Imagine that a sales rep from the 1980s magically transports into a sales team operating today. 

Instantly, it will occur to them just how much things have changed.

Sales has come a long way, and it’s changing faster than ever. 

If you’re not keeping up, then you’re falling behind. 

As a director or a manager, you need to conduct a regular sales process audit to make sure that your team is working at its optimal levels. Below are four critical areas that require regular review.

4 Key Areas To Review in Your Sales Process Audit

To ensure that your sales audit is effective, you first need to analyze the following 4 aspects.

1. Workflow automation 

Did you know that sales professionals often spend less than 30% of their time actually selling?

When you automate many of the behind-the-scenes processes, you free up time for your salespeople to concentrate on what they do best: selling. 

Smart sales organizations implement automated workflows and processes to free salespeople from the administrative burdens of managing data and manual processes. The right solution can help you get better leads into the sales pipeline, ensure that every lead is followed up, generate insightful reports, and nurture prospects. 

Technology constantly improves and brings new opportunities for workflow and process automation. Review your solutions and options regularly to identify what you should update.

2. Sales & marketing alignment 

When you successfully align and integrate sales and marketing efforts, the synergistic effect becomes evident, yielding tangible and substantial results. Cultivating collaboration between these two crucial departments is paramount for achieving organizational success.

One effective strategy is to foster collaboration in content creation, thereby creating a unified front that resonates with your target audience.

Establishing opportunities for joint brainstorming sessions and content development to tap into the collective expertise of both teams, creating content that not only attracts but also converts leads into customers.

Moreover, to ensure a cohesive approach, it’s imperative to establish a set of shared revenue goals that both sales and marketing teams can rally behind. These shared objectives create a sense of common purpose, fostering a collaborative spirit that transcends individual departmental goals.

To enhance the effectiveness of collaborative efforts, synchronization of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation data is essential.

This integration enables both teams to have real-time visibility into the success of shared initiatives. It facilitates seamless communication, allowing for prompt adjustments and optimizations based on the performance metrics available through shared data.

3. Lead management 

Lead management stands as a cornerstone of organizational success, and a comprehensive audit is indispensable to ensure its effectiveness.

Running an audit involves a meticulous examination of lead management best practices, including lead scoring, nurturing, and distribution. This process helps identify areas for improvement and optimization, ensuring that your organization is making the most of every potential opportunity.

Also, take time to review what your sales reps are doing. Are they following the prescribed sales methodology or winging it/doing their own thing?

Understanding how your sales team operates on the front lines provides valuable insights into the alignment of efforts and the effectiveness of the established processes.  

Finally, check out your personas and marketing qualified lead (MQL) and sales qualified lead (SQL) criteria. Are they still relevant? Are they correct? 

Regularly updating and fine-tuning these parameters contribute to the precision and efficacy of your lead management strategy.

4. Call technology

The phone is still at the center of the sales process, and there have been significant advances that your sales organization should embrace. 

Innovative sales tools can evaluate and route your next best lead seamlessly, automating the dialing process for you. Advanced lead routing not only saves valuable time but also ensures that your sales representatives are consistently engaging with the most promising prospects.

Imagine the advantage of having technology work in tandem with your team to pinpoint and connect with leads in the most optimized manner possible.

Moreover, cutting-edge solutions can provide a preview of contact information before initiating a call, equipping your sales professionals with valuable insights, and allowing for more personalized and informed conversations.

Audit your current calling technology to understand if it integrates with your lead management solution to make every call more efficient and productive. When it comes to the phone, use all the tools at your disposal.

Sales Audit Action Plan

There are different sales audit methods and techniques you can use depending on your business. In other words, your audit will be unique and tailored to your needs and requirements.

However, there are several areas that every sales audit should evaluate. 

1. Your Sales Process and Road Map 

Start by looking at your complete sales funnel. 

Map out every single step of the way, and how a prospect should move through the buyer’s journey. Even if you are a B2B business, it is essential to have a B2B customer journey map to understand and optimize the customer experience at every touchpoint.

It’s crucial to decide on how you are going to monitor sales activity — what metrics are most important, and how you want to receive that information. 

This way, it will be possible to identify all the cracks through which your sales opportunities slip and do something about it. 

When you have a complete overview of your sales funnel, you’ll be able to understand whether your funnel is designed in a manner that helps your sales reps hit their quota.  

2. Your metrics

If your sales are going up, you’re doing it right. If your numbers are going south, then things are not fine. Management measures your team’s success based on close rates and attainment of revenue goals. 

It’s as simple as that.

Arm yourself with all the data you need and ensure your ability to access that data when you need it. 

Modern sales platforms like VanillaSoft deliver excellent reports and dashboards on everything from lead management to call success, values of deals, team management, and much more. How you visualize those reports can be customized to suit your business and the kinds of information that you need to be monitoring.

The bottom line is that the sales process needs to be well-defined and that the opportunities in the sales pipeline are understood.

3. Your sales team

Your next step is to take a look at your sales team and the ways that reps work with each other and with other departments in your organization. 

Ensure other departments understand their role, even if indirect, in the customer’s sales experience. Encourage dialogue among departments so salespeople get a first-hand account of typical support and customer service-related issues, product updates and release information coming soon, new marketing programs, and more. 

This communication also allows your sales team to provide valuable insights to customer service, support, marketing, product management, and other mission-critical departments.

4. Your sales goals

Take a step back and look at your sales efforts and achievements in the context of the company’s stated goals. 

Do you meet more than just revenue goa

ls? Your organization likely has targets for customer satisfaction, customer retention, and more. 

How well is your team supporting these targets, too?

5. The quality of your existing leads

Not all leads are equal, and the fact that your funnel or pipeline is packed with sales opportunities doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Quite the opposite, if there are a lot of bad leads and stale deals in your funnel, your sales reps are only wasting their time trying to close them, while simultaneously mission out on the good ones. 

The problem might be that your marketing hands off prospects to your sales department too early. Or it could be that leads have to be nurtured better and in more detail in order to build trust before they are ready to accept your offer. Or, you simply don’t have a well-defined ideal customer profile and buyer personas, so that your messages target a wider audience. 

The sales audit should shed some light on what your major issues are when it comes to the sales funnel.  

Closing Words

Our time-traveling sales rep from the 80s may be flabbergasted by the technological changes that have occurred over the past three decades, but they won’t be surprised by the need to continually improve and refine the sales process.

Change is the only constant. If things are not working for your salespeople, you have a continuing opportunity to fix issues and improve.

Audit your sales process routinely to ensure your sales reps are successful in meeting your sales goals.