03 January 2024 |

same sh*t, new year

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

Nothing changes if you don’t

This past week, I got invited to a hangout session with some new friends where we went around and answered a question posed by the host.

This week’s question: What are you going to do differently in 2024?

I got to thinking about what this means for me at work knowing targets are increasing while everything else stays the same.

After giving it some thought, I landed on a few areas ripe for change:

  • Hiring / talent management
  • Team dynamics
  • Do less

Hiring / talent management

Spoiler alert: I’m going to use a sailing analogy. Stay with me.

Hiring new reps is like assembling a crew for a critical voyage. 

It’s not just about getting people on the ship – it’s about finding individuals who are willing to come aboard AND who are ready to help navigate the turbulent waters of the market.

Of course that’s easier said than done.

Especially if you’re reporting into higher ups who ascribe to the more reps = more productivity approach to talent management. 

❌ What’s OUT this year? 

Trying to appease higher ups and bringing folks on just to say we did something.

✅ What’s IN? 

Ascribing to the “if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no” approach to hiring.

Team dynamics

One thing I wish I paid attention to sooner is common denominator motivations of the team. 

For example, on teams I’ve managed in the past, nearly everyone was motivated by connection in some way, shape or form. So we leaned big time into:

  • Team lunches
  • Happy hours
  • Networking opportunities

For other teams, the vast majority of folks were motivated by a sense of competition. In these teams, I relied a lot on:

  • Gamification
  • Setting stretch goals
  • Finding ways to transform the flames of competition into a healthy competitive environment

And for my current team, I see the majority of my folks are motivated to take care of others. It’s the first time I’ve had a team like this, so I’m thinking about how to infuse care into our team dynamics.

Some ideas I have for this:

  • Intra-team mentorship – a fully ramped rep with satisfactory performance will get to mentor a ramping rep 
  • Paired up 1:1s – I started playing around with pairing up reps in 1:1s a few times last year and it’s been a great way to optimize time, teaching, and *bonus* it’s been an awesome way to get reps more engaged since they kind of have to be considerate of their teammate’s time
  • Teachbacks – these kinds of meetings / opportunities are rep faves because 1) it’s peer led so their teammates are probably going to pay attention more, and 2) the reps probably know better tactics than anyone else. Win-win all around!

Do less

2023 had a lot of opportunities to do more things – more interviews, more calls listened to, more networking opportunities, etc. *But*, more does not equal better.

By the end of 2023, I found myself languishing…burnt out a bit…and the least motivated I’ve ever been in my career. ‘Twas weird.

So over the holiday break, I really challenged myself to see where I could *LESS*. 

Here are some the questions I asked myself to find these areas:

  • Where does work feel unnecessarily complex / cumbersome right now?
  • Where can I use more help / support?
  • What areas keep me busy, but without accomplishing anything?
  • Where in my calendar can I create whitespace for myself?

Wrapping up

There are so many things I can do differently this year *and* I listed out the top 3 areas I believe are going to have the best impact in 2024 and beyond.

I’m curious though – what are you doing differently, if anything, in 2024? What were some of your biggest lessons learned in 2023?
I’m also curious – are you hiring for sales reps or sales managers at your company? If so, I’d be happy to include the job postings in future newsletters! Let me know 😎