Assembling a Sales Team Structure to Scale Your Business
You’ve gotten your business to that sweet spot where you can finally start to bring on more talent to help your product really take off. Where do you begin? How can you fill out your sales team in order to really scale your business? It starts with the structure of your sales team and how you choose to assemble each part of the sales machine.
There are a number of different roles to be filled within your team, some are necessary and others are totally dependent on your business model. The fact remains however, you need the organization that comes with assembling a sales team structure in order to really scale your business effectively.
Sales team structure
We’ve discussed before how sales really drives the success of your business. Without effective sales, you’re going to find it difficult to see substantial growth. The foundation of sales is its structure and the organization that comes along with the structure you choose. The way a sales team’s structure allows for a more efficient and effective workflow is integral for any successful sales machine.
However, this isn’t a one size fits all strategy. Your business and how you conduct sales in general is going to determine what sort of structure will work the best for you. Before establishing a team structure, you should be familiar with some of the different roles to be filled within a sales team.
Roles of a sales team
Depending on your business, the size, how much you want to scale, and the general practices of your sales process, you may or may not need to fill each and every role out there within a sales team. Chances are, as a small to medium sized business, you won’t have to fill all of these roles. However, each one has its importance and has a role to be played in a successful, scalable sales team.
You may not necessarily think of HR when deciding on roles within your team. But the fact is, HR can play an important role of assembling the team and keeping those employees that are effective for your process in place long term. It’s important to keep HR aligned with your sales goals and values. If they aren’t on the same page with you in regards to which type of sales reps to hire, they can’t effectively recruit the right people for your team.
You need to hire the right reps for your team, ones that can adopt your brand and voice to sell effectively. HR needs to have a role in sales so that they can be aware of the tendencies that work for your company brand as well as the type of reps you as the owner are looking to bring on.
Sales Trainer or Sales Manager
Your team will need strong leadership to show any success and ability for growth. The sales trainer or sales manager is in place to assure this leadership is present. This role typically will oversee all of the sales reps and keep track of sales metrics, provide valuable motivation for the team, help you with setting sales goals (both for the team and for individual reps), and just making sure everything is running smoothly.
The initial training as well as everboarding and sales coaching play a huge role in the scalability of your team. The sales manager will ensure that constant training (everboarding) and live coaching takes place to ensure everyone is given the tools they need to succeed.
Account Executive (Sales Representatives)
The account executive role is your traditional sales rep. They are on the front lines of sales and have the biggest role to play in the outcome of a sale. They are in charge of selling your product or services to prospects, developing them into customers that will continually come back for more. A scalable team will use sales quotas and SMART goals to motivate the account executives to sell more and sell more effectively. Properly compensating for accomplishments and encouraging your account executives to consistently perform is the most important part of being able to scale your business.
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and Business Development Representatives (BDRs)
These roles are similar in purpose but different in function. The SDR is what most sales teams nowadays use to bring in more prospects to the sales pipeline and to qualify leads. The BDR is more of your traditional cold email, cold call type of lead qualifier that is becoming more antiquated in today’s inbound sales landscape.
The SDR is typically a more prominent player in the sales world today as they focus on that inbound lead qualification and really qualifying prospects into leads and moving them through the sales funnel. Both of these roles can have a place on your sales team, it just depends on the business model you’ve adopted and the products or services you are trying to sell.
Too often marketing and sales are seen as two separate entities, with not enough collaboration between the two. In reality, the marketing role (or marketing team) is an integral part of the sales process. The marketer or marketing team is in place to look into buyer preferences and tendencies so they can use this information to promote the product the sales team is selling. Without effective marketing you will have a hard time scaling your business to the point at which you want it to be. Allowing a strong marketing strategy to complement your sales reps is going to bring in more business for you and allow you to continue to scale.
The sales process is not done after the lead is converted into a customer. You want that newly converted customer to remain a buyer of your product for the long term, not just a one and done type deal. To scale your business you need a customer service rep or a customer service team in place to appease the customer after the initial sale.
