Audits are formal evaluations of various processes in an organization following a set standard. Sales audits seek to assess the success of a company’s sales efforts through objective standards. Ideally, successful sales efforts should be compared against unsuccessful sales efforts of the past. Sales audits are also useful for determining whether money is being lost through unnecessary expenses.
Sales efforts should use the cheapest possible method for forecasting. Experts used for whatever reason such as a testimonial or for a forecast should be acquired for the lowest price possible, according to the University of Tennessee. Sales forecasting software should be purchased from an affordable vendor, as long as the software will still fit the company’s needs.
Sales forecasting data should be collected from more than one source, according to the University of Tennessee. For instance, market survey researchers should collect data from customer surveys, product sales numbers and an estimation of the number of customers that might need goods or services.
Workers conducting market research should be as unbiased as possible, according to the University of Tennessee. If necessary, experts from an independent agency might need to be brought in. Otherwise, researchers should be told that results must be as accurate as possible and no later revisions to the data can be allowed.
Multiple sales forecasts should be presented. Sales forecasts should be provided for different approaches that the business might take. Reasons for and against each sales approach should be pointed out when sales information is presented.
Quantity and Quality
Sales audits should assess both quantity and quality. For example, a sales representative should not only be assessed for the number of units of product that he sells—which is a quantitative measurement—but should also be assessed for the quality of his interactions with customers. The actions of representatives can be compared side-by-side with the policies and procedures of the company.
The level of employee cross-training should be assessed. Employees should be able to fulfill various functions in the event that one employee is not able to carry out functions, according to the University of Texas.
The turnover of sales representatives should be assessed to determine if better incentives need to be offered to employees to retain them.
Conflict of Interest
Individuals who should be reporting sales and expenses should be checked on periodically to ensure they are fulfilling their duties. Employees who work for another firm outside of the company in question should be assessed to determine whether they might have a conflict of interest, according to the University of Texas. For example, an employee might recommend a particular vendor not because the vendor provides the best products for the lowest price, but because the employee has a special relationship with the vendor.
The counting of cash in cash registers should be assessed to ensure that the cash is not being improperly counted and that there is no money disappearing.