Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to Build an Ideal Sales Team


You wouldn’t swap Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. It was a perfectly symbiotic relationship while they were in their respective positions. As