Their role in the process is to check in with customers and ensure that they are getting everything they need out of your company. Also, no customer likes to wait around for answers to their questions or concerns. Customer service reps will be there to make sure each of these questions are answered in a timely manner and with the most information possible.
Sales team structures
Now that you are familiar with some of the roles to be filled within a sales team, it’s time to decide which sort of structure you want your team to take on. Does your business find one or two step deals to be effective? Do you think your sale process would benefit from having specialized roles for each member of the team? Do you want the presence of competition to fuel your sales reps’ efforts?
There are different structures for each type of business model. You will need to figure out which structure would work best for your particular goals.
The “Island” sales model creates an atmosphere that is good for those “lone wolf” sales reps. It requires little organization on your part. Simply give your reps a general guideline of how to sell your product, content to use in the selling process, and then give them the freedom to do what they do best.
This type of sales team structure is great for smaller businesses who don’t have the means to bring on a huge sales team and can only afford to bring in a handful of reps. It would also work for the businesses who’s owner or founder is still the primary sales person.
- Takes little managerial effort on your part
- Great for sales processes with only one or two step closes
- Little control over the sales process and how your brand is voiced
- Difficult to keep track of sales metrics, etc.
- Outdated in today’s sales landscape
The “Assembly Line”
The “Assembly Lines” gets its name from its linear tendencies in terms of the sales process. Essentially, each member of your sales team will have a specialized role that they take on within the sales cycle. The roles typically consist of:
- Lead Generation
- Sales Development
- Account Executives (Sales Reps)
- Customer Service
If you think your business would benefit from a structure filled with specialists rather than everyone having a hand in each step of the sales cycle, then this would be the structure for you.
- Creates an easier way to identify and pinpoint issues within the sales funnel
- With the specialized roles, there is more efficiency in the sales team’s efforts
- Allows for some predictability for the team
- If you’re a smaller business with a smaller team, it will be hard to fill all the roles necessary
- Miscommunication and friction between each part of the sales funnel is possible
- Having specialized teams can create isolation from the overall goal of the business as they become hyper focused on their individual roles.
The “Pod” is similar to the “Assembly Line” in that it uses the idea of funneling customers through the sales pipeline. However, whereas the “Assembly Line” utilizes individuals specializing in their specific roles, the “Pod” takes smaller groups who will work together throughout the entire sales cycle. A “pod” will be made up of members that represent each part of the sales team. It creates a more customer-centric approach to sales as the entire team remains with the same customer throughout the buyer journey.
- By having these teams in place, each member not only cares about their individual step in the process, but the customer journey as a whole
- Less chance for miscommunication as the “pod” will be together through the entire process
- Flexibility within pods since every part of the team will be represented throughout the entire journey
- The dynamic of having small teams takes away that opportunity for competition to push individual reps
- Lack of specialization as each member of the “pod” essentially becomes familiar in each step of the journey, at the cost of not focusing on more specialized roles.
Creating a culture of success
Whichever team structure you choose and whichever roles you choose to fill within your sales team, the simple truth is you need to create a culture that breeds success. In order to really scale your team, you need to have a consistent approach to the sales efforts and have some sort of organization to ensure this happens. You’re going to find it incredibly difficult to scale your business to the point you want it to be at if there isn’t this culture in place. Giving your team a foundation to stand on and some sort of structure to fall back on will empower your team and allow you to really grow your business.
Improve sales efficiency and effectiveness with the right structure and the right tools
Having the right team structure for your business is going to put you ahead of the game in today’s sales landscape. Still, you need to have the right tools in place for your team to really take off. Having the ability to give them the content they need, at the exact time they need it is going to give them more competence when selling your products.
SalesTalk Technologies gives you access to a whole suite of sales enablement tools that give you a leg up on your competition. You did your part in organizing your team and developing that structure. Now allow us at SalesTalk to help you with the next step of implementing the right tools for your sales process. Contact us today to request a demo and see how you can scale your business with SalesTalk Technologies.