We all know how important a good question is. The incisive interrogation of Richard Nixon by David Frost. Ronald Regan’s question for the nation prior to voting in 1980 – Are you better off than you were four years ago?
Questions define you. Great solutions can’t be found without great questions. To scale your business need to ask some tough questions. Let me inspire you to ask more questions within your business and seek more answers.
- Shareholder/Personal objectives – Why are you in business? Are you trying to build a business for exit at a certain value? Are you building the business for annual income to achieve financial independence? Is there a value gap between where you are now and where you want to be?
- Have you reconciled those shareholder objectives with your team’s operational actions?
- Story telling – Is your core story shining through the densely populated web site? Do strangers really understand what you do?
- As the CEO, does everyone understand your top three objectives for the year and how their actions help complete those objectives?
- Can you claim to be the “only” company that does X?
- What marketing campaigns had the biggest impact on sales leads last month?
- What are the roadmaps (the deals that make up the path) for sales professional to hit targets?
- What did we ship last week in $ and as a % of our capacity?
- Meetings – Have you defined one to three questions your meetings need to answer?( Kill those that aren’t answering key questions. Create those that need to help answer key questions.)
- How is your market share performing over time?
- What is the credibility of your sales forecasting by sales professional? Do you measure quarterly forecasting on a consistent basis every three days?
- How does your value proposition compare against your top 10 competitors at various price points?
- How do your sales professionals find the right problem to solve when engaging with prospects?
- How do your sales teams diagnose prospects to ensure they understand the consequences of their current situation?
- How does your marketing team know the type of leads to generate?
- What is the trend line for response time to answering customer support calls?
- Who owns your 10 most important key performance indicators and how well are they doing?
- What are the five most popular reasons that drove customers to buy from you? (think business drivers behind their decision)
- Where in your sales process are you failing the most? At what stage is each sales professional excelling? At what stage is each sales professional failing?
- Why, where and how did you overspend your budget last month?
- What techniques are you deploying to get better at cash flow forecasting?
All operational improvements start with great questions. Want to improve an aspect of your business? It starts with the right question!
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