by Dan Hersh
President, Engaged Prospect
I've spent most my career, training and managing inside sales representatives and business development teams. I’ve helped turn around low performing teams and worked with teams that were growing faster than they knew what to do with. I’ve also helped departments in large corporate settings and small businesses get over the sales plateau hurdle.
During this time, I’ve begun to realize that there are four major components to implementing a successful sales department.
This post talks about how to design sales jobs for your company, and how to build out responsibilities.
Part 2: Job Responsibilities and Design
Good organizations view the sales process through a customer lense. “How does what we do impact the customer experience?”, they’ll ask.
While it’s critical to think of the customer first when it comes to the buying experience and sales process, it’s also important to think about how your sales team is structured to maximize efficiency and take advantage of key strengths of your sales team. And, by doing so, the following four things will happen:
Are you having any of the following issues?
If you agreed with any of the above, then you need to seriously consider your sales structure.
Consider this: One software company hired me several years ago to lead their inside sales department. The inside sales team had three functions.
1. New Business Sales
2. Account Management
3. Sales Support
When the inside sales team is responsible for these three major components of the sales business, it’s very likely that the team will be jack of all trades, but master of none. It’s very unlikely for someone to excel in all three of these areas of inside sales and support. And, it’s virtually impossible to have effective time management and training skills to focus quality time on each component.
The inside sales reps in this company were focused, well trained and hardworking people. But, many of them struggled to find a balance between support, new business and customer service.
And, the company struggled. We doubled in size the first two years I was involved. But, we quickly found how difficult it was to manage a growing client base as well as maintain focus on targeting new customers and generating qualified leads from prospects.
Most reps in positions like this will be good at one or two functions, but not three. Sales reps that enjoy developing new business (and are good at it) are likely not interested in creating quotes, processing orders and doing data entry. Data entry employees aren’t going to want to make 50 prospecting calls per day. If you segment the job responsibilities into these three specific areas of sales, your sales reps will be happier, better trained for their role and more likely to be successful because they can develop the necessary skills for either sales support, account management or new business sales.
Even the most skilled reps can’t manage their time effectively between customer service and current client issues, and generating new business.
If you are creating a brand new sales department, it’s important to consider the job design of your sales and service team. The proper alignment will ensure satisfied employees and satisfied customers. You’ll also create an efficient process that allows for increased new business development as well as a focus on current customers.
If you are currently working in a department that employs the jack of all trades approach, consider separating these functions and allowing your salespeople to sell, your customer service people to focus on your current customers, and your sales support people to keep the department running smoothly and efficiently.
Here are the roles, along with examples of how you can measure their success.
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