Start with a sales audit before expanding your sales team

Assuming your current sales team is doing well, the next smart move is to scale the team. More skilled sales people should, in theory, close more deals and increase revenue, right?

In theory, yes. If you have a team that is comprised of outbound and inbound sales executives, or a team trying to do both at the same time - and they’re consistently hitting targets - now is the perfect time to scale the team and keep growing.

However, there is a risk that managers need to be aware of. Scaling without doing a sales audit could result in increased costs without the results you need. Here is how and why you should conduct a sales audit before increasing the size of the sales team.

Why conduct a sales audit?

Scaling a sales team without having a clear picture of how everyone on the team is performing could leave efficiencies unexplored. Here are a few questions worth asking during a sales audit:

  • Is everyone focused on the right tasks?
  • Is now the time to divide outbound (SDR) and inbound (account management)?
  • Does everyone have the right sales materials and supporting documentation (sales enablement)?
  • Would any of the team benefit from coaching, mentoring or training to improve performance?
  • Do we have a sales training manual in-place to support the on-boarding of new team members?

Sales audits are not a time to find fault with team members and existing processes.

Instead, these are golden opportunities to see what is working and what needs improving. Ask the team for feedback too. Is there more support they need? Do they need clarification on goals, processes, product knowledge or even strategy?

An audit is a powerful management exercise. It gives a sales manager the ability to take a moment and look behind, while at the same time, the confidence to look ahead and add the skills a team needs to move forward.

For example, if the audit shows an abundance of outbound - SDR skills - and not enough account managers, then you can focus hiring needs that way. Or if there are too few people managing too many accounts, then you need to recruit someone with relationship building skills. If other gaps show up, such as not enough supporting materials and processes, then taking the time and resources to invest in filling these gaps would be a smart move before hiring new team members.

Sales audit process and outcomes

#1: Decide what you need to know: What does success look like for this sales audit?

#2: Put together an efficient way to document it: Such as a collaborative Google Doc or Typeform survey, to share with team members and collate the data for senior managers.

#3: Ask the questions that need asking, and review sales team data from the last 6 to 12 months, such as the conversion rate between deals in the pipeline and sales closed.

#4: Ask for 360 feedback from the team.

#5: Collate the results of the audit. Objectively assess weaknesses and strengths. If gaps need to be filled before hiring someone new, go to your managers to get the support/budgets needed to strengthen the team further.

Outcomes from this experience should be the ability to take a more knowledgeable approach to recruitment and scaling. A team that should feel better supported, and new team members will be on-boarded into a stronger environment that should help them succeed more effectively.