Strong sales leaders often think about how to have better business outcomes in their organizations.
And while thinking about ways to improve sales performance, the idea of changing the sales structure has likely come to mind. It may seem overwhelming, and you may be wondering where to start.
Do You Have a Sales Structure Problem?
Let’s take a step back before we jump into building a new sales structure. First, we need to determine if there really is a structural problem.
Ask yourself a few questions.
1. What is your current structure designed to do?
2. Are you consistently getting performance in the 3-4 revenue areas that are most important to you?
If you're concerned with the performance, then you must determine if you have a people problem or a process problem. How do you know?
- Consider using a rule-of-3s type of analysis.
- Review the performance of each salesperson against your top three revenue metrics.
- If a small percentage of your salespeople are lagging, then it is likely a people issue and not a process issue.
- If more than 1/3 of your team is lagging, you have a process issue. This means you likely have a sales structure problem.
What to do If You Have a Sales Structural Problem
Once it's clear there is a sales structure problem, it's time to start determining what your new structure should be.
- Identify the problem: It will be easy at this point to start problem-solving but hold off on that until you dive deeper into your rule-of-3 analysis from above. With the sales leadership team, study the data and continue trying to narrow the problem. You can ask your sales leaders these questions as you go.
- What is working in your current structure? Don’t assume but have specific ways you know it is working.
- What is not working from a roles and responsibilities standpoint?
- What changes, small or large, should be considered? What outcomes would we want from those changes, and how would those be measured?
- Define the problem: The sales process is made up of three different components: Generating Leads, Selling Solutions, and Serving Clients. If you noticed from your analysis that many sellers are not growing or retaining their key accounts, the problem might be in selling solutions or serving clients. Or if there is a lack of new business being developed, then an inbound marketing strategy could be needed.
- Solve the problem: Once the problem has been clearly defined, it is time to start solving the problem, but you want to consider unintended consequences as you do this. Be sure that you don’t overcompensate in one area like new business development, and in return, take the focus off current customers.
- Roll it out: The most important part of launching your new structure; be serious about it and know that rollout may take 3-4 months. Leadership from the top down needs to be committed, and sales managers must hold their teams accountable for complying with the changes.
Download Sales Structure for 10 additional steps to follow once the decision has been made to proceed.