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Getting a new plan right first time is always a challenge and greatly dependent on the quantity and quality of the information on which it is based. There are many approaches to providing management with better information on particular aspects of their sales and marketing performance. However, none, to our knowledge, combine the external customer view, the internal management perspective and an objective assessment of the sales team to give a  balanced picture overall without significant delay and outlays in both cost and management time.

Our on-line tools can cut the time and costs of this information gathering cycle by up to 75%. Inputting such a fast and comprehensive picture to the planning process helps ensure that the current situation can be made plain to all, that revised plans can be agreed quickly and that the subsequent actions can be implemented in parallel with, and not long after, the changing market conditions identified in the audit. This in itself may become a major competitive advantage.

Bringing the elements of people and process together in one audit provides decision makers with the solution they need rapidly to adapt to their changing environment in an informed, effective and efficient way. As market conditions keep evolving, this will allow you to continue to react faster than your competition to these changing conditions and retain or increase market share.

1. The Customer Survey

The very short and to the-point customer questionnaire focuses on what, in their opinion, is the likelihood that they would in the future recommend your services. This has been proven to be the determining factor in driving customer retention - and customer life-time value.

This is based on Fred Reichheld's work the premise of which believes that fundamentally every company's customers can be divided into three categories:
 -  Promoters
 -  Passives
 -  Detractors

By asking one simple question:

How likely is it that you would you recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?

You can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company's performance through its customers' eyes.

We currently achieve a 23 percent return using this survey and it provides valuable objective feedback to the client.

2. The Internal Business Review

The process questionnaire takes your business through a structured set of questions about each of the six critical sales and marketing processes involved in delivering value and, for each element, asks them to rank both its importance and how well it is being delivered today.

The audit whilst covering Sales and Marketing is not confined to these departments. It is expected that all areas of the business that interact with these departments will be asked to participate, this would also include management. Those that participate will be asked to respond anonymously and would be made up from a representative selection.

3. The Personal Sales Development Assessment

The challenge for all involved in the development of those who generate revenue, has been how to deliver an objective assessment of their ability, apart from the measure of past performance.  Even this measure may not be completely accurate as a number of environmental elements will influence the sales cycle. Factors such as the client segment assigned, the products available as well as geographical and economic variations will affect the outcome.  Other complications also arise in how to form those judgements based around the role and type of selling being undertaken by the individuals concerned.

Today, the best the majority  of businesses achieve in assessing revenue generators, when looking at hiring, reorganisation of a team  or in delivering a development plan is a subjective review of  personal fit to the business, a review of skills and a recognition of past revenue performance.

For each person involved, the sales assessment reviews four key elements: Intellect, Motivation , Sales Behaviours and Skills. The output from the assessment helps management to determine in an objective fashion what assets are available, how well they fit the roles they occupy and the potential that exists for rapid improvement in performance.

In most organisations, hiring and deploying sales resources is a costly business with only a small part of the team realizing the full potential of their territory. Better information on all aspects of the organisation's go-to-market performance and your customers' perspective of how well your value for money proposition compares with competition enables better informed decisions to be made on how to improve every aspect in this area.

4. The Feedback and Action Planning Workshop

Having completed the information gathering phase of the Audit, we will collate the results and feed them back to you and the management team. This feedback will be delivered as a facilitated workshop split into two stages and run over two separate working days.

The first stage is designed to ensure that firm conclusions can be drawn from the audit with the implications they entail for each component of your customer chain and what that means for the business.

The second stage of the workshop will be a facilitated meeting to help you obtain an action plan designed specifically to meet the challenges identified through the audit process and agreed at the end of the first stage.