Diagnosing the Sales Force

by Howard Shore, Date: Apr 19, 2011

Diagnosing the Sales Force

In today’s market success is all about taking market share. Often organizations do not go deep enough in their diagnosis and do not have the tools to determine why their sales force is not maximizing growth. It is usually best to get outside help to assess your sales force. The best consultants have the tools, data, validation, understanding, and track record to optimize your sales force’s performance. Many times your own bias will cause you to prejudge and not see what is right in front of you, causing you to miss significant opportunity.

Here are examples of the things a good diagnosis will show you:

  • Do you have the right number of salespeople? Can more be done with less, or do you need more to achieve your strategic plan?
  • Do you have an effective sales process, or do you need a more formalized, structured, optimized process?
  • Is your compensation plan effective, and are your people motivated by it?
  • How effective is your sales management at coaching, motivating, recruiting, developing, and driving accountability?
  • Does management need to improve those skills or replace their people?
  • Who will be able to transition from behaving like an account manager to being more proactive at hunting for new opportunities and new business?
  • Who will be able to make the transition from presenting/proposing/quoting to more customer-focused consultative selling?
  • Which of your top salespeople are underperforming because of an unlevel playing field the organization has created and not their own sales skills?
  • Which of the salespeople have significantly greater potential to sell more and what can be done to help them realize that?
  • Which of your people are trainable? Which ones are not, and why?
  • Which of your nonperformers will likely step up to become good and top performers with development, and what will it take to accomplish that? How long will it take?
  • How can you improve your selection criteria to raise your batting average at getting top performers?
  • Is your sales management/management team aligned with your strategy?
  • Is the current sales force capable of executing your changing strategies?
  • What will be your return on investment if you implement changes? Conversely, what will you lose if you don’t implement changes?

The sales force development experts require you to go through a diagnosis so they can help you determine what you need. It is important to take the guesswork out of the equations and provide answers to all of those questions, along with insights recommendations and actions to make the redesign of your sales force as effortless, efficient, and cost-effective as possible. Most training companies do not do this. In order to cater to the client’s comfort level with a cookie-cutter process, they appeal to the masses’ desire to send one person to training and are thus able to have lower-level people conduct the training classes. Be careful what you ask for, because you might get it!

Howard Shore is a business growth expert that works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or shoreh@activategroupinc.com.

*Register today to attend out upcoming event: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits Workshop on April 27th in Plantation Florida. At this event you’ll learn the key traits of a Superior Sales Force and how to evaluate and boost your sales program for a strong Q3 and 4.