Building A Scalable Sales Team

If business is booming and it’s time to replicate your amazing sales team, here’s where to start.

sales-team-growth

The sales team is the lifeblood of your business. No matter how great your product is you won’t achieve sales targets without a well-seasoned and killer sales team.

As your business continues to grow, you must remember to grow your sales team with it. But how easy is it to replicate a great team so that you can maximise sales in new areas, or offer new products?

Related: There’s Strength in Teams

Preparing to scale

Understand the market

An in-depth survey will help you to understand the entire size of the market for your product or service at a specific time, usually measured either by sales value or sales volume. This will tell you where your clients are, what they do, and how much they have available to spend.

Research

The research will enable you to determine the number of resources required to reach this potential market.

Product complexity

The complexity of your product will determine what type of salespeople you need to hire to grow the reach of your business. Each sales context is different. Each salesperson has a unique style. For a product that is straightforward, the process of identifying the right people is simpler.

The more complex the product, and the greater the levels of service required to support it, the more the structure and composition of the sales team becomes important.

Diversify

You will have to consider the diversity of users, the lines of business, the size of the business, and the geographic distribution. Based on that analysis, you can work out the potential of each one of the subsets.

The size of the accounts will dictate the types of salespersons required

How you segment the sales team is also key. Some may be product or user specialists. Others will need to have experience in dealing with large or key accounts, and there will be those who specialise in small or mid-size business. Essentially, it’s about profiling each customer and each salesperson and then matching them.

Sales numbers

To determine the number of additional salespeople required, you can begin by establishing the total selling effort needed and dividing that by the average selling effort that is possible per person.

Removing barriers to sales

As a business grows, it’s also advisable to maximise the sales team’s performance and enhance their ability to penetrate the market by removing all functions that are time-consuming and do not contribute directly to sales and revenue generation, such as admin duties.

Hire assistants for your top-performers, or create an admin pool to assist the entire team. You can also create a client service team that takes over duties like service calls, customer care, and product training.

Sales people often become involved in product training when their valuable time could be better spent elsewhere.

When you have a team of dedicated specialists, it becomes much easier to appoint additional sales managers who can devote their time to managing and rolling out sales strategies and plans in line with the demands of clients.

Related: The Daily Progress Checklist

As the number of the sales team grows, it’s worth putting in place another important support structure, if you have not already done so, and that is a telemarketing department.

The telemarketers have an important role to play in softening potential prospects from an acquisitions point of view. They can discover the individual prospect’s questions, concerns, objections, and hot-button issues.

They can also play a key role in customer retention. Importantly, telemarketers can also play a role in monitoring sales staff by ensuring that they have called on customers and prospects according to their schedules.

How to hire right

Identify exactly what the position you’ll be hiring for entails. Take the time to carefully craft a job description and clearly define what you’re looking for.

Depending on what your company needs in a sales manager, that list could include managing new business and key accounts, generating leads,  managing a sales team, meeting revenue goals and handling customer relations.

In addition to the overview and list of responsibilities, remember to include the desired behavioural characteristics and personality type of your ideal sales manager.

You can do this by taking a look at your existing sales manager (provided that he or she is a star performer), and identify what their greatest qualities are. Self-direction, motivation, high energy, ambition, integrity, a positive attitude and persuasive communication skills are desirable traits for a sales manager. 

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