What is Revenue Risk Management?By now, you know your revenue target for 2016. Let’s cut to the chase: will you make it? A risk audit for your sales organization can help you know.

  • Strategic risk. +

    1. Has the sales strategy in place been proven successful at the company, or elsewhere?
    2. Are customer needs and buying habits known?
    3. Are customer needs and buying habits volatile?
    4. Do the company’s revenue generation channels (direct/indirect/online/bricks-and-mortar) enable strategic and tactical flexibility?
    5. Does the company’s management clearly understand the steps its customers use in making buying decisions?
    6. Does marketing and sales management monitor future industry trends?
    7. Does the company maintain a multi-layer sales organization (e.g. territory/district/region)?
    8. Do sales compensation policies conflict with any of the company’s strategic objectives?
  • Marketing alignment risk. +

    1. Do the company’s brands have a positive reputation?
    2. Does the company’s pricing strategy support its cash flow requirements?
    3. Are the company’s social media assets fully integrated into its marketing automation and sales systems?
    4. Do Marketing and Sales operate using the same business definitions and taxonomies?
    5. Do the company’s marketing automation tools use a single data repository, shared by all departments?
    6. Do the marketing and sales teams view each other as mutually valuable and supportive?
    7. Are the company’s goals for marketing sales congruent with each other?
  • Sales enablement risk. +

    1. Does management use proven, effective techniques for ensuring consistent, positive customer experiences?
    2. Are there adequate administrative support resources for marketing and sales?
    3. Are effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Force Automation (SFA) tools in place and being used?
    4. Has the company successfully deployed tools to measure and manage marketing and sales productivity?
    5. Has the company demonstrated repeated competency in executing effective marketing campaigns?
    6. Does the sales team have adequate knowledge to hold face-to-face conversations with prospects and customers?
    7. Do sales team members have adequate situational awareness for every opportunity?
    8. Do sales team members use consistent, effective communications that buyers consider valuable?
  • Sales-force effectiveness risk. +

    1. Has sales leadership been proven capable?
    2. Do they inspire confidence?
    3. Do they instill a positive, challenging culture that includes encouraging intelligent risk taking?
    4. Do they have demonstrated skills for effective coaching and mentoring?
    5. Are sales team members self-motivated?
    6. Are sales team members passionate about what they are selling?
    7. Are sales team members strictly money-motivated?
    8. Does the sales organization use a repeatable process that matches how customers buy?
    9. Does the sales team have a formal process for knowledge capture, knowledge sharing, and organizational learning?
  • Information risk. +

    1. Is the data used for CRM/SFA, and other marketing automation, accurate and timely?
    2. Can data be captured efficiently?
    3. Is there significant latency between the time data is collected to the time information is made available to staff?4. Do different departments within the company use the separate, non-integrated customer data repositories?
    5. Have the causes of all past IT security breaches been mitigated?
    6. Are IT security procedures in place to ensure that information is not available to unauthorized persons?
    7. Does the company maintain privacy standards for customer information?
    8. Does the company have strong governance over IT security?
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The above 18-factor list is not intended to be exhaustive.

There are additional questions that need to be asked. And not every category of questions will matter equally for every company. Some best practices to follow for your company’s audit:

• Focus the purpose of the audit on planning and control.
• Structure questions to yield a “yes” or “no” answer.
• Be objective. Don’t inject bias or vendettas into the audit.
• Perform risk audits regularly to expose trends. Prioritize the risks that should be managed.
• Track business development costs carefully to understand how effectively risks are covered.