What is a Sales Audit?
A sales audit is an in-depth analysis of your sales process, considering factors such as team, strategy, and software. The goal is to identify what’s working well and any potential opportunities for improvement.
An audit can help ensure your team is on track to meet or exceed the target, and if not, reevaluate before you get too far off course.
Purpose and Benefits of Sales Audit
A sales audit aims to improve performance, but the benefits go far beyond increased productivity and profitability.
An audit can help you answer critical questions about your company, including the average sales cycle length, conversion rates, and which products and services are most profitable. Auditing your sales team staff can also improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover. Lastly, a sales audit is a great tool to help forecast future sales and plan your budget accordingly.
How Often Should You Run a Sales Audit?
You should evaluate your sales process with a thorough audit at least once a year. Most companies conduct an annual financial audit, and it makes sense to analyze your sales process simultaneously.
However, certain instances may be necessary to run a sales audit outside of that year-end review. For example, if you’re restructuring your team, having profitability issues, or considering a large investment in new software.
If your compensation model is commission-based primarily, you may want to run audits every quarter to evaluate the profitability. The bottom line is any time you’re looking to improve profitability or considering a significant investment in your sales team; it’s best to run an audit first.
How to Conduct a Sales Audit
Collect the data
The first step in any sales audit process is to gather the necessary information. Begin with an outline of the company’s sales process from start to finish, along with any associated data (ie., revenue, customer acquisition numbers, retention rates, lead generation, conversion rates).
Take inventory of your tools
As part of the sales audit, you’ll also need to evaluate the effectiveness of any sales enablement tools the team uses. Look for areas where salespeople perform manual tasks that could be automated with technology.
Too many tools can also be a problem on the other end of the spectrum. According to a research report from Allego, 86% of reps get confused about which tool to use for which task, and almost the same number waste time keeping track of different login credentials for various tools.
Talk to your team
Reps are the ones working the sales process day in and day out and know better than anyone what’s working and what’s not. Ask for their feedback on the process.
Evaluate how each team member performs if they feel overwhelmed by their task list and if they’re receiving adequate support from sales leaders. Next, evaluate the team as a whole, both in terms of performance and team culture. Is the team properly motivated to achieve quota?
Don’t forget to ask for feedback from managers as well. According to research from Gartner, 58% of sales managers struggle to complete their tasks within the time given.
Look at training and coaching
Up to 82% of B2B decision-makers report finding sales reps unprepared. Proper sales training and onboarding can help your team perform better under pressure, but training needs to be combined with regular coaching to see the best results. Check out this post to measure the impact of your training program.
Create a report
After you’ve evaluated the different aspects of your sales process, from strategy to team, technology, and training, it’s time to compile your findings. Create a sales audit report with all of the data, key findings, and suggestions for improvement. Share this document with your team and ask for additional feedback.
Optimizing Your Sales Development Process
After conducting your audit, you should be left with a better understanding of your sales process and how to improve it. As you start looking at what changes need to be made, there are three main areas to consider:
- People: Who is working in each role?
- Process: What strategy are those people using?
- Technology: What tools are enabling them?
Of those three, your sales process is the most likely candidate for improvement. Most of the time, when a company isn’t achieving predictable revenue with sales development, the issue stems from the overall strategy.
Here are three steps you can take to reevaluate and improve your process:
3 Steps to Improve Your Sales Development Process
1. Start with the foundations
Before building an outbound sales strategy, you need to have a clear understanding of your company’s customer acquisition costs, positioning in the market, ideal customer profile (ICP), market segment, etc.
Nail your niche, know your numbers, and, more importantly, know your customers. Research is the best way to get to know your market; these pieces will form the foundation of your outbound sales strategy.
2. Determine which sales model is the best fit
Do your current sales methods align with the factors above? For example, does it make sense for your company to use high-volume automation, or would your product be better suited to small-volume, account-based marketing?
Next, determine what team structure would best support that sales model. If your aim is high-volume cold calling, you’ll need a team of sales development reps (SDRs). An account-based approach will require more experienced salespeople with strong research skills.
3. Add the team and technology
Your sales team and tech stack should enable your overall strategy, which is why this step comes last. After establishing the best team structure for your company, it should be much clearer what roles you’ll need to hire and which tools they’ll need to do their job.
Final Tips for Conducting a Sales Audit
Regular audits are critical to optimizing your sales process. Whether you choose to conduct an internal audit or hire an independent third party, the steps above will help you evaluate your company’s sales performance.
Remember to ask for feedback from your team at each stage and remain open to suggestions. Stay objective, and set measurable goals to ensure your audit stays on track. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to run a successful audit and create meaningful change in your sales organization.
If you want an outside perspective on your sales process, reach out here to book a free discovery call. Our expert sales coaches will review your current strategy, identify gaps and opportunities, and provide a step-by-step plan to achieve your sales goals.
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