The New Year of 2020 is well underway, but it’s not too late to get an early start on your 2020 sales goals. If you’re trying to hit some big numbers this year, January and February are pivotal months to make your sales operation more efficient and maximize your sales potential for the long term.

Here are a few key strategies to get a fast start on your 2020 sales goals.

Redefine Your Target Market and Ideal Customer

Do you really know who your ideal customer is? Have you been trying to sell to too broad or poorly defined of a market? The start of the year (or the first few months of the year) are a great occasion to refocus and redefine your marketing strategy. Is your solution a better fit with a particular industry or size of company? Instead of trying to sell only to C-level executives, could you have more success reaching out to lower-ranking managers who are closer to the lines of business and who need to use your product or service in their everyday work?

The answers will be different for every business and product or service, but it’s important to start asking the questions. Clarifying your target market and identifying your ideal customer can help you open up new ideas about how to boost your sales results.

Make a Bigger List of Prospects

Now that you know how to get more precise about your target market and ideal customer profile, it’s time to expand your list of prospects. Think big about how many companies you want to target – be audacious. Could you sell your product or service to different verticals or subcategories within the same industry? Can you make a separate list of prospects for upselling or cross-selling to current customers? How can you branch out from your current network of sales relationships? How can you go deeper with the business relationships that you already have?

Fine-Tune Your Sales Funnel

Think creatively about how to analyze and make strategic changes to your sales process. Have you identified all of the correct steps in your sales process? Do you have flexible sales funnels so you can handle different types of customers that have different needs, or different levels of understanding? Some customers might enter your sales funnel at a later stage of their decision-making process; can you be agile and adaptable enough to meet your customers where they are, or are you trying to fit everyone into a one-size-fits-all sales approach?

Diversify Your Lead Generation “Investment Portfolio”

Just like you wouldn’t want to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to investing for retirement, you also shouldn’t bet you entire marketing budget on a few types of lead generation. Think of lead generation like it’s an “investment portfolio,” where you can choose from among a wide variety of options. Not all of them are going to be equally successful or deliver the same level of ROI, but if you have a balanced, diversified portfolio of lead generation methods (cold-calling, direct mail, email, search engine marketing, social media, PPC ads, etc.), you’ll be more likely to achieve bigger results.

Think carefully about where your sales leads are coming from – whether it’s inbound or outbound lead generation, and then which channels are bringing you the best opportunities. If your lead generation portfolio is too top-heavy or is not adequately diversified, this is a good opportunity to make some changes and try some new tactics.

Qualify Your Inbound Sales Leads

Many B2B businesses spend a lot of time and effort with outbound lead generation to drum up new opportunities, but what about inbound leads? Too often, these inbound sales inquiries are falling through the cracks due to inattentiveness or poorly planned processes. When a new sales lead contacts your business for the first time, what happens? Who picks up the phone? What do they say?

This year, if you haven’t already, put in place a formal process for how to qualify your inbound sales leads. There are several ways to do this, depending on how you get new leads and how your business operates. It can be as simple as writing a sales lead qualifying script for your receptionist, putting a special form on your website, or using a dedicated email address for new leads to contact you for the first time. But you need to think carefully about how are you bringing new prospective customers into your sales process and welcoming them into your organization for the first time.

Make Time Every Day for Sales and Prospecting

Making sales doesn’t just “happen.” Even with all the other parts of this process in place, you still need to create time on your calendar every day to make sales calls, do prospecting work, follow up with business leads, and otherwise do the ongoing, steady efforts of building relationships and cultivating trust with your clients.

If you can put some work into these strategies upfront, and create a sustainable system to keep working on sales every day and making adjustments along the way, you’ll be much more likely to look back on 2020 with a sense of satisfaction. Getting great sales results for your new year does not happen overnight, and it doesn’t come from any one single event or strategy or channel. It requires a multifaceted strategy and patient process-based work. Keep doing the work and putting in the effort, and you’ll be likely to enjoy the rewards.