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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem?

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem

Sales structures look different for all organizations depending on the industry, size of the team, product, and the sales process. As your company and people evolve or as things change in your business sector, your sales structure should change as well in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Companies that identify the need to change sales structure continue to grow, while those who ignore it find themselves struggling to meet sales goals and stay competitive. According to the recent Media Sales report, 60% of sales managers don’t feel they have the right number of salespeople on their team. This leads to a couple important questions:

  • Is it the number of people on your team that needs adjustment?
  • Or is it the sales structure and expectations aren’t in line with sellers’ true talents?

The Media Sales Structure Compared to Other Sectors

New call-to-actionOne of the biggest challenges in the media industry is placing the right salespeople in the wrong sales role. While a defined sales process provides a higher conversion rate with better quality deals, too few people are good at all the steps in the sales process.

Take a look at the sales structures of other sectors. They’re doing something different than the media industry, and how do we know? Because in the recent Media Sales report, managers reported underperformers make up 20-30% of sales staff. And when asked what percentage of your sales team are would you would consider superstars, only 6% said more than 60% while approximately 17% said 10% of their team would be considered superstars.

When asked about “the job according to the salesperson,” the responses looked like this:

  • 42% feel it’s harder to find good leads
  • 52% feel it’s harder to get appointments
  • 60% feel it’s about the same to uncover desired business results
  • 57% feel it’s harder to close a sale
  • 54% feel it’s about the same to renew a client

The traditional media industry is structured very differently than most organizations. What if we stopped retrofitting the people we have now or hiring salespeople from scratch to execute all steps of the sales process? What if we changed the sales structure and put people in roles aligned with their talents and expertise?

Start Separating the Sales Process

More than 40% of sales reps admit that prospecting is the most challenging part of their job. This percentage of salespeople don’t like prospecting, and they don’t feel as if it’s their strongest talent, and it ultimately negatively impacts your business.

Salespeople are taught to follow steps of a sales process, but they don't always think of those steps as being different events. Mastering each step is essential if you're going to grow as an organization, but is it necessary to find a salesperson who can master each step? Truth be told, most salespeople are challenged in one or two areas. For example, prospecting is an entirely different skillset to selling, and an individual that thrives in serving clients is not going to excel at lead generation.

Changing from the lone wolf sales model to a division of labor model is an option worth thinking about. Splitting your team into roles that focus on lead generation, selling solutions, and serving clients is quickly becoming the only way to grow revenue and increase the effectiveness of your team.

Change Sales Structure to Align Sellers Talents with the Right Role

One in five people are in the wrong role, jobs they’re not motivated by, engaged with, or productive in. Building a highly efficient sales structure requires having the right people in the right roles. Look around, what are your current salespeople truly remarkable at accomplishing? When allowed to focus on a role they love, combined with a belief in what they do, they’re more determined to work harder and dedicated to achieving great success.  

Having lead generation separate from the sales process, having sellers that can sell, and having someone focus on serving clients results allows your organization to excel at communicating your products or services, and your company generates revenue. Here are a few supporting statistics:

  • Businesses who nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% less than non-nurtured prospects (source).
  • Lack of resources such as staff, funding, and time remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation efforts for 61% of B2B marketers (source).
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of nurture is the main cause of this (source).

In the Media Sales report, we asked participants, “To what degree have you restructured your sales operation with specialists who perform specific functions in the sales process?”  The answers were as followed:

  • 17% said Major Restructuring
  • 30% said A Little Restructuring
  • 3% said Not Sure
  • 20% said Minor Restructuring
  • 30 % said None

Are most of your goals being missed? Do you find that you keep coming up with revenue goals for markets? If so, it’s time to reevaluate your sales structure.New call-to-action

Topics: sales process sales talent IMPACT