Is it time for a sales audit? In this article, we’ll be guiding you through the process so that you can conduct a thorough check. This will help you to improve forecasting and sales strategies, as audits assist your sales team in setting and reaching targets and revenue goals for business growth.
What is a Sales Audit?
“The Sales Audit is the comprehensive, systematic, periodic, analysis, evaluation and interpretation of business environment, objectives, strategies, principles to determine the areas of problem or opportunities and recommending the plan of action to improve the sales performance.” - Business Jargons.
Put simply, it is the analysis of sales and marketing data to identify opportunities and threats. It covers the following aspects:
- Figures relating to leads, eg. The number of leads generated in a month, or the percentage of leads that become highly qualified leads
- The number of sales pitches conducted
- How many deals were closed in a period
- The acquisition channels for new prospects and most successful marketing steams for leads
- The average length of time spent in each stage of the sales funnel
- The content needed by salespeople that most effectively secures deals
- If there is an adequate number of leads
- If there is an adequate number of salespeople and are they well-trained
- What the stats are for each of the salespeople
Why Sales Audits Matter?
Analysis matters in business, especially when it comes to studying the sales funnel. Its importance can be broken down into two primary areas: revenue and marketing.
- The sales team also influences the work of the marketing team. When these two departments are working in alignment, there is a better flow of information with regard to leads. With this in mind, it is important for sales and marketing to work together congruently.
- Salespeople have the all-important task of converting qualified leads into paying customers. They are the final point in the customer journey and are responsible for securing the generation of revenue for a business. Their work has a direct impact on the bottom line.
To bring this topic full circle, we understand that sales audits are necessary as they help salespeople to improve their forecasts and planning, which needs to be done as it affects both your marketing department and your ROI. The audit consists of a range of relevant data which is then analyzed for insights to then be denoted.
Conduct a Sales Audit in 3 Steps
The precise steps involved in conducting a sales audit will depend on your business model and the software that you use. If you’re using a CRM or CMS, for example, you’ll have easy access to data. All sales audits will, however, include the following steps:
Step 1: Set Goals
Before you take the deep dive into the data, you’ve got to base your audit on a framework. This will keep you focused so that you don’t drown in a sea of information. Map out the various elements you need to analyze and identify what you are looking for - we’ve got the details in step 2 ready for you to use. You can simply add these headings into your presentation or report to ensure you conduct a holistic analysis.
For the best outcomes, you’ll want to look at both quantitative and qualitative data. This means you should focus on the numbers, but also be sure to interview people in the sales department to find out about their experiences.
Step 2: Gather Data
- The market environment: Starting off with the external information, it may be helpful to begin with a market assessment. After all, gaining a better understanding of the market conditions will play a role and influence the ability of your business to close deals. This is a starting point here as it provides important context for the rest of the information that is to follow.
- The customer journey: Naturally, you need to analyze the sales funnel when doing a sales audit. This means you need to clearly identify the steps leading up to closing deals. This involves tracking the steps taken by customers at each point. This includes vital information about your leads and can identify problem areas and opportunities within your sales process.
- Your internal systems: The tools and software that a business uses should improve efficiency. It is important to review what is working and helping salespeople, as any obstructions and limitations in the abilities and workflow can result in delayed or missed sales opportunities. This should include the ability for teams to qualify leads.
- The leads: Analyze your leads to see the number of conversions and qualifying leads that are generated. This is crucial for business growth and can pinpoint areas where your business needs to improve its marketing efforts with a set of leads to help them reach the next stage. You also need to ensure your lead generation strategy is working effectively.
- The sales: The actual work completed by the sales team is crucial to your sales audit. This information needs to detail the interactions between the sales team and the marketing department, as well as the prospective customers. It comes down to methodology and performance, so be sure to take both results and feedback into consideration. In addition, you also need to consider the tools and content at the disposal of the sales team - for example, are product demos working?
- Reporting: For an audit to be completed, you’ve got to have data to work with. The better your reporting systems, the more robust your intel and insights will be. The analysis needs to be a deep dive which is conducted regularly. The tools used for tracking need to effectively capture information and be updated. Creating a system that is replicated can make this easier, for example, having a master document with the figures which is checked monthly for regular reporting. This is where having robust analytical software, often included with CRMs and CMSs can be helpful.
- Post-sale activities: Your analysis should include data pertaining to lead nurturing. In other words, information on customer service and retention is important to take into consideration, as this is crucial for long-term business relationships and success.
Step 3: Draw Insights
Once you have identified the information above, you need to find patterns and gaps. These are areas of improvement which you can then use to create a new set of goals for the sales and marketing departments. For example, you may identify that your marketing campaigns need to focus more on lead generation via social media. Other goals could be based on increasing profits, improving budgets, and improving your business value. This comes down to using the information to forecast future sales and put plans in place that will allow you to achieve those goals.
Your Sales Audit is 3 Steps Away
Sales Audits are important to pinpoint the effectiveness of your sales department. By following the 3 steps listed above, you’ll be armed with relevant and detailed insights that can help you improve your planning and forecasting, which will ultimately improve your marketing, sales, and revenue raised.
Get an Independent Sales Audit
Nexa is here for you. We can conduct a detailed sales audit and consultation for your business, complete with suggestions on how and where to improve. If you need a CRM system in place to conduct the sales audits yourself, we’ve got you covered too. Get in touch with us to get started.