In many organizations there is confusion about how new prospects become new clients. Leads fall through the cracks. Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities are missed. No one asks for referrals. Communication falters. Clients don’t get optimal service. Follow up is minimal. There isn’t a push for repeat business. How much of this happens in your organization? Are you leaving money on the table?

Here is a questionnaire you can use to optimize your sales systems. Get your team together and hash this out. It will make everyone’s life much easier once procedures are formulated, are written down and become habits. Use this checklist to see how close you are to having a well oiled machine.

Lead Tracking

  • How do you generate leads?
  • What happens to them after they come into your organization?
  • Who is responsible for contacting each lead?
  • How do you allocate them to different people? By rotation? By size of the potential purchase? By product line?
  • Who creates the written pipeline?
  • Is there a pipeline meeting happening weekly or bi-weekly?
  • Who closes the sale?
  • Who stays in touch with the client during the project or delivery process to make sure the client’s needs and expectations are met?
  • When and who does the up-selling and cross-selling?
  • Who needs to be notified and when as the account identifies another project?
  • Who stays in touch even if there is no imminent next project?
  • How is customer satisfaction measured?
  • Do you measure the close rates of various salespeople who might be doing the closing?
  • Do you relate a closed sale back to the marketing that generated the lead?
  • Does that give you metrics on the effectiveness of each type of marketing you’re doing?
  • When do you ask for referrals? Who asks for referrals? Are you getting any?

Operations Manual

  • Do you have a flow chart that documents this procedure from soup to nuts?
  • Do you have written procedures for every step of the process?
  • Do you have standards of performance that are customer service friendly as well as task completion oriented?
  • Are your people’s performance measured against the steps and standards of each process to see if they are doing each one well?
  • Have you defined the characteristics of an ideal client? Do you evaluate you clients and how they compare with the ideal so you can decide how much time to allocate to each one?

Aligning Sales to the Company’s Vision and Values

  • Is your sales process in alignment with the vision, values and overall strategies of the organization?
  • Are your managers helping sales people dovetail their personal goals with the organizational goals?
  • Do they know just how important each person is when they achieve their individual goals, so all together they achieve the overall aim of the company? 

If the team works out their sales process, they will know it and implement better. If you would like a facilitator to do some team building and process clarification, I’d be happy to talk with you.

Meanwhile, please contribute a story that illustrates the importance of these questions or tell us a question that you’ve found helpful.  We’d love to hear from you

Jeri Quinn

Jeri Quinn from Driving Improved Results is an executive coach, management consultant, speaker and author who focuses on communication in her work with executives and companies. She is the author of The Customer Loyalty Playbook, 12 Game Strategies to Drive Improved Results in Your Business. With more than 40 years as a serial entrepreneur.

Quinn has worked with executives and teams in over 40 industries, spoken at major business expos including New York City’s Javits Center, facilitated business development and extraordinary customer service at institutions such as MoMA and AIG, and has partnered with New York City, The Kauffman Foundation, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Signature Bank to educate their clients.


She can be reached at:

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