10 Questions to Drive Sales Strategy
Experienced and effective sales strategy is critical to bottom-line success. The company must identify and analyze each of these key areas of their business, and answer the following questions, in order to develop the right sales strategy:
1. Sales goals
- What are the corporate goals?
- How do the sales goals feed into the corporate goals?
- Are the sales goals realistic? If yes, formulate the plan; if no, revisit the corporate goals and determine revenue sources that can be uncovered by the sales or marketing efforts.
- Create alignment between sales goals and corporate goals.
2. Sales structure
- What is the current sales rep / management structure?
- What is the ideal rep / management structure? Why?
- What does it take to create the ideal structure?
- What are the current opportunities, restrictions, and alternatives? Consider all options –working with an existing team, adding temporary assignment, developing a new sales team, or expanding through outsourcing, etc.
3. Sales process
- What is the current sales process?
- Where are the current efficiencies? Where are the inefficiencies or stumbling blocks?
- How is the process documented, managed, executed, and/or reviewed throughout the sales cycle, from lead generation to support to post-close execution?
- Where are there opportunities throughout the process to consider innovations that provide either cost savings or new ways to add revenue?
- What is the current compensation plan?
- Is it doing the job of motivating the sales team?
- Is the comp plan in alignment with corporate financial goals and budget?
- Is the comp plan in alignment with the corporate culture?
- What are the current skills and knowledge of the current sales team?
- Where are there gaps in skills or education?
- What additional training and resources are needed?
- How can these be delivered to optimize the results within a reasonable budget?
- What are the current tools used by the company to track or manage sales?
- What are the tools required to best show current sales vs. goals, with metrics for both sales and marketing operations (aligning sales approach with marketing efforts)
- What motivates your sales team?
- What does NOT motivate them?
- What are the best motivational tools for the team(s) involved in both sales and marketing?
- Are your incentives in alignment with our corporate values?
- How does your current sales structure support sales?
- Who is accountable to whom? Are there any strains in the company’s reporting structure?
- What are the accountability measures taken to ensure team targets are met? (i.e. performance reviews that focus on goal-setting and measurement)
- What is the ideal type of sales management required to move the team toward targets?
- What processes and decision tools are in place to provide moments of pause, assessment, and ability to make adjustments to any internal or external market changes?
- In what ways could the corporate culture, leadership, or operational function be more nimble in order to take advantage of new opportunity, or to respond swiftly to change?
- What reports are needed at top level?
- What reports are needed at sales performance level?
- What are the ideal types of reporting, analytics, and/or client information required to provide information that can support strategic decisions?