21 June, 2016
by Challenge Action

Sales and marketing assessment

We therefore propose a sales and marketing assessment tool, based on questions to be asked during a conversation with the director or vice-president of sales and marketing. You can then not only diagnose the function, but also assess your contact’s skills. Is it always the right person in the right place?Evaluate your customer’s ability to […]

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We therefore propose a sales and marketing assessment tool, based on questions to be asked during a conversation with the director or vice-president of sales and marketing. You can then not only diagnose the function, but also assess your contact’s skills. Is it always the right person in the right place?
Evaluate your customer’s ability to respond directly and straightforwardly, the simplicity of their answer, and above all their consistency with your company’s strategy.

Evaluating classic marketing

There’s nothing new here: these are the classic skills of a marketing director, but there may be some surprises in the answers. The first two questions check that the SWOT(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis has been carried out, which is also the basis of the marketing strategy.

  • What are your company’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the dangers and opportunities in your market?
  • What’s your strategy? If the answer is vague or consists of “we have a 250-page document on this”, then there isn’t one.
  • What is your current marketing mix by target?
  • What are your plans for developing new markets and new products?
    • Who are your new target customers?
    • What new products are you working on?
    • What pricing policy do you have in mind? Is it in harmony with your target?
    • Which distribution channels will you use? What type of sales force? Face to face? Franchise? Telephone? Internet?
    • What kind of point-of-sale promotion will you carry out?
  • What type of advertising campaign will you be running? how does it fit in with your strategy?
    • How do you divide your budgets between the various media?
      • radio
      • billboards
      • Newspapers
      • sponsorship
      • TV
    • What percentage of your budget is allocated to digital media?
    • How well known is your company? What progress have you made in recent years?
    • What are the communication and exchange mechanisms between your sales force and your marketing people? What do your salespeople think of your advertising campaigns? what do they say about the promotional tools that marketing gives them to facilitate their sales?

Customer relationship assessment

To develop business, you first need to retain existing customers, then go out and find new prospects, and retention costs less than acquiring new customers. The priority is therefore the quality of the loyalty program.

  • What competitive advantage do you offer over your competitors? how do you inform your customers about the added value they enjoy when they do business with you?
  • What is your loyalty policy?
  • What customer service training do your front-line agents receive?
  • What kind of customer satisfaction surveys do you organize? What are the results?
  • How do you analyze complaints?
  • What is your feedback and correction system?

Sales management assessment

It’s often surprising to see the lack of rigor some companies put into managing their sales force, yet it’s clear that it’s still the best way to develop business. The majority of successful companies make the difference in optimizing their sales force. Here are the key questions to ask.

  • How have you cascaded sales targets by region and sales rep?
  • What are your targets for the number of visits per representative per week? reached? how do you know?
  • What CRM(Customer Relationship Management) do you use? how do you use it? Can you visualize the appointments made by representatives in the coming weeks and months? How many planned sales do you have in your Pipe?
  • When do you review your pipe and sales strategies? How often do you hold sales meetings? How are they structured? Do you allow each salesperson to express themselves during these sales meetings?
  • What are your sales force motivation activities this year? Do you organize them in particular during off-peak periods?
  • What kind of coaching do your representatives have? how often? Are these field observations?
  • What kind of training do you give your representatives? when did they last attend a sales training course? Is it in-house training, or are you able to source new skills from external consultants?
  • How often do you evaluate the results of your salespeople and telephone agents?

Digital marketing assessment

This is often the weakest and most misunderstood part, with many managers content to say that they trust their web agency and that it’s highly competent. The recent scandals surrounding digital campaigns in North America, including overbilling, show us that companies need to control their web marketing.
Here are the key questions to ask:

  • What criteria did you use to choose your web agency? what do they do to develop your natural referencing? are they content to run paid campaigns?
  • What are your key requests? How are they positioned in the SERP(search engine research page)? What’s the difference between your Bing and Google results?
  • What key metrics (KPIs) do you track in Google Analytics?
    • How many prints?
    • Approximately how many clicks do you get per month?
    • What’s your CTR(click through rate)?
    • What’s your bounce rate?
    • Approximately how many pages do visitors view on your site before they leave?
    • What are you doing to retain visitors to your site?
  • WhatAdWords campaigns do you run in Google and Bing? What’s your choice of words? At what unit price? do you pay per impression or per click? Why?
  • What is your social networking strategy? Which campaigns do you run on a paid basis? how do you make the most of your networks’ unpaid promotions? how do you use other people’s networks?
  • What is the ROI (return on investment) of your social networking activities? can you calculate it? Can we see your paid ads together?

Indeed, social media are a must, but it’s important to remember that most of today’s campaigns are difficult to measure and wasteful.

Web store evaluation

A merchant website has become a necessity for almost every company, but it has to be effective and aligned with the company’s commercial policy.

  • Do you have a merchant website? What percentage of your sales does it represent? What is its growth?
  • What is your strategy for integrating Internet sales with your traditional distribution network? Is there synergy? What sales model are you aiming for in the future?
  • What system do you have to integrate the data you receive from your customers on the Internet into your CRM?

In conclusion

Evaluate your sales and marketing people before the market does it for you – it’ll cost you less!