In the fast-paced and competitive business landscape, an effective sales structure is crucial for organizations to achieve revenue targets and drive growth. However, many companies face challenges in designing a sales structure that aligns with their objectives and maximizes their sales potential.
Typically, when it comes to sales structure, common challenges may include inconsistent performance, misaligned roles and responsibilities, or too many people on the team not achieving their overall revenue goals to name a few. First, you have to identify the problem you are trying to solve.
Common Challenges with Sales Structures
Some of the most common challenges with sales structures include:
- Inconsistent performance: Salespeople may have different levels of experience, skill, and motivation, which can lead to inconsistent performance across the team.
- Misaligned roles and responsibilities: It is important to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each salesperson, so that everyone knows what is expected of them.
- Lack of focus: If a sales team is spread too thin, focusing on the most important tasks can be difficult.
- Poor communication: Effective communication is essential for any sales team, but it can be especially challenging when team members are spread out across different locations.
- Lack of accountability: Salespeople need to be held accountable for their performance in order to ensure that they are meeting their goals.
How to Optimize Your Sales Structure
Start by studying how each salesperson on the team measures against your top 3 performance metrics. If more than a third of your team is lagging, it is likely a structure problem, not a people problem.
Ask yourself what is working in your current structure. You should be able to define this clearly and not assume you think it is working. The natural follow-up to that is what is not working from a structure or roles and responsibilities standpoint.
A word of caution here. It may be tempting to start solving the problem as you do this analysis. Things may start to seem obvious. Try not to jump to a solution just yet.
Once you have identified the problem, defining it in clear and specific terms will be essential. For example, if many salespeople aren’t generating enough new business, use these three filters to determine the primary problem; generating leads, selling solutions, and serving clients.
Where does the problem lie within those?
Doing this thorough analysis will help you pinpoint areas that require improvement. Consider gathering feedback from your sales team as well. They will have valuable insights into the existing sales structure’s shortcomings.
It isn’t uncommon that we ask salespeople to handle too many functions of the process from finding leads to delivering results to upselling and growing existing business. Solving the problem requires a systematic approach and a combination of strategies tailored to specific challenges. Let’s stay with the lack of new business referenced previously.
A good solution would be to have a strategy in place for lead generation through inbound marketing and strong sales enablement resources. By lifting some of the lead generation from the team, you will give them more selling time back. Also, take it one step further and divide selling and servicing clients into two teams. An account management team can super-serve our clients creating upsell and growth opportunities.
How to Get Started Optimizing Your Sales Structure
The act of changing the sales structure can seem daunting, so here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Get buy-in from the top of the organization down.
- Be sure your sales managers are committed to the long-term strategy even if there will be short-term disruptions.
- Manage expectations on the time it may take (3-4 months).
- Create a new organization chart and develop new job descriptions.
- Determine a compensation plan considering your current cost of sale.
- Run a sales structure launch meeting focusing on the WHY and the HOW.
- Make hiring decisions.
- Craft messaging to clients. Everyone needs the same talk track.
- Hire. Provide the right resources. Train and train again.
Organizations must identify the problem, define it accurately, and develop tailored solutions to optimize sales structures. By addressing the challenges faced head-on, businesses can create an efficient sales structure that empowers their teams and maximizes revenue potential. Remember, an optimized sales structure lays the foundation for sustainable growth and success.