Every year around the holidays I am often asked, “How do you plan for the new year?” “How do you intend to identify new accounts and decide what market segments to pursue?” “How do you develop your strategy and what will your underlying tactics be to ensure you hit your goals in the upcoming year?” These are great questions that require time and attention, but when? For those of you who are new to working in the IT professional services industry, you’re probably now learning that business slow downs during the holidays. For you veterans out there this is nothing new to you. With new sales order activity coming to a halt and active orders stalling, what is one to do with all this down time? How about build a recession-proof sales plan for 2009? From my experience in selling IT staffing and consulting, I always found that a strong Q1 always set the tone for the remainder of the year. The activity and foundation you lay down in Q1 sets the table for the rest of the year. Here are my thoughts on developing your strategic sales plan and underlying tactics that support that plan.