good idea. Bringing in complicated or ill-fitting customers will just end up costing you and your company resources and countless hours of implementation and configuration time. Additionally, ill-fitting customers are more likely to churn anyway, so why not just focus on spending more time with high quality prospects? 5. Start planning for the entire year. Winning quarters and the year in total is the result of good planning and a consistent pipeline. The best way to prepare for the end of next quarter or the year ahead is by planning now. How much revenue do you plan to book and what is it going to take to get there?