Foundational Inquiry – Business Diagnostic

An end-to-end diagnostic of your sales and marketing strategy and processes will reveal powerful new opportunities. Please answer the questions to begin the process.

Foundational Inquiry - Business Diagnostic
Your Name
Company Name
Email Address
Phone Number
What are your most significant business issues?
What are you doing now to improve the situation?
What approaches have not worked in the past?
What new approaches are you considering?

Start with the money - Establish the facts first

What is your current revenue?
What revenue growth or decline do you see over the past three years?
What are your gross margins?
How have your gross margins changed over the past three years?
What is your current sales and marketing investment?
What is your cost of sales?
What is the ROI on that investment?
How much is an average new client worth on an annual basis?

Next, answer these questions to lower your risk of wasted investment in new business and set the stage for improvement:

How are sales and marketing aligned with your strategic objectives?
How are your sales and pricing policies clearly articulated? Enforced? If not, why?
How do you price a product or service, and what was your rationale for creating them?
How effectively is your sales apparatus managed? Using what metrics?
How are your incentives for sales and management people aligned with your strategic goals?
Has your cost of sales fluctuated over the past years? Why?
How many of your clients are profitable? How many are losing you money?
What’s your per-client revenue “break-even point” for understanding an account’s contribution to profitability?
Do your salespeople command knowledge of the industry and major competitors? (Note: If trained properly, everyone in sales should be able to make a cogent presentation to you as if they were a competitor.)
How has everyone in sales and marketing been properly trained for the role they have currently — especially you or your sales management?

Interpreting your answers

Which clients provide the most revenue and profit for your firm?
What gaps in resources (people, processes, technology) are needed to create an effective, end-to-end lead generation, sales and marketing program?
Create more “outcome accountability” for sales and marketing efforts. That goes for your team, partners, vendors and yourself.
What is a better strategy for pricing your offerings, maximizing closed sales, and driving up client retention and profit?
What is the clear path from high-level strategy to sales campaign design and execution?


Foundational Inquiry – Messaging Strategy

You may have a great sales organization, but not knowing your positioning and core messaging makes it nearly impossible to create effective sales campaigns.

Define and defend your core position

Define and Defend Your Core Position
How do you typically present your company to prospects from introduction to close?
What do you perceive as your greatest problems in new client acquisition and achieving your new revenue targets?
What did you do in the past that was successful? What was not successful?
Who are your best clients, financial value and what basis do you use to judge them as best clients?
What is How will you prove the emotional, strategic and financial benefit of your offerings to your client base?
Why would a prospective client select your offering versus “doing it themselves" or working with a competitor?
What presentation, product demo or diagnostic assessment offer will bring dimension and value to the prospect?
How do you typically present your company to prospects from introduction to close?

Develop your positioning, mission and vision statements, brand personality and marketing and sales messaging

The positioning statement is an internal statement. It is the bedrock from which all messaging derives. When you drift away from the statement in your marketing and sales messages revisit the statement or risk a major potential failure in wasted new business investment.

Positioning Statement – To TARGET MARKET, your company is the FRAME OF REFERENCE that provides DIFFERENTIATION because of its JUSTIFICATION.

Positioning, Mission, and Vision Statements
Positioning Statement - What is your positioning statement?
Mission Statement - What is the purpose of your company?
Vision Statement - What are your aspirations for your company?
Who are your best clients, financial value and what basis do you use to judge them as best clients?

Brand Personality -

How do you describe the personality of your company?
What descriptive language can be used for your marketing messaging?
How does your brand platform (logo, website, marketing) communicate your brand personality?

Marketing Messaging Elements - Base them on the positioning statement

What is your tagline?
What is your new website headline and supporting statement?
What will you put in the About us section on your website?
What copy will be used for social media accounts?

Sales Messaging Elements - Must be written in conversational format by sales team

Elevator message is practiced and conversational but can be read verbatim

What does your company do?
What do you mean by that?
How is that different from other approaches?
What are you offering me?

Cold Call Templates - Used to get the opportunity to use the elevator message

What do you say when a prospect picks up a cold call?
What do you say when you leave a cold call voicemail?

Opportunity Creation and Closing

Establish a consultative sales culture within your organization.

Lead generation fails when business does not close.

Companies that have a 90% close rate often measure the wrong metric. They view their success based on how many written proposals lead to new  business. This approach does not consider the ability to create and close new opportunities

The sales cycle begins when you first discuss your company with a prospect that does not know you and has not expressed an immediate need. Most business owners are not aware that it’s possible to get funding for an initiative that is not yet planned or budgeted for by the potential client. The key to sales is getting this part right which requires new skill sets.

This approach helps you create opportunities that may not yet have funding and avoids wasting time on the wrong potential clients.


Pipeline Leads


What prompted your interest in talking with us and what do you want to get out of the call?

What is your role in the company?

Provide a quick overview using the sales messaging for interested parties that you created. (time yourself so you don’t exceed 3 -5 minutes)

Business oriented questions:

  • What are your most significant business issues?
  • What are you doing now to help with these issues?
  • What approaches have you tried that did not work?
  • What new approaches are you considering?


Explain where the prospect will get value and what you think should happen next

  • How does this sound?
  • What is your next step, timing and process for moving forward?
  • Who else gets involved from beginning to end in this sort of decision?


Please answer the following questions for the 3 leads using past first call discussions to analyze and improve on your approach. You should know everything on this list after an initial 30 minute discussion.

Past Call Discussion Questions
What got the prospect’s attention?
What business problem do they want to solve?
Can you prove it?
What is the business and financial impact of solving the problem?
What are they doing now to impact the problem?
How will your solution benefit the executive team and your prospect?
How will your solution help the prospect?
How will your prospect get money to fund the initiative?
Who else will be involved in the decision to go forward?
What is the time frame it will take to get to that decision?
What agreement did the prospect make with you if the call turned into opportunity?

When you can not answer these questions after most discussions with new prospects you need a new approach to sales that may require shifting your mindset about your current methods


Sales Technology Systems

Technology Decisions

Email, content, customer technology systems and sales processes must be in place before you execute the sales and marketing campaigns.

Sales Technology Systems
What technology platforms and processes do you have now?
What gaps in technology and process must be addressed?

These platforms are minimum requirements. The sales process, data approach, campaign analytics and measurement KPIs are more important than the technology.

CRM platforms.The platform selection is based on price and the complexity of your integration requirements with other systems.

What CRM have you selected and what lead record data will you collect?
How will you use analytics to improve each sales campaign?
What will your management reports tell you and how will you measure success?
How will you score leads to focus your sales call efforts?
What reports will your salespeople use to know who to call and how often?

Email send platforms - Must be integrated into the CRM and carefully managed. Read the terms and conditions and fully understand the requirements for opt-out email sending.

How will you manage the legal and technical requirements required by the government and the ESP terms and conditions?
What is your process for list building, scrubbing email addresses, keeping your bounce rate below 1% and dealing with declining open rates due to spam filtering?

Marketing automation platforms - Must be integrated into the CRM and ESP software

What capabilities do you have to setup and manage a marketing automation program?
How will you integrate sales calling and marketing automation?
How will you capture, report, analyze and act on marketing data?