The new year signifies a new beginning, so new resolutions, new goals and new directions fuel your thoughts. Here are 11 New Year’s resolutions for salespeople.

1. Increase your prospecting activity.
Salespeople tend to not have enough prospects, so they rely on most of their sales opportunities coming to reality to hit their quota. That formula doesn’t work too well, as more than half of all salespeople are below quota. Set aside at least one hour daily for prospecting.

2. Use LinkedIn.
If you are a B2B seller, then you simply must use LinkedIn to generate new prospects and sales opportunities. LinkedIn is where your customers are. Learn how to properly optimize your LinkedIn profile, how to find your target audience, how to engage them and how to convert them into connections and sales leads. Apply what you learn.

3. Don’t waste time.
You can’t save time. You can only spend it. Resolve to spend your time on activities that lead to business results. Learn how to properly qualify prospects, and use your qualification process with each one. Only spend time with prospects that fit your target profile. Do not spend time on activities outside your field of expertise. Find out early in the sales process if prospects agree with your value proposition and have the money to pay for your services. If not, move on.

4. Learn all you can about salesmanship.
Better skills bring better results. Oftentimes, making a sale comes down to you and someone else. Do your skills stand up against others? Make studying selling skills a priority in 2018. The best way to do this is by listening to tapes and podcasts when driving or traveling.

5. Protect the “golden hours” of selling.
The golden hours of selling are the prime times you are most likely to see prospects and close deals. Make sure you are in front of prospects and customers during those hours. The golden hours are when you earn your living. Don’t do personal business during the golden hours of selling.

6. Stay out of the office.
The office is a time trap for most salespeople, robbing them of the good they could do by surrounding them in minutiae. Only go into the office when you absolutely, positively must be there.

7. See existing customers.
Make visiting existing customers a weekly priority. They offer upsell and cross-selling opportunities. They offer referrals. They are your livelihood. Pay attention to them. Cultivate relationships with them. Spend time with them. Most companies have lots of customers with antiquated systems.

8. Be realistic.
Make a realistic assessment concerning your prospects and where they are in the sales funnel. Too many salespeople “hope and pray” deals happen rather than realistically assessing the situation. When I ask questions about pipeline opportunities, many reps don’t have answers. Don’t let this happen to you.

9. Know the data.
How much time do you spend in front of prospects each week? How long does it take you to respond to a new opportunity? What’s your closing rate? Average deal size and margin? How long does it take you to close a deal? Resolve to understand and be accountable for your performance. Activity and results measurement and analysis are strong steps toward better results in 2018.

10. Show more gratitude.
Be grateful for all that has been given to you. Send thank you notes to all new customers. Take an installer out to lunch as a way of thanking them for their efforts with your customer. Thank your sales manager for their insight. Buy the loved one that supports you daily a special gift of thanks. Showing gratitude for your blessings helps you keep a positive attitude.

11. Take better care of yourself.
Nothing happens without a healthy you. In 2018, resolve to take better care of yourself. Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Be active at least 30 minutes every day.