Six Questions to Ask About Your Sales Team

By Martin Piplits

By Martin Piplits


In my recent articles related to sales planning and budgeting, I question the flexibility of traditional annual budgets in a dynamic, global environment. While the majority of our clients recognize the value of 12-month rolling forecasts, many of them still develop traditional yearly budgets. This is mainly due to the fact that a switch to a rolling forecast would require a major overhaul of the enterprise operating system (including critical components, like compensation, reporting, performance management, etc.). Medium-term, yearly budgets will prevail as the model of choice.

In the meantime, you are probably reflecting on how to make 2018 a successful year. The fourth quarter is when most companies wrap up their budgets for the coming year, and successful improvement of the bottom line starts with improvement of the top line: we’re talking sales. Below are six important questions about your sales team to consider as you prepare your plan for 2018:

  1. How will your sales team work to consistently bring in new, high-potential accounts?

  2. How will your sales team improve profit margins?

  3. How will your sales team grow and retain your best, most profitable accounts?

  4. What is your sales team doing to win customer business (on something other than price)?

  5. What is your plan for improving the talent base of your sales team?

  6. What is your plan to focus your team on value-added activities and how will you ensure transparency and accountability?

If you can answer these six questions about your sales team, you are ahead of the game. You probably command a top-performing sales force, which delivers steady, profitable growth. If you are unable to answer the questions above, it may be worthwhile to spend time to examine whether your team possesses the skills and competencies required to achieve the plan.

We offer comprehensive sales team assessment programs which help organizations to identify any shortcomings which prohibit profitable growth. Low performance might be driven by ineffective sales management, poorly developed sales processes, insufficient selling skills, or lack of focus (to name a few). We are able to provide a holistic perspective and evaluation of the training and development needs of your sales team, in order to enable successful execution of your strategic plan.