From “Founding Sales: Sales for founders (and others) in first-time sales roles” by Pete Kazanjy.
This is a sales maturity questionnaire I use when talking to companies (primarily b2b software / hardware companies) who approach me for sales help / investment. It helps me quickly understand the level of maturity of the organization’s go to market, along with potential soft spots.
That is, the questions progress from basic to more advanced, so earlier stage organizations will start answering “not sure / don't know” as they move down the questionnaire (which is totally fine!), but even later stage organizations will demonstrate soft spots interspersed.
If you have tight answers for all of these, damn, you've got it locked down! High five to you!
How you can use this:
- If you're a founder / sales leader, you can use this as a means by which to assess the maturity of your own GTM and see where you might benefit from investment.
- If you're an investor with existing portfolio companies that have a direct sales GTM, you can use the below to help those companies get better. (They may not know what they don't know.)
- If you're an investor who looks at early (or middle stage) companies, you can use the below to assess the maturity of the GTM of companies you're looking at.
You can fork this document by hitting “File > Make a Copy”, and fill in your own answers to see where you land!
Overview of what your current sales approach. Answers can include "We don't" or "I don't know" and that's fine. Everyone has to start from somewhere!"
- Do you have a crisp understanding of your value proposition to potential customers, and the metrics that prove that value? How do you make their business and what are the dollars and cents that prove that?
- Do you have a crisp idea of who your ideal customer is? What are their characteristics? Titles. Company characteristics. Complementary technologies used. What's an example of a "juicy\ customer?
- Where do leads come from (Inbound? Outbound? Both? Freemium? Demo request?) How so? Do you have a means of scalable generating them? Who engages leads? How many of them do you think there are in the world?
- What is the presentation / proposal process?
- Who executes the presentation / proposal process? How many of them are there?
- What are the materials used in that presentation / proposal process? (Append them as hyperlinks.)
- What's pricing? What are the economics of an average deal size? How are they paid? (Up front? Recurringly? By usage?). How long do deals typically take to close?
- How do you track the progress of potential deals? (CRM? Spreadsheet?) What sort of reporting and tracking do you have in place to monitor appointment setting, deal flow and pipeline, win/loss rates, loss reasons, etc. Can you spin up reports at will? (What's your Salesforce-acumen?)
- How do you implement / start up / kick off new customers? How long does this take? Who is responsible for this implementation? How many of them are there?
- Do you know what the metrics are that signify customer success with your solution? The metrics that prove they are capturing the value you promised them in exchange for their money? Do you monitor them? Do you share them back to customers? Who is responsible for this monitoring?
- How do you handle the renewing of customers? How do you handle the expansion of revenue within a given customer? Who is responsible for this renewal / expansion process?
- Which executive is responsible for revenue?
- What is your current revenue status? Number of customers, amount of monthly recurring revenue, amount of monthly recurring revenue you are adding per month, amount of customers you are adding per month, average monthly per customer revenue.
- What is the formation of your revenue team (lead gen, sales, customer success, account management)? What type of position players do you have and how many of each?
- How do you measure these players and what is your candid assessment of their current efficiency and contribution per each?
- How would you describe your revenue goals for the next 12 months?
- Do you feel that there is a predictable workflow of “lead generation” to “prospecting appointment / interaction” to “opportunity closed won or loss” to “implementation” to “renewal” right now, where you can add cogs (SDRs, AEs, AMs, CSMs) and it will scale? If not, where is there softness? (There’s likely issues in lots of places, there always is, but rank them.)
- Do you have sense of the unit economics of a given customer acquisition? The cost of the initial lead / target. The cost to get it to opportunity. The win / loss rate crossed with average contract value. Including all marketing and human costs (cost of marketing and all sales rep players that touch a deal. Sdr / AE / etc.) All of which delivers to a customer acquisition cost to average contract value ratio.
- If you were to list out what you think the biggest critical paths / constraints are in your current go to market, what do you think they are? List them out in a force rank, from most painful to least.