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? 

 

4. Compensation 

  • 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? 

 

5. Training 

  • 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? 

 

6. Tracking 

  • 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) 

 

7. Incentives 

  • 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? 

 

8. Management 

  • 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? 

 

9. Flexibility 

  • 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? 

 

10. Reporting 

  • 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? 

 

Robyn Hounjet