1. Do you have a clear sales strategy and is it still relevant and appropriate for what you sell, who sells it and whom you sell it to?
2. What is your compelling sales proposition? What makes it unique or different and how does it match up to your competition?
3. Do you have a Sales and Marketing plan with clear vision and SMART objectives for your company and team?
4. Are the roles and responsibilities clear between team members, Sales and Marketing and Business Development?
5. Who is in charge of leadership, training, coaching and mentoring? Are your sales people improving? Do they know where and on what to focus their time/energy?
6. Does your sales team have achievable and communicated sales targets? Are your sales team members appropriately rewarded and incentivized to make sales and hit/exceed sales targets? How do you communicate and reward customer wins?
7. What is your target market? What are your different routes or channels to that market? Which ones are fastest or optimal?
8. What is your Buyer Profile? What problem does your product/service solve?
9. How do you generate leads? Where do you capture this and other prospect information? How do you analyse trends and report on the business success/failure?
10. What is the split that you need of existing versus new business? What is your client retention rate? What is your new business conversion rate?
11. Do you sell face to face or over the phone? How do your sales people sell? What methodology do they use? Does it matter? How many sales stages are there in your sales process? Is it different across the team? Why?
12. Do you sell products or services? What do you want to sell? Can you bundle your products into a service? Is that easier/more profitable?
13. Do you have/measure sales KPIs? Do you have a CRM system? Does your sales team submit sales forecasts? Do you have regular Sales Pipeline reviews? How often do you meet as a team? How do you share sales best practices? What tools do you/they use?
14. How often do you meet your Clients? Why is it important? Who do you meet? What do you discuss? How is this feedback communicated to the company?
When I meet Company Directors for the first time I try and ask most of these questions to get an understanding of what problems and challenges they are facing in their sales team. The answers are always interesting but more often than not they are very similar regardless of company size, industry or sales team complexity. We then start work on developing a high performing sales team of independent creative and entrepreneurial members yet also unafraid to ask for help!