Getting Ready for 2023…Already?
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Recently while attending college orientation with my daughter, I became uncomfortably aware of how quickly this year is flying by and that we are days away from entering the third quarter of 2022. As I busily jotted down the critical dates into my calendar (e.g. financial aid deadline, housing deadline, MOVE-IN DAY, etc.) summer began to fade away more quickly than I could imagine and I was already thinking about our visit to campus for fall family day. When I returned to the office a few days later, the reality that the second quarter was almost over meant it was time for a mid-year check-in and the ramping up for 2023.
Specifically, as it relates to sales planning and business development, here are a few things you may want to prioritize in the coming weeks as we reach the mid-year mark.
Sales Forecasting and Planning
Look closely at your sales plan and determine if you are on-track to meet your annual goals or if you need to adjust? Are there opportunities to shift focus to ensure you meet your revenue goals? As we continue to navigate a post-pandemic environment, many organizations are still struggling to accurately forecast revenue goals. Reviewing your goals regularly, and while there is still time to shift priorities and adjust expectations, will have an impact on your year-end results. Communicating regularly with your board/leadership is more important than ever in an unpredictable environment.
And while you are still working hard to achieve your current annual sales goals, you must also put in the time necessary to build, and begin implementing, your 2023 sales plan.
Check-in with Customers
This is the perfect time to check in with your current customers to get a clear understanding on where they are in their 2023 planning (and budgeting cycle) and if they plan to continue supporting your organization. This doesn’t need to be an official “sales call,” but rather a friendly check-in. If you completed work with them earlier in the year, simply call them up to see how it’s going; do they need anything else? If it’s a sponsor, ask if they have started to see a return on investment. Understanding how they feel about their recent engagement with your organization allows you to adjust as necessary and bring them back as a returning customer. Perhaps 2023 is the year they plan to return to their post-pandemic event participation (and spending).
If they are an annual sponsor/customer, start gathering data for a sponsorship deliverable report. This is a great way to remind the sponsor of their deliverables throughout the year and their ROI. Check out this previous post on sponsorship fulfillment reports.
Update your Prospect List(s)
Take some time to update your prospect lists and don’t forget to look back at past customers even if you haven’t worked with them in a while. Even if they haven’t engaged with your organization or sponsored your event in several years, it’s still worth adding them to your prospect list. Companies have missed in-person connections with their customers and 2023 may just be the year they go back to investing in live events. Carve out time to research new prospects that map back to your sales plan and keep adding to your list throughout the year.
Plan Now for Year-End Thank Yous
If you typically send year-end gifts/cards to your customers, you should consider starting the process of identifying and procuring these items now. As we continue to witness supply chain disruptions, you should anticipate delays and begin your planning early. Additionally, shipping costs and delivery times continue to increase, so avoiding rush charges and expedited delivery fees will help ensure you stick within your budget while expressing gratitude to your loyal customers.
Review your Offerings
As you identify your 2023 sales goals, it is critical to evaluate your offerings and adjust as necessary. If you plan to increase sponsorship revenue, but do not identify new sponsorship deliverables and opportunities, it may be difficult to meet your goals. Use those early conversations with your repeat customers/sponsors to understand their goals – and then build packages and offerings that help them meet their objectives. Ask your customers what they want – and then find a way to offer it!
As you focus on your sales planning for 2023, if you have ideas to help others prepare for a successful 2023, please share using the comments below or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.