How to Conduct a Sales Audit to Increase Efficiency

Get the latest insights and tips in this ultimate guide for conducting a successful sales audit.

May 27, 2023

How to Conduct a Sales Audit


Every sales team knows that each day presents new opportunities to connect with leads, close deals, and move closer to your goals. But every now and then, it's important to take a step back and conduct regular sales audits to make sure your team is performing at a high level.

Sales audits aren't as intimidating as they might sound. In fact, they're straightforward, and necessary to set your sales team up for future success.

Whether you use internal or external auditors, it's essential to involve the everyone involved in the sales process—before, during, and after. Ultimately, the goal is to create synergy among all organizational departments.

In this post, I'll share industry best practices and tips to help your business conduct a comprehensive review of its sales strategy.

The Sales Audit Process

A sales audit is a detailed analysis of your company's sales process. But isn't limited to the sales department. It also includes a review of the company culture, which helps you assess how productive employees are in their office environment and how well they interact with other departments.

You'll explore the relationship between your sales team and customers. Healthy customer relationships are the key to closing deals. An audit will offer insights to help your business improve the buying experience.

As you perform an audit, you may discover untapped customer segments you can target. You may also find that certain products or services are in high demand, while others are waning. This insight will help you adjust your business strategies and improve performance.

How Often Should Companies Conduct an Audit?

Companies should conduct sales audits at least once every year.

While annual sales audits are important, they're not always sufficient to keep pace with rapidly changing market conditions. Quarterly reviews can help companies stay on top of emerging trends and issues that need to be addressed.

Who Should Perform the Sales Audit?

A sales audit should be performed by an experienced professional who is familiar with sales operations. Sales auditors should remain objective and be able to make practical recommendations that will help the company improve.

For example, The Brand Auditors takes a holistic approach to the sales audit process. We examine the organization inside and out, including a review of the sales funnel, marketing strategy, value proposition and whether the sales team is equipped to meet the goals required for business growth.

We don't just provide a sales audit report, we offer actionable insights that will make a real impact on your business. Our recommendations are based on everything that drives sales productivity, from lead generation to closing the deal.

How to Prepare the Sales Team for an Audit

Solid preparation sets the stage for a successful audit. Gather all information necessary for the audit such as sales reports, company records, policies, and procedures. Include detailed explanations for any unusual transactions that took place to prevent suspicion or confusion during the audit.

Discuss the process with the sales auditor and personnel who will represent the company during the audit. This will keep communication smooth and ensure all information is accurate.

I've included some checklists below to help sales teams prepare for an audit. Feel free to make modifications as needed.

Sales Strategy Checklist

Review current sales goals to make sure they align with the brand’s overall growth plan.

Create an outline and summary of current customer segments and needs. Be sure to include research or other information used to identify target segments.

Clarify the brand’s unique selling proposition (USP).

Describe strategies and tactics used for each customer segment, such as offers based on customer type.

List primary competitors. Include the positioning, benefit claims, and pricing structure of each and how they compare to your brand.

Outline and summarize the current customer journey. Be sure to include traditional and digital touchpoints for each of the following phases: awareness, engagement, consideration, conversion, retention.

List and summarize product/service pricing structures and process used for setting prices.

Prepare social media insights from each channel and describe how they are used to reach potential customers, increase brand awareness, and generate leads.

List all discounts and special offers and include reasoning for each.

Describe current guarantees or incentive programs used to support customer retention and data for each.

Sales Tactics Checklist

Describe each lead generation method used for initial contact. This includes in-person, phone, and contact through traditional (i.e., mail, events) and digital channels (i.e., website, social media). Provide data for each and be sure to include lead and conversion rates.

List questions sales representatives ask to identify customer needs and challenges.

Provide details for presentations used to position the brand’s product or service as a solution to the customer’s challenges. Also, summarize illustrations or demonstrations used to increase conversion.

Describe process or systems used to follow up with prospects and leads. Be sure to include any scoring systems (i.e., lead quality score) and sales cycle data.

Describe follow-up actions or onboarding processes reps use (i.e., delivery, installation, or cancellations and returns).

Describe the process for contact with customers post-purchase. Include details regarding tactics that ensure customer satisfaction and issue resolution.

Simplified Sales Audit Process
IMAGE: Simplified Sales Audit

The Sales Audit Process

An audit should cover all stages of the customer experience journey, including audience segmentation, marketing and advertising campaigns, pipeline management, customer interaction tracking, and other relevant performance metrics.

In the sections that follow, I’ll provide an overview of each audit step.

1. Review Goals

To begin, review existing sales goals and objectives. All goals should support the brand’s short- and long-term growth strategy. Here are some examples:

  • Annual revenue targets
  • Customer retention rates
  • Lifetime customer value

Brand leadership can conduct question-and-answer sessions with teams to clarify goals. Consider questions such as:

  • What key performance indicators are being used to measure and track performance?
  • How do sales reps adjust for missed targets?
  • Are existing resources being used in the best way possible?

Taking the time to define goals will set the stage for a successful audit and may even reveal areas that were overlooked in previous sales reviews.

2. Analyze Data

The next step is to analyze all sales data. This could include customer demographic information, trends in conversion rates for certain products and services, or profitability metrics for individual customers.

If available, opinions from internal teams who interact with prospects and customers can provide valuable insight used to measure performance (i.e., marketing team, customer service teams).

To review reports and data for an audit, start by analyzing customer activities. Compare revenue forecasts with actual results, evaluate customer loyalty trends, assess customer segments for profitability, and analyze sales performance over time.

Also, examine your team's activity analytics, including the number of calls and presentations made, appointments set, and closed deals. Then, review customer service measures such as response times and feedback survey results. These comparisons will reveal the degree of consistency between sales and service departments.

Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, can help sales teams understand which channels drive conversions and which don’t. This step is key to optimizing marketing budgets and focusing resources on future activities with the highest profit potential.

As you review this information, look for ways to streamline sales structure, opportunities for expanding into new markets, and adjustments that need to be made based on customer behavior.

3. Evaluate Sales Practices

Now, it is time to use the data gathered in step two to assess the current sales process through qualitative reviews, questionnaires, and interviews with all relevant departments, such as marketing and customer service teams.

Brands should evaluate all processes for lead generation, follow-up, and onboarding to assess how well these have been working. To assist in this step, answer questions like:

  • Does marketing and advertising provide enough qualified leads?
  • Do customer journey touchpoints move prospects to the next journey stage?
  • Are goals and actions for each customer journey stage well-defined?
  • Are leads converting into customers at a satisfactory rate?
  • Which tactics have the highest rate of success?

Evaluate Current Sales Leads for Quality

Qualified leads are those most likely to become customers once contacted by sales reps. Sometimes, leads have reached out to the company through inbound marketing campaigns.

Evaluating lead quality involves factors like recent customer activity, the customer’s industry, geographical location, ability to pay, and customer journey stage. It's important to assess past interactions with potential customers and ask specific questions related to their needs and goals. Qualifying leads will increase ROI and improving conversion rates.

4. Examine Your Pricing Strategies

Analyzing pricing structures can help teams optimize profit margins and build higher perceived value. Given the current economic environment, many companies are focusing on the consumer's sensitivity to prices and how they can adjust to maintain a competitive edge.

To analyze pricing structures, answer the following questions:

  • Is it possible to quantify the product’s value versus the price paid? If so, how?
  • Does the pricing structure strengthen or weaken the brand’s menu of offers?
  • Are discounts being used strategically (i.e., at the best times of the year) and are they appropriate for target market segments?

Brands that set prices that are too low will struggle to maintain solid profit margins. Meanwhile, low conversion rates and increased customer turnover are signs that prices could be too high.

5. Document Results and Implement Changes

The final audit report will help your team assess changes that need to be made and how to implement them.

As you review the results, look for trends in customer behavior, such as lead conversions, purchase frequency, popular products, and sales cycle. These insights make it easier to develop effective sales strategies and ensure that your team is delivering consistent results. Reviewing audit insights can also help uncover improvements in the entire customer experience.

Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential metrics that enable a sales team to optimize performance. An audit provides the perfect opportunity to assess KPIs and determine which ones to add or eliminate. Here are some examples of critical KPIs:

  • New Inbound Leads
  • New Qualified Opportunities
  • Total Pipeline Value
  • Sales Volume by Location
  • Average Order Value

What Are KPIs for Sales Teams?

Read this post to find out which key performance indicators sales teams should track.

Marketing and Sales Tools

Most companies use marketing and sales tools. Customer service management software (CRMs) and search engine rank tracking tools (i.e., MOZ) are examples. Businesses should evaluate their marketing and sales tools during an audit to determine which ones they should keep, replace, or don’t need at all. The best way to assess tools is to make sure each one aligns with the sales team’s goals.

Given how rapidly technology advances, some of your company’s sales tools may no longer be the best ones to use. So, be sure to research and compare them. Then, evaluate each one against your budget and business requirements to make the right choice.

Consider integrating multiple tools that add value and are cost-effective. Also, monitor resources so your organization can make necessary changes or updates as business needs evolve.


Consistency Between Sales and Customer Service

Over 60 percent of consumers surveyed said they would leave a brand after one poor experience. When companies are unable to meet customer expectations, they see a decline in retention. The primary disconnect between a company and customer occurs when the delivery of the product or service falls short of the expectations set by the sales team.

Therefore, an audit should include a review to assess consistency between the sales and service departments.

The most effective way to check for consistency between sales and service is to review data, such as customer feedback, recorded phone calls, online surveys, and other consumer reports. This information enables a company to identify weaknesses in processes and adjust. A formal review process can also initiate discussions between departments. These conversations provide insights that will help a brand correct problems and make improvements in the customer experience.

Regular communication between the sales and customer service teams will prevent many issues before they become costly. This process should be accessible to keep all team members updated regarding any changes or issues that occur within departments.

Congratulations, Your Sales Audit Is Complete. Now What?

By conducting a sales audit, you can gain valuable insights into your sales process, such as which sales channels are most effective, which products are selling the best, and which sales techniques are most successful. Armed with this information, you can make data-driven decisions that can significantly improve your team's performance.

With the help of a qualified auditor, you can identify areas for improvement in your sales process and implement data-driven solutions that can help you achieve your goals.

If you need help conducing your next sales audit, click on the button below to schedule a free consultation with an auditor.

Chris Fulmer

Chris Fulmer

Brand Strategist | Managing Director

Chris Fulmer is a professional brand development manager who provides expert insights on brand strategy, media channels, and other essential information required for marketing success. This includes market research, analytics analysis, and web design best practices.

Are you ready to find out how a brand audit can transform your business?

Our brand audit process is a comprehensive analysis designed to help companies increase ROI and reduce marketing expenses.

  • Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
  • Reduce marketing expenses.
  • Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.

We guarantee satisfaction or get your money back! Schedule a discovery call with a brand auditor to find out more.

Latest Insights

What Is a Premium Brand

What Is a Premium Brand?

A combination of high quality and exceptional value puts elite brands in a category of their own.

Marketing Analytics Consulting

Revitalize Your Business with Marketing Analytics Consulting

Transform your website with our web development consulting services. Our experienced consultants guide you through every step of the process.

Website Development Consulting

The Value of Expert Guidance: Why You Need Website Development Consulting

Transform your website with our web development consulting services. Our experienced consultants guide you through every step of the process.