1. Analyze Your Year over Year (YoY) Sales & Revenue Trends
Where did your sales and revenue come from in the past year? Is most of your company revenue from existing customers or new customers? How long was your average sales cycle? Who were your best (and worst) customers – why? What are your best lead sources? Are prospects getting stuck anywhere in the sales cycle? Why did you lose the opportunities you think you should have won? Could your close rate be improved? Document your lessons learned, and start thinking about improvements you’d like to make in the year to come.
2. Analyze Your Marketing Trends
How much traffic did your website get? How many leads did you generate online and offline? What are your traffic sources? What is your bounce rate? What is your conversion rate? How many leads converted into customers? Did certain blog posts perform better than others? Are you happy with the return you’re getting on your investment?
3. Define Your One-year Company Vision
Where do you picture your company by the end of the year? Write a one-page description of what things will look like 12 months from now – be specific, and don’t be afraid to dream big! Don’t forget to include the ideal picture of what your sales and marketing would look like if you had a magic wand!
4. Set Your Company Priorities & Goals for next year
What’s standing in the way of achieving your vision? What projects need to get done in order to achieve your vision? Make a list, and pick 3-4 things to focus on in the first quarter. How are you going to measure success? Make sure you have metrics that you can track!
5. Check Out Your Competitors
Get into intelligence gathering mode and complete an analysis of your top three or four competitors. Take a look at their websites to see what may have changed. Run their websites through the SimilarWeb online tool and see how their online presence compares to yours.
6. Review Your Website and Online Marketing
Take a look at your website and social media channels to make sure that are designed to attract and educate your ideal customer. Is your branding and messaging consistent? Are you engaging with the right target audience? Is your content compelling and educational?
7. Review and Document Your Sales Process
Is your sales process set up to close the quality and quantity of customers you need to reach your company’s growth goals? Is your process documented? Is your CRM (customer relationship management) system set up to support your process efficiently and effectively? Could you be using any automated tools to make your process more efficient?
8. Document Your Sales and Marketing Strategy
Prioritize the issues you have identified and develop a phased approach to tackling them over the next four quarters. Depending on the issues you have identified, you may need to develop tactical plans for content/inbound marketing, social media, lead generation, conversion or traffic increase.
9. Track Your Progress and Evolve Your Tactics
Make sure you have metrics defined for measuring success, and have assigned individual team members to be accountable for solving each issue. Set up regular meetings to review progress, identify and solve issues, and align activities across teams. Learn from your mistakes and victories, and evolve your tactics as needed to maintain your traction!
Obviously, there’s a lot of work to do here, and it can be tough to be objective about your own company when you’re so close to it. Some companies choose to engage a consultant or agency to facilitate this process for them and it can be completed more quickly and efficiently.