20 December 2023 |

ready for january?

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

Real talk – it’s a ghost town in my team slack channel right now.

The reps who hit their number are cashing out on their unused PTO.

The reps who haven’t hit their number may or may not be mentally checked out (*cough* the dashboard says they are *cough*). 

And, let’s be honest, no amount of motivational videos, mantras or posters could get me out of the EOY brain fog I’m in.

Ugh…I’m tired.

While I’ve let go and let God when it comes to wrapping up the end of 2023, this doesn’t mean I’m not thinking ahead – January is right around the corner so you know what that means?

It’s time to dig into some ideas around how to prep your teams for a fast start to 2024!

Fast Start Quick & Dirty

It’s EOY y’all, so I’ll spare you the pleasantries and get straight into the 3 areas of focus to kick the year off strong:

  1. Goals
  2. Inputs
  3. Incentives


The quick and dirty of it is to help your reps create goals for the first two weeks of the quarter! 

Hint: try and identify goals that your reps are 100% in control of:

  • How many accounts do they need to work in the first two weeks of the quarter?
  • How many prospects do they need to process in the first two weeks of the quarter?
  • How many calls, emails, social touches do they need to hit to feel confident about their new year start?

🏀 Assist: If there are any change initiatives, especially book changes, make sure to factor that into your fast start goal setting conversations. For example, if your reps need to tier out their book of business, how many accounts should they have tiered within the first two weeks of the quarter?


When thinking about inputs, it’s as simple as asking “what’s the reps’ plan of attack for the first two weeks of the quarter?”

For example: 

  • What research should be done now so the rep can hit the ground running in January?
  • Which prospects should be prioritized, i.e. people who asked for follow ups, no-shows from November and December, etc?
  • How can your reps get their call, email and social tasks lined up for the start of the year so they can just get in and go once y’all are back from break? 

🏀 Assist: If using a sales engagement platform like Outreach or Salesloft, have your reps add prospects to sequence and schedule send for the beginning of the year. 


If you can create SPIFs for your team to kick off the New Year, please do.

I love a good game of Sales Bingo to make things fun. 

I also heard of doing a Winter Olympics style SPIF from a sales leader I met recently named David Wilkins. I’ll be honest, I don’t have all the details behind it, but from what David shared, it’s a fun way to mix up all the teams you have and incentivize different things such as meetings booked or deals progressed with specific logos. 

Whatever you end up doing, I’d highly highly recommend considering incentivizing the kinds of behaviors you believe will drive the best outcomes for the beginning of the quarter! For example, consider a raffle where reps get:

  • 1 point for hitting daily activity goals
  • 2 points for tiering out their books of business
  • 3 points for every quality conversation
  • 5 points of a meeting booked
  • 10 points for pipeline generation and deal progression

The more points a rep has, the more raffle tickets they get (i.e. 1 raffle ticket = 5 points). And then have a raffle draw in the third week of January to announce the winner(s)!

🏀 Assist: If you go with a raffle prize, try and lower the barrier of entry. It sucks having a raffle where there’s only 1 person who’s eligible to compete. What’s most important is that everyone on the team feels like they have a shot to win as long as they’re putting forth the effort!

Wrapping up

Wishing you the best of luck in wrapping up December! 

And hope you and your loved ones have the best christmahanakwanzika – or whatever you’re celebrating – weekend!

I’ll be seeing you next week!!