After a lifetime of experience and a lot of academic study, I have compiled ten questions that you can use to judge for yourself how well your organisation is at maximising revenue and profits.
1. Fundamentals – Are your sales people presentable, personable, enthusiastic, motivated and apply sufficient effort to get the job done effectively?
2. Professionalism – Are your salespeople organised, disciplined and ethical? Do they follow through on their promises, and can you trust them to always do the right and fair thing?
3. Customer servicing – Have your salespeople sufficient knowledge and experience to sell effectively? Do they qualify and only select the right customers to work on? Do they build effective relationships, and do they adapt their offering to suit their customers’ needs?
4. Recruitment – Are your jobs clearly analysed, specified and recruitment criteria clear? Are you attracting the right candidates and executing an on-boarding plan that supports newcomers from pre-employment to sales success?
5. Training – Are you undertaking training needs analysis and providing only sufficient training to your people? Have you got the right balance between the number of courses, delivery methods and time taken away from selling?
6. Territory design – Have you designed your territories to maximise the value of sales from your whole market? Is the workload of your salespeople appropriate and do their sales targets motivate them to reach for the full potential of their territory?
7. Evaluation – Do you have a formal salesperson evaluation process? Is the criteria clear and applied uniformly and fairly across your sales team? Have you taken steps to remove subjective factors and protect against manager-bias?
8. Segmentation – Have you segmented your customers and when doing so, used a clear process that apportions customers consistency? Have you checked that your criteria effectively meet not only yours, but your clients’ needs?
9. Relationship models – Have you determined which customers should be dealt with as transactional, account based or key accounts? Are your customers happy with the relationship that is offered and as importantly, is the relationship offered by you appropriate considering the view that the client has of you as a supplier?
10. Sales channels – Are you using multiple sales channels? Are your processes and people properly aligned with each channel to maximise the opportunity and to avoid channel conflict?
If after you have answered the questions, you conclude that you may have areas for improvement, do feel free to contact me. Phill