Sales problems inside of companies are caused by many things. It may be your salespeople. You may have the wrong people altogether, or you might have the right people in the wrong roles. Your salespeople may lack selling skills or they may lack the strengths needed to execute those skills. The problem could also be ineffective sales management or your organization’s selling strategy, systems and processes, compensation, prevailing sales culture or some combination of all of these.
On an individual level, a person’s sales performance is impacted by four crucial elements for success, five major aspects of their Sales DNA, twenty-one core competencies, seventy-five specific selling skills and over fifty self-limiting beliefs.
Before you begin training, a Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis (“SEIA”) or a Business Development Suitability, Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis (for professional service firms) designed to uncover the reasons for poor performance is imperative. (You can download a sample of these by clicking on the pictures in the sidebar to the right.)
A good doctor doesn’t prescribe treatment until they have thoroughly examined their patient. Likewise, a sales development expert shouldn’t implement new processes or recommend training until they have conducted an in-depth evaluation and identified the reasons why sales are suffering.
Our SEIA answers twenty specific questions designed to help us formulate a strategy and develop a plan for improving sales performance:
- How Does Sales Leadership Impact Your Sales Force?
- Do You Have the Right People in the Right Roles?
- What Are Your Current Sales Capabilities?
- How Motivated Are Your Salespeople and How Are They Motivated?
- Why Aren’t You Generating More New Business?
- Are You Reaching the Actual Decision Makers?
- Why Isn’t Your Sales Cycle Shorter?
- Can You Selling Consultatively?
- Are You Selling on Price and Who Can Become a Value Seller?
- Is Your Value Proposition Consistent?
- Can You Close More Sales?
- Do Your Systems and Processes Support a High Performance Sales Organization?
- Are You Being Consistent with Your Sales Process?
- How Well Are Your Sales Leadership Strategies Aligned?
- Do You Need to Change Your Sales Selection Criteria?
- Is Your Ramp-Up of New Salespeople Fast Enough?
- Can You Improve Your Pipeline and Forecasting Accuracy?
- Can You Improve Your Sales Culture?
- Who Can Become More Effective in Their Roles?
- What Are the Short-term Priorities for Accelerated Growth?
These are questions every business owner, CEO, VP of Sales or Managing Partner should know before they embark on a program to improve sales performance. You must fully understand the nature of your sales performance problems before attempting to fix them.