In sales, every day is a new opportunity to contact leads, close deals, and move closer to your target. However, it's also important to step back regularly and conduct sales audits to ensure your team is performing at a high level that meets or exceeds your expectations.
What is a sales audit?
A sales audit — also referred to as a sales process audit — is a detailed analysis of a company’s sales process. This entails reviewing everything from staff, software, to strategy. Audits identify gaps and opportunities for your sales team to improve on.
The term may sound a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, sales audits are necessary to set up your sales team and company for future success. These assessments can be conducted by internal or external auditors, depending on your company's preference. It may also be helpful to include the marketing team in the audit as the two teams tend to collaborate on initiatives or projects.
Now that you know what a sales process audit is, below are some questions you can use to complete this evaluation.
Sales Staff Checklist
The office environment your sales reps operate in can impact their productivity and well-being. Your auditor needs to look at the business from the perspective of both sales reps and managers to ensure their specific needs are being met. This also includes a look into the culture and how inclusivity and diversity play a part.
Here are some sales staff questions you should ask:
Are your reps satisfied with the number of clients they have? Do they need more or feel overwhelmed?
Do your reps have assigned target markets? Do they have a solid understanding of their demographics?
Are reps currently following your company’s sales process? How can the alignment between the sales process and the buyer’s journey be documented?
How has the sales leadership team supported the reps? What else can be done to provide support?
Does your sales team have a diverse mix of sales styles? (Consider our sales animal quiz to find out the dominant style on your team and how to improve.)
Are you hiring the right people? How effective have your recent hires been in the last year?
What is the culture of the sales team now? Is it more competitive or collaborative?
Sales Training & Preparation Checklist
You’ll want to know the efficiency of your onboarding process for new sales reps. This part of the audit should cover standardized training procedures and up-to-date personnel files. These are valuable pieces of information that can affect employee retention, turnover, and identify who has room to improve in their ability to sell.
Some sales training and preparation questions you should ask are:
What is the current training process for your reps? Have reps been educated on your company, competitors, industry, and services? (Here are some tips for coaching and training salespeople.)
How often do you polish your reps on their skills? Are there recurring workshops to strengthen your reps’ selling skills?
How effective is the onboarding process for new reps? Do you have product and sales methodology trainings in place?
Are your reps equipped with the necessary skills to succeed at their job? Do they have properly functioning technology and software tools to track their progress? Do they have well-designed branding materials (e.g. sales collateral) to impress and inform a client?
Sales Presentation Checklist
When presenting your value proposition, the narrative should be captivating. During a sales audit, make sure your presentation is clear, engaging, and continues to get buyers to close. Update it as necessary by getting rid of old visuals, data, and refine it to stand out against your competitors.
Here are some sales presentation questions that you can ask:
Are you presenting to decision-makers? If not, how can you reach decision-makers?
Have you been able to distinguish yourselves from competitors in the sales presentation?
Is your presentation visually appealing and easy to understand?
How often do your reps practice their pitches? Are they able to pitch in-person as well as remotely?
Sales Strategy Checklist
Evaluate your sales strategy during each audit to determine what can be refined and improved for the market. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of current processes and revamp your strategy to keep customers interested and coming back.
For questions related to your sales strategy, you can ask:
What are other existing business opportunities you can tackle? How can you forecast and pipeline success for this?
What are your short-term and long-term priorities? What are the next steps to achieve these goals?
Are there any unnecessary or missing steps in the sales process?
What is the lead generation process like? What are the sources for new leads?
What is the quote management process like? Who is responsible for determining quotes? What’s the follow-up process after a quote is given?
Are there regular meetings with the sales team to discuss the overall strategy and determine goals? How effective are these meetings? What can be improved?
How are you continuing to differentiate yourselves from competitors? Are you taking note of their business strategies and moves?
Review your key performance indicators (KPIs). How do your KPIs compare to your competitors and your past performance? Are there any irrelevant or missing KPIs?
How are you tracking successes and failures and what takeaways can you gain from them? Are you conducting weekly sales reports to better understand performance?
Sales Audit Procedures
Lastly, you don’t want to forget to ask about nonconforming occurrences in the sales process. To prevent unethical or accidental fraud when completing sales transactions, ask to verify sales reports.
You should ask:
Have deposit records been examined in the last quarter? How do they differ from past records?
Have we tested internal controls to identify any irregularities in the sales process?
Has a sales revenue analysis been conducted? Are some sales reps under/overperforming without explanation?
Have we verified current bank statements?
Is how we store client data secure?
The above questions will move you in the right direction for your next sales process audit. Although extensive — and maybe even nitty-gritty — sales audits are crucial for your business to discover new opportunities and areas of improvement. On top of these questions, be sure to ask your team members for any additional feedback to make the best of your sales process. Good luck!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jul 14, 2021 1:15:00 PM, updated July 14 2021