Eight Question on Sales Organization

Here’s a blog post from Harvard Business Review by Melissa Raffoni on Eight Questions to Assess Your Sales Organization.

If you and your team are assessing your organization’s sales effectiveness, here are eight common questions that I hear CEOs ask each other in peer groups:

  1. “Ok, tell us again, what’s your value proposition? Why should customers choose you over the competitors?” It’s so basic, isn’t it?  Yet, I continue to be amazed at how difficult it is to answer this question well. With the constantly changing competitive landscapes and customer needs, every company should take a second look at what they are pitching and why it still resonates today.  I’m sure, for most, the value proposition needs a facelift.
  2. “What is your sales process and how does your organizational structure map to it?”
  3. “Do you think your overall cost of sales is where it should be?  What makes you think that?  Are you comparing to an industry standard or mapping to a projected financial model?”
  4. What key measures are you using to track sales effectiveness? Do you have a sales dashboard?” Is it cost of sales as a percentage of revenue, close ratio, sales person productivity? Something else? You can’t really optimize if you don’t know which lever you want to move.
  5. “If you believe there are two ways to drive sales–increase the funnel and/or increase the close ratio–what are you doing to achieve those increases?
  6. “Is sales compensation driving the right behaviors?” Is there enough of a variable compensation compenent to make a difference?
  7. “It’s a new world, how are you taking advantage of it?” Partners are willing to talk, new talent is on the street, customers are looking for high ROI offerings, social media is changing how people communicate. Are you experimenting?
  8. Do you have the right people?

One thought on “Eight Question on Sales Organization

  1. Greg,

    Interesting choice this week. We have been spending a lot of time trying to answer these questions for ourselves.
    Many of our answers we felt really good about, a few caused us to re-examine certain processes and issues.

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