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A Sales Business Plan helps identify critical factors impacting sales team performance. Pipelines are leading indicators of sales success.

     

    

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Small Business SWOT Analysis*

Establishing Sales Priorities Assures Success

A strategic, systematic analysis of the sales organizations' Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) provides insights into the factors that will influence the accomplishment of sales related goals and objectives. The SWOT Analysis provides four views of the subjects being addressed.  Each subject is further defined by its sphere of influence: internal or external.  And, by the nature of its influence: helpful or harmful.

Example: The five person sales team has two outstanding performers who consistently meet and exceed quotas. A possible SWOT Analysis might be:

Strength: There are two outstanding performers.
Weakness: Three under performers will prevent the team from making quota.
Opportunity: Assess sales skills for the under performers and provide training to raise performance levels.
Threat: The underperformers may lack the initiative to improve their performance, undermining the training efforts.

SWOT Analyses for sales organizations are enhanced by a subdivision of each category into: people, processes and technology.  Consider the following topic per heading:

People analyses: performance, headcount, leadership, organization, engagement, commitment, skills and resources.

Process analyses: lead generation, discovery, proposal writing, RFP responses, escalation procedures, contract review and sales reporting.

Technology analyses: the availability of company resources and rules for using cell phones, smart phones, email, voice mail, text, laptops, CRM tools, cloud solutions, intranet and internet for conducting company business.

Process Example: Company proposals are frequently rejected as being incomplete and failing to address key client issues.

Strength: Clients are sufficiently interested to stay engaged in the selling process up to and including the proposal.
Weakness: The Discovery process is insufficient.
Opportunity: Create a comprehensive Discovery process based on analysis of previous proposals that were successful or unsuccessful.
Threat: Continuing to engage prospects in incomplete Discovery and submitting proposals that fail to address client needs may cause the reputation of the company to falter, discouraging prospective clients from considering the company's solutions.

Technology Example: The sales team has CRM software installed on their individual computers.

Strength: CRM software enhances productivity and the collection of important client data.
Weakness: Standalone CRM solutions put company's client information at risk of loss and limits management access.
Opportunity: Implement a cloud-based CRM solution that provides data backup and management access to data.
Threat: Delaying implementation creates continued exposure to loss of critical data.

 

SWOT Analyses can be used on a micro and macro level in the sales organization. Useful analysis can be made of individual sales opportunities, individual clients, sales channels, sales people, territories, inter-department relations, the industry and the competition.  SWOT Analyses per sales territory is an important part of the Sales Rep Business Plans.

 

Comprehensive SWOT Analyses provides a road map for the organization ensuring that issues are prioritized for top performance.

 

 

 

* The SWOT analysis was invented by Albert Humphrey in the 1960’s and 1970’s.