Whether you’ve hit a plateau with sales and want a road map to break through or enjoy a fresh set of eyes to help optimise best practices in your sales organisation, a sales audit may be the secret weapon you’re looking for drive more revenue.
Just what is a sales audit?
A sales audit is an in-depth look at your sales function and how you attract prospects and convert them into customers. The result should be a comprehensive, accurate and objective evaluation of what’s working with sales, what isn’t and what you can do to drive more reliable and sustainable revenue growth.
Like many professional services, though, all sales audits aren’t created equally. If you are considering a sales audit to help you drive more revenue, create repeatable sales processes and improve the culture of your sales organisation, here are four things to consider.
Effective audits of your sales, marketing and growth practices will be holistic in nature.
Sales are just one part of a broader system. It doesn’t operate in a silo. Sales will be affected if the product or service you sell isn’t competitive or positioned correctly. The same is true of other parts of the business. There’s a big difference between sales challenges and revenue challenges. Better sales practices can solve sales challenges within the sales organisation itself. Revenue challenges are broader by nature, and while they affect sales, a sale isn’t necessarily the source of the problem. An audit that is too narrowly focused on specific sales practices, like scripting or CRM, often lacks the context needed to create stable growth.
Sales audits you can trust are genuinely vendor and technology-agnostic.
There are sales audits, and then there are tools used to get organisations into a sales and marketing funnel called “sales audits.” In other words, you want to be sure you are getting recommendations on what your organisation needs, not whatever a particular solution provider has to offer.
Tell tale signs that an audit is just a sales tool is that the company doing it has a core competency in a specific field, like sales training, coaching or technology. It’s no surprise that most audits from companies that offer a specific service result in a recommendation for that service.
Your sales audit should be the product, which means it's best to pay for it.
We all love free. Unfortunately, if the sales audit you are commissioning is free, it’s probably a “spearhead” product that will recommend the auditor’s other services.
If you want a prescription that really works, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis, and that typically requires treating the audit as an independent product — and the auditor doing the same. If the audit is free, it’s usually a sales tactic.
Your organisation is unique, so your sales audit should be, too.
No two organisations are the same, even in the same industry, with the same business model, and selling to the same customers. That’s why so many sales and marketing services that have been “templated” to help drive more sales don’t work for most organisations. They’re great for the business selling them, not so much for the companies wanting unique insights they can take action on.
The same is true with your sales audit. If you want solutions as customised as your business is unique, you can’t commission an “off the shelf” product. A customised look at your organisation will result in a road map you can confidently trust to lead your organisation to new levels.
A holistic, objective and customised audit may be the tool you need to help streamline sales processes, create repeatable growth and turn sales around. Like any other important professional service, though, you often get out of it what you put into it.
When it comes to creating a road map, whom you partner with matters the most to drive further sales.