If you’re like most CEOs in business today, you will probably be faced with this decision at some point in the life of your organization. That time might even be now.
Perhaps your sales team consistently misses quota or your market share is in decline. Perhaps lethargy and complacency have taken hold in your sales department. If so, then a “sales reset” may well be in order.
But before deciding on any course of action, here are 13 questions you should ask yourself:
How is your sales department’s time currently divided among performing company tasks, working with existing customers, and meeting new prospects?
How consistently and how often do you personally meet with the top 10% of your installed customer base?
How much time are your sales people spending on project management or customer service?
Who do your sales people serve most – your company or your customers?
Do you have sales department processes and rules in place that drive:
a. Enhanced margin?
b. Sales pipeline reporting and predictability?
c. Reduction of errors?
d. Effective communication of other company capabilities, products and services?
Is there a communications choke point between you and your sales teams?
Can you prove that your company feedback system is really open, honest, and without repercussion?
How long does it take your company to respond to an RFQ or RFP? Relative to your industry is this good or bad?
Do you regularly test and evaluate the product/service knowledge of your sales group and also their knowledge of customer environments and needs? Is the training adequate to the task? How fast do new sales people become productive?
When was the last time someone outside your company assessed your standard sales pitch?
Which of the following is the main contributor to missing revenue goals:
a. Total available market (TAM) size is too small?
b. Lack of visibility or new opportunities?
c. Poor win-rate for New Name accounts?
Are you struggling to find enough warm qualified leads?
Is your sales cycle longer than the industry average?
Your answers to these questions will determine whether a “strategy” change, a “process” change, or a “people” change (or all three) is required for your company to achieve optimum sales performance. In cases where the problem is people related, sales coaching combined with some strategic sales development could effectively cure what ails your organization. But, if your sales people resist reform, you may indeed be forced to push the sales reset button on a case by case basis.
By John Hester