Sales Leader: How many of these questions can you answer?

As we begin the year, if you are a leader of a sales effort at a company, stop and think about what results would be possible if you could decisively answer these questions:

Do we have the right people in the right roles?
As we know, there are many competencies required by each sales and marketing role.  We have learned from the Gallup studies that when we place naturally talented people in roles where they can best use their talent each day, everyone wins.

How motivated are our salespeople and how is each one motivated?
Salespeople, in general, don’t march to the same drummer.  Some are intrinsically motivated and take pride in doing the best possible job.  Others need a pat on the back or some other form of external reward. Do you know what each of your people needs, to feel motivated?  And, are your current methods of motivating effective?

Why aren’t we generating more new business?
Who is going to prospect regardless?  Who needs management oversight and accountability to prospect?  Who will avoid it regardless?  What other factors are preventing your company from generating more revenue and capturing market share?

Why isn’t our sales cycle shorter?
What factors are contributing to lengthen your sales cycle?  What actions would make the most difference to shorten the cycle?

Are we selling on price and who on the sales force can become a value seller?
Is your strategy dependent on holding margin against lower priced competitors?  If so, do you know which salespeople can implement that strategy?

Do our systems and processes support a high-performance sales organization?
What activities are you measuring?  What results are you measuring and how often? What kind of sales culture do you have as a result?  How effectively are you able to hold the sales team to account?  What support is missing?  Is everyone aligned with your strategy?  What systems need updating to keep up with social media changes?

Do we need to change our selection and onboarding process?
Are you using the highest rated objective pre-hire assessments in your hiring process and are your managers trained to be expert interviewers?  Are you giving your new reps what they need to be successful?

How strong are my sales managers and how does each of them need to improve in order to reach their goals?
Sales managers are your most powerful lever to success.  Helping each of them empower their salespeople to succeed is priority number one.  But, no two managers are alike. How well does each coach, mentor, motivate and manage the pipeline of sales opportunities and hold their team to account?  Do you know what each one needs to achieve their full potential?

These questions can be answered by conducting a Sales Force Evaluation.  This process involves gathering objective input online from all levels in the sales organization and utilizing an outside expert to gather confidential, subjective input from your organization.  What would be possible if you not only had the answers to these questions, but also had a clear actionable strategy to address each one?  In today’s competitive business climate, you cannot afford not to know.

Dr. John Musser of Enhanced Sales Potential, noted organizational psychologist and sales expert, has conducted Sales Force Evaluations for sales organizations throughout North and South America for 26 years.  He can be reached at or 800.880.6607.