Halloween is but a distant memory, the office party is booked and the Christmas music is now legitimately playing on loop in any retail outlet you visit. Thoughts have turned to present lists, retrieving the Christmas decorations and ordering the turkey.

And yet, if you play your cards right, laying the foundations for a motivated workforce and good sales performance among all the festive cheer in December means you’ll be making the start to the New Year much easier for yourself.

The right focus now can ensure that every sales person gets the edge they need to achieve a great finish to the year and energy for the new one.


  1. Take some time to assess where you are

It’s understandably much harder to get prospects through the sales funnel in the run up to Christmas. Which means that by now, you and your team will need to have done almost all the lead-gen, client visits and follow-ups in order to close out the quarter as a success.

Now is a good time to check in with your team and make sure your sales are on track. If you are behind, there is still time to catch up, putting more resources into outbound activity and filling your diaries for follow-ups.


  1. Don’t leave anything to chance

 Time is of the essence so if your team isn’t performing, you quickly need to work out why. Is your team doing the wrong things? Where they are succeeding, what is stopping them from selling more? What extra support would help accelerate their performance?

Ask yourself if you are doing everything to ensure each individual is motivated to perform. Monitor progress through the final countdown to year-end and be prepared to make the changes you need in order to hit that target.


  1. Plan now, reap the rewards later

The final few weeks of 2017 shouldn’t just be about this year’s targets. To ensure you have the sales momentum you need for the New Year, you have to get your team looking beyond the holidays and focusing on the following quarter.

Rather than letting December mark the start of the annual wind-down, get your team to start setting appointments and making calls for January. It’s a good time for securing existing relationships, looking for referrals and even visiting clients to listen about what they need in the year ahead.

Make sure you have a plan for new year sales in place and that your team is pressing ahead with the actions that matter.


  1. Be smart and use reward

Motivation to perform comes from the actions you take as a manager. As a good manager you will know that thanks for a job well done is non-negotiable. But you can also inspire extraordinary performance with a creative approach to reward.

Team rewards, spot prizes and competitions help lift the team and give the short-term momentum which delivers the results you need.

Instant digital rewards do this successfully by giving your employees access to a wide range of rewards and incentives – eGift Cards, vouchers, travel and experience days – without any additional administrative burden at what is already a busy time of year.

Providing choice in itself creates an experience that can be fun and rewarding.  Personalised digital eReward Codes linking people to a website where they can select the right gift for them is an option which combines instant reward with the choice people want.

Now is the time to use reward to say thanks for their loyalty and hard work. And of course, don’t forget to celebrate success at the end of the quarter, which will set your team up for a positive and proactive start to the New Year in January.


Andy Philpott is Marketing and Sales Director at Edenred UK

Follow @andy_philphott