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Sales Increase Analysis Test

Digital Library > Defining and Serving a Market > Market strategy “Sales Increase Analysis Test”

This is an extensive checklist to diagnose your staffing, orientation, training, and communications problems among your sales, marketing, and advertising personnel.

This article is a sequel to "Increasing Your Sales and Marketing Productivity" (Entrepreneurial Edge, fourth quarter, 1994). The test allows you, as the business person, to answer specific questions about your sales and marketing processes. The scoring mechanism at the end tells you where to direct your resources to gain a sales productivity increase.

Sales increases come from either enhancing the sales side of the organization or improving your marketing programs. Please answer all the questions quickly and honestly. The scoring mechanism at the end will tell you where to direct your activities.

  1. Do our salespeople have more sales leads than they are able to handle?

    Yes __ No __

  2. Does our sales organization utilize both direct and indirect representatives (i.e. manufacturer’s reps, independent service organizations, distribution reps, etc.)?

    Yes __ No __

  3. Have we implemented a specific sales process (steps) and do our salespeople understand and utilize it?

    Yes __ No __

  4. Do our salespeople have the proper sales presentation tools and know how to use them?

    Yes __ No __

  5. Do we have a formal sales training program in place to develop product and industry knowledge as well as selling skills?

    Yes __ No __

  6. Do our sales people know how they are being measured in areas other than revenue?

    Yes __ No __

  7. Is our Sales Manager conducting regular in-field coaching sessions on an individual basis with the sales people?

    Yes __ No __

  8. Does our Sales Manager have a formal plan in place to develop our sales people’s skills?

    Yes __ No __

  9. Is our sales compensation plan designed to promote the proper product mix and does it reward high performance and penalize low performance?

    Yes __ No __

  10. Does our Company have a formal performance improvement program in place to prescribe help needed and to set minimum requirements and expectations for acceptable levels of performance?

    Yes __ No __

  11. Do we regularly communicate product and industry update information to our sales people?

    Yes __ No __

  12. Do we have a formal program in place for reporting sales activity?

    Yes __ No __

  13. Are our sales people providing regular product and industry feedback on a formal (written) basis?

    Yes __ No __

  14. Are our sales people reporting on sales which we lost and telling us why?

    Yes __ No __

  15. Do our sales people have a program in place to contact accounts that should be buying, but are not?

    Yes __ No __

  16. Do we (the Company) and they know who these accounts are?

    Yes __ No __

  17. Are we convinced that our product is being represented in the best possible manner by our sales people?

    Yes __ No __

  18. Are our sales people complaining about geographic or territorial issues?

    Yes __ No __

  19. Do we believe our sales organization is making the best use of its time?

    Yes __ No __

  20. Is our sales organization using computers and contact management software?

    Yes __ No __

  21. Are we receiving negative feedback about the product not meeting the markets needs?

    Yes __ No __

  22. Are we experiencing significant price objections?

    Yes __ No __

  23. Are we experiencing customer satisfaction complaints?

    Yes __ No __

  24. Are we experiencing significant competitive pressure?

    Yes __ No __

  25. Do we conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys?

    Yes __ No __

  26. Do we have any market research or surveys results about our market and the customer needs?

    Yes __ No __

  27. Do we have reliable competitive information and do we have answers for competitive objections?

    Yes __ No __

  28. Do we know if our product is meeting the needs of our customers?

    Yes __ No __

  29. Are we selling into every market where our product fits, if it makes sense to sell there?

    Yes __ No __

  30. Do we understand our market "position"?

    Yes __ No __

  31. Do we have a formal (written) marketing plan developed and have we implemented it?

    Yes __ No __

  32. Does our marketing plan address "all" of the following strategies?
    • Product Strategies
    • Market Strategies
    • Selling Strategies
    • Distribution Strategies
    • Service and Support Strategies

    Yes __ No __

  33. Does our marketing plan provide a creative platform that has continuity of the marketing message?

    Yes __ No __

  34. Does our marketing plan provide the direction for the communications strategies (i.e. Advertising, PR, etc.)?

    Yes __ No __

  35. Does our marketing plan provide for a specific budgeted amount of money to be spent on marketing activities?

    Yes __ No __

  36. Do we do any "awareness" advertising?

    Yes __ No __

  37. Do our advertising messages have a "call to action" (i.e. encourage the prospect to make an inquiry)?

    Yes __ No __

  38. Have we selected a specific communications strategy?

    Yes __ No __

  39. Does our present strategy include at least three of the following programs?
    • Space Advertising
    • Publicity
    • Direct Mail
    • Telemarketing
    • Event Marketing
    • Trade Shows
    • Seminars
    • Sales Promotion
    • Brochures
    • Promotions/Contests

    Yes __ No __

  40. Are we measuring the results of our communications vehicles and calculating return on investment?

    Yes __ No __

  41. Do we have an effective "lead generation and management system" in place?

    Yes __ No __

  42. Is the Sales Organization complaining about the quality of the leads we generate?

    Yes __ No __

  43. Is our Sales Organization aware of the marketing strategies and is it involved in the decision making process?

    Yes __ No __

  44. Do our marketing people make occasional joint sales calls with the fie ld sales organization?

    Yes __ No __

  45. Are we spending the majority of our marketing budget on space advertising?

    Yes __ No __

  46. Have we considered using or are we using any form of database marketing programs?

    Yes __ No __

  47. Do we review our marketing plan every twelve months or less?

    Yes __ No __

  48. Have we had an "advertising analysis" completed within the last twenty four months?

    Yes __ No __

  49. Do we use an advertising or marketing specialty company to provide creative direction and to assist us in developing our marketing plans and programs?

    Yes __ No __

  50. Have we had a Sales and Marketing Specialist conduct an audit or evaluation of our sales and/or marketing organization and processes within the last twenty four months?

    Yes __ No __

SCORING PROCESS:

  1. Count the number of "No" responses in questions 1-25 and enter that number here. (     )
  2. Count the number of "No" responses in questions 26-50 and enter that number here. (     )
  3. Add the amounts in "a" and "b" and enter that number here. (     )
  4. Which group has the larger number? a. __ or b. __

    If "a" had the larger number of "No" answers, you probably need to look at the sales side of the business to increase sales.

    If "b" had the larger number of "No" answers, you probably need to look at the marketing side of the business to increase sales.

  5. Look at Question # 1 again. If you answered "Yes" this may be another indication that you probably need to look at the sales side of the business to increase sales.
  6. Look at Question # 50 again. If you answered "No" and if the total number of "No" answers (totaled in "c" above) exceeds 20, you may want to consider seeking some additional outside assistance in helping you determine where and how to increase your sales.

About the Writer: Mr. Spare publishes a quarterly newsletter Spare on Sales and Marketing. He also is President of his own consulting company and acts as an advisor to a number of large and small client companies. If you are interested in talking with Mr. Spare or receiving his Newsletter, please contact him at: S. Todd Spare Box 344, Leola, PA 17540 (717) 656-7402. His CompuServe Address is 74151,3346.

All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.

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