Sales audit is an important tool that can help to improve productivity and boost profitability. Sales audit is the diagnostic tool to render a comprehensive, systematic analysis of company’s sales management process to identify areas of development. Sales audit is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor, but the results, typically, outweigh the costs. To ensure the integrity of sales audit, typically an external firm is invited to conduct the audit. If funds are constrained, another department may be engaged, but the goal is to maintain the integrity and independence of an auditor to provide an unbiased evaluation of the sales management process. The sales audit framework presented in a lecture consists of 4 areas of concentration. These are (1)Sales environment, (2) planning system, (3) sales managers, and (4) sales management functions.
In the area of sales environment, auditors focus on a variety of external factors that impact the company’s sales process. Market share, economic, demographic, technological, and competitive factors. The goal here is to assess how well the company is aware of these factors and how well it uses the information to adapt its sales process. In the area of planning system, auditors scrutinize the sales management program and compare how the program on paper is implemented in company’s daily operations. In the area of sales managers, auditors assess adequacy of sales managers and their practices. Auditors assess whether or not sales managers are capable of explaining the company strategy down the chain, are they effective at motivating sales representatives, do they spend enough time to examine company’s customer service activities etc. In the area of sales management functions, auditors look at a variety of support and administrative functions. The idea here is that the sales audit is comprehensive and each activity in the process must be valued added. Administrative functions sometimes are overlooked, but are very important phase in the process as they support the client serving activities and are the backbone for a successful sales process. Areas typically covered by a sales audit in this area include, adequacy of hiring and training procedures, compensation structures, budgeting, sales analysis and many others.
With that, this was an overview of a sales audit. I am curious if anyone read anything on downsides of sales audit and likes to share their findings. Thanks!
Ingram, T. N., LaForge, R. W., Avila, R. A., Schwepker Jr, C. H., & Williams, M. R. (2012). Sales management: Analysis and decision making. ME Sharpe.