Have you ever thought about how the 10,000 foot view from an airplane is often more interesting and illuminating than the proverbial 30,000 foot view?
This is true when looking at a sales organization as well. The 30,000-ft. view that you tend to take with something like a SWOT analysis or other strategic exercises is good, but the 10,000-ft. view might be more appropriate
We use a process called the Sales Diagnostic to take the 10,000 foot view.
Components of a Successful Sales Diagnostic
Our Sales Diagnostic focuses on six key areas:
- Revenue metrics: Everything from revenue to order sizes to product popularity matters.
- Competitive position: What does the company do well, and where do competitors typically win? How does the elevator pitch resonate with the target audience?
- Internal structure: Salespeople crave reward structures. How are they compensated for great performances? From a higher level, how do prospect profiles and sales collateral make their way to the sales team, and do those tools help drive sales?
- Pricing: How much the product costs is just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing which parts are negotiable and which are not helps leaders recognize opportunities to offer discounts.
- Performance metrics: What are the leading indicators? How does the company measure performance? Do salespeople feel motivated or limited by this structure?
- Customer service: If the sales process goes smoothly, but the postsale process and onboarding are disastrous, the number of deals closed might not tell the whole story.
To help improve sales performance, let's look more closely at your process.
Evaluating Your Process to Improve Performance
- Performance Review Process: What process do you use to review performance of each team member?
- Sales Structure: What structure are you currently using? In what ways is it helping? Is it holding you back in any way?
- Job Roles: Do you have a specific job role for each person on the team? Is there someone who owns every step of the sales process (lead generation, making connections, determining needs, creating solutions, etc.)?
- Ideal Prospect Profile: What characteristics do your best customers share? What process do you have to identify prospects who meet that profile?
- Decision-Making Process: What is the decision-making process for those who make the best prospects for new business?
- Valid Business Reasons (VBR): What valid business reasons are most likely to get the attention of key decision makers? How do you ensure your VBRs are far superior to your competitors?
- Sales Process: What process do you follow to achieve success? How is this reinforced on a regular basis? How is it incorporated into your CRM? Is it used in your onboarding?
- Key Sales Collateral: What questions do prospects most often ask? What collateral do you have to answer those questions?
If you want to get the full list that we use in our Sales Diagnostic, you can download that here. The diagnostic list is powerful, with our help it can improve your performance. We love to make a difference!
Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2017 and has since been updated.