Updated: Sep 7, 2022
Building a Startup or a business comes with its challenges. And one of them is high-performing sales operations.
How often do you feel stuck or frustrated by the stagnancy or inconsistent performance of the sales team, despite all your efforts? But why does this happen? Do you know the reasons?
Doesn't this bother you and your sales team?
Most of the time leadership team tends to respond to this situation in a traditional way as they are not aware of the blind spots of their sales operations.
Some of the traditional solutions the leadership team implements are focusing on increasing the number of leads generated, giving more discounts or offers, re-pricing the products/services, and spending more on marketing activities. However, these initiatives often do not result in the expected growth in sales numbers and revenue. And the panic starts setting in.
It must be because this is how most businesses deal with this situation.
But what is the problem with this approach?
The problem is that we do not look under the hood.
What do we do when our car is not working? We look under the hood - check the different parts of the engine to find out if any part is malfunctioning. Is there wear & tear or damage to any parts? Is there any leakage? Are parts of the engine fine-tuned?
Our car's engine needs servicing at regular intervals to be in optimum performance mode, and so does the engine of our business - the Sales operations.
But how often do we do it? How many of us have a calendar for it? And most critical is how many of us know how to do it.
"Not having time" or "not knowing the sales operations audit process" are the main reasons most Startups and established businesses fail to perform this task.
To wait for the engine to break down to look under the hood is risky. Because a poorly maintained car engine can break down when it is most needed to function. And this can put you into big trouble, and it may be life-threatening also.
Visualize your Startup or business in a similar situation. How will you feel & what will you do? Most often than not, the panic sets in, forcing you to do even more wrong things.
But do not worry. We are here to help you.
Let us dive deep into this critical exercise you must perform at intervals to remain ahead of the curve.
The sales operation of any business is a high-pressure, high-speed, high-activity, and one of the most dynamic parts of our business. It is inevitable to develop some operational challenges & differences of opinion among the team members as we go along. A love-hate relationship between the sales & marketing departments is a well-known phenomenon. The leadership team must keep a close eye on and take necessary actions to eliminate the friction as much as possible.
It is where a sales operation's audit will help you immensely.
What is a Sales Operation Audit?
It is a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of a sales strategy. It involves diving deep into every activity on merits and mapping them for or against the core objectives of sales operations. This audit highlights gaps in your sales processes, leakages in the sales funnel, communication & commitments to customers, general operating habits, any interpersonal issues, and other aspects contributing to the team's performance and opportunities for improvement.
What are the main benefits of conducting sales operation audits?
1. Increases Profits
The sales operations audit aims at increasing the profitability of a commercial organization. The organization can identify & plug in gaps in its system and may come across hidden opportunities for revenue generations. Working on them improves productivity, reduces customer acquisition cost (CAC), increases sales volume (LTV), and cash flow generates profits.
2. Detects Duplicities
Over time duplicities creep into a system. Many out-of-date or redundant activities continue to consume resources reducing sales process efficiencies and sales team's productivity. The audit makes the sales process easy, lean, and repeatable.
3. Better Budgeting
An easy, lean, and repeatable sales process will require fewer funds to operate. Hence, it helps to prepare a better budget for the sales operations of an organization. Better the budgeting, better the financial strength of the Startup.
4. Improves Operational Efficiency
When done correctly, a sales operation audit improves operational efficiency and better utilization of resources not only in sales operations but across the organization. It will reduce the friction between marketing and customer service teams. All the customer touch points - sales, marketing, and customer service teams will work together to bring in more customers and keep them happy.
5. Better customer service
One of the reasons why good businesses grow and become great is because of the loyalty of their customers. This trust ensures that clients return to the company repeatedly. To seek such customer commitment, you must provide excellent customer service. And for doing so, it is mandatory for sales, marketing & customer service teams should work as one team.
A sales operation audit provides insight into the practices and processes used to provide customer service. The operation audit focuses on onboarding, upselling, cross-selling, value addition, retention plan, customer loyalty programs, and other aspects that are working fine or need to be improved. All these improvements lead to high-quality customer service, a key differentiator from the competition.
These are some of the benefits of performing a sales operation audit at a regular interval.
Below are some of the topics of a sales operation audit:
Sales strategy implementation success and gaps with reasons.
Sales team performance review - top 20%, middle 50%, and bottom 30% with reasons.
Sales team onboarding, training, and hand-holding for the initial period.
Sales team's recruitment process review
Change in market situation and relevance of current processes
Cross-functional coordinate - good practices & frictions.
Process efficiencies and redundancies.
Pay-out and compensation structure.
Process for performance review, appraisals, rewards, and recognition.
The sales operations auditor will determine the priority areas, type and number of participants, method, duration, and submission of the sales operation audit report, basis the core objectives of this activity.
Warning: Performing a sales operation audit in an organization is a sensitive matter. If done correctly, skyrocket the sales growth. But if not, it can backfire also. Employees participating in the audit may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the auditors and the process. Therefore, it is necessary to take the help of a professional to perform the sales operations audit for business growth.
Here are a few more reasons why you should do it:
1. Improves the accuracy of the sales forecast.
2. Finds out at which stage of the sales process you are losing your potential customers.
3. Gives a better understanding of customer aspirations, buying patterns, and decision-making.
4. Improves interpersonal relationships and bonding among team members and cross-functional coordination.
5. Refines lead generating process and increases conversion rates.
Still, thinking? Do not delay the success you deserve. Do not delay the sales revenue & cash flow growth your sales team can bring.
Take action now. Give us a call or an expert you know, for the sales operations audit in your company and propel your success journey.