There are a lot of sales diagnostics out there. Really good ones! You can pay consulting companies to drive around with your team to observe, take notes, and spit out a score. They can survey electronically or spend hours on the phone. There are diagnostics that compare your team against world class sales organizations in 50 different categories. Whatever you want to know about your sales team, there’s a company out there that can find out.
The problem is that for all the fancy graphs (and price tags to go with them), sales diagnostics rarely turn into clear plans that change behaviors. First and foremost, their purpose is usually to make a case for more of the consulting company’s services. At best, it’s a way to tell the story and rally support for bigger investments. At worst, it’s a tool to sell a consulting company’s services for them.
The problem is that diagnostics start in the wrong place. They evaluate where a company is and point to where action can be taken. The right place to start is not where you are, but with what you are trying to accomplish.
The fastest path to action is to align around the goals, determine what it will take to achieve them, and then identify which gaps to address and when.
Start with the end in mind. What are you trying to do as a company? Which strengths need to be capitalized on in service to that? Which barriers need to be removed in service to that? And which gaps must be addressed in order to accomplish that?
The planning process is one of the most effective ways we’ve seen for uncovering gaps while simultaneously creating alignment and setting priorities.
Skip the diagnostic. Let’s make a plan.