The first quarter of any new year is the perfect time to start afresh with new ideas and initiatives aimed at achieving even more success than the previous year. But before you begin, a little planning and preparation is essential. For sales teams specifically, focusing on the following nine tasks first can ensure you’re on the right track from the start.

During Q1 planning for the new year, what’s one thing sales teams should focus on, and why?

1. Purging Old Materials and Information

The first quarter is the time to get off to a fresh start in every way possible. Remove outdated materials and files, such as anything related to discontinued products. Go through your pipeline and get rid of unqualified prospects or cold leads that are unlikely to convert. On the other hand, it’s also the ideal time to reconnect with your best customers who may have been quiet over the holidays. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

2. Reviewing Feedback and User Behavior

Our sales team uses Q1 to review feedback forms and user behavior to build more robust customer personas. If you want to improve sales and engagement consistently, you have to understand your customers. Since goals and pain points can change over time, I suggest using the first quarter to hone in on your target audience and their specific needs. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

3. Getting More Organized and Effective

Sales teams should use Q1 to plan, become better organized and schedule their time more effectively. Do this by identifying your goals for the year and make sure they align with your company’s overall objectives. This is important because it sets the tone for the rest of the year. You’ll have a yardstick that lets you measure your efforts against it and you’ll have a clear direction to follow. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

4. Providing More Targeted Content

Sales teams should focus on providing more targeted content and campaigns to their audience and its different groups. There are many subsets of customers within your audience and they have different needs, so addressing each of those needs will skyrocket your sales and grow your business fast. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

5. Nurturing Holiday Leads

During Q1, sales teams should focus on nurturing leads from the holiday season. Odds are, not everyone who signs up to your email list during the holiday season will buy a product. If your marketing team can reach these customers while your brand is still fresh in their minds, there’s a good chance you can pick up some conversions you left behind in Q4. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

6. Building Relationships

Build relationships and educate yourself in Q1. Sales today is about much more than quick calls and check-ins. Sure, this depends on what you are selling, but sales is about relationships, and without one-on-one, face-to-face communication, we need to work extra hard to maintain relationships and not come on too strong in Q1. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

7. Listening to Employee Ideas

A good way to start the new year is by listening and encouraging your staff’s ideas. It can be one of your most important steps toward creating a plan that will work for you next year. By having an open discussion with everyone, business leaders may find great innovation from within! – Bhaskar Ahuja, Originscale Corp

8. Identifying Customer Pain Points

Customer experience needs to be at the forefront of your sales team’s minds. Look closely at your customer journey and identify pain points. Once you know what to improve, you can shape your product or service, your communications and how your sales team works to deliver the best possible experience for all of your contacts. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

9. Reflecting on the Previous Year

Reflect on the previous year as a whole. Which tactics or campaigns produced the best results, and how can you maximize them? Conversely, which ones were the least impactful? It may be time to scrap them. Then, once you are maximizing the things that work well, in Q2 you can start getting fresh, new ideas that may be even more successful. – Liam Leonard, DML Capital