As every CEO or business owner knows good salespeople are hard to come by, successful sales managers are much harder to come by, and an amazing head of sales is the classic needle in a haystack. So, what can you do to make sure your sales team succeeds? Thomas Edison famously observed, "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." The phrase perfectly and concisely defines the criteria for success and looks to be genius – at least to those who still think he developed the light bulb.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all sales team structure in the company. Neither is one better than the other. Finally, there are a few crucial variables to consider when determining the ideal arrangement for your company. So, here are a few recommendations for the finest sales team structure you should know to guarantee you're constructing a robust organization.
Make the appropriate hires
The more well-thought-out and precise the job description, the clearer the recruiting will be, and the more probable it will be to find and hire the suitable individual. Insist on a systematic interview process that includes two essential elements: a standardized interviewer questionnaire and dual interviews with at least two different supervisors. This guarantees that candidates are questioned consistently, that their ability is tested against the job description, and that an objective judgement is made. You will fail your organization many times over if you recruit only individuals you like.
Ultimately, if you want to build a winning sales team, it all comes down to hiring the right people. When you ask yourself how to spot top performers for each of your selling positions, you’ll be better prepared to recruit quality candidates. Once you’ve got those phenomenal salespeople in your team, stay close and make sure that they have everything they need to succeed. And don’t forget the most important part of this equation: training your sales team frequently on company goals and expectations.
As a guide, use the right data
In today's competitive business marketplaces, data is one of the most effective tools for sales companies. Companies may obtain a valuable perspective on their business and market, as well as a deep dive into the effectiveness of their sales team. To evaluate the number of reps you'll need to meet your objectives, take into account the size of your target market and your previous performance. To be genuinely effective, your sales force structure must be informed by a combination of internal and third-party data, such as how markets are growing or the impact of certain economic shifts.
Activity vs. outcomes
Expect all new sales to focus on prospecting to develop a healthy pipeline once your new folks are on the ground. Use reliable measurements like the number of new appointments, prospect cold calls, or defined customer call-back objectives to take a quasi-scientific approach. While doing so, review and rate their work throughout the first few months of employment so that it may be examined, fixed, and/or polished. Use this to help your team develop over time.
Take it easy and try to understand
No matter how effectively you employ and educate your sales force, they will still face numerous rejections from prospects on a daily basis. Supporting your staff by cultivating a good mindset and offering inspiring moments throughout the weeks and months is critical.
All of my sales leaders are expected to instill a proactive mindset in their teams and lead by example. "Don't do what I do; do what I say," poor managers say. This is just bullshit. A leader who can walk the walk is the most powerful motivator. Last but not least, keep in mind the value of monetary and other incentives. Introduce extra incentives on a seasonal, topical, and ad hoc basis, in addition to the fundamental commission plans. This should not be expected, but rather aimed towards boosting sales during weak times.
The most effective sales teams often have one thing in common: trust. They understand what motivates one another and they trust that their colleagues will bring their best game to the table every single day. By working to foster these relationships within your own team, you can create an environment where sales professionals feel like they can succeed, and where they can’t wait to come in each morning because they know what great things are in store for them and the company as a whole. Your competitors may not be sitting around waiting for you if your sales team isn’t at its full potential.
Align with company goals
All too frequently, sales teams think of themselves as operating in a vacuum. Make sure you have a formal framework in place to provide your sales employees with a forward-looking perspective and an in-depth explanation of what the company objectives are and how they will be met, not just in terms of sales, but across the board. When you describe what your firm is aiming for and how you plan to get there, your sales staff will be able to see how the rest of the company is collaborating with them and will be better able to comprehend their part in overcoming those obstacles.
Consider the total number of sales
Has there been a drop in total sales? If excellent managers aren't getting usual figures from their teams, it's possible that their span of control is out of control. Increasing the number of sales salespeople per management may appear to be a smart idea at times, but it seldom makes financial sense.
Finally, pay special attention to the size and structure of your sales teams if you want them to be efficient and productive. Use your sales statistics to figure out how many salespeople your supervisors can handle before they become distracted. Profitability is the best indicator of whether your sales organizational structure is effective. The statistics, once again, will illustrate how the amount of layers in your company affects earnings. Make adjustments based on what you've learned.
Conclusion: Organizational Structures in Sales are Changing
A solid sales team structure is essential for ensuring that you have the proper amount of personnel on the sales floor and that they are performing at their best. Most essential, sales management strives to identify the correct position balance and sales rep-to-manager ratio. The typical sales team structure, however, is changing in today's fast-paced marketplaces.
Innovative strategy planning will remain a must for organizations to survive as our world continues to change at a rapid pace. We're here at Kennect to help you remain ahead of the curve and develop in a disruptive environment. Since the beginning of the pandemic and economic uncertainties, we've been aiding our consumers with this.
Check out our Sales Leader's Guide to Data-driven Planning to understand how you can utilize data to enhance planning across your whole sales organization to boost revenue, minimize risk, and improve efficiency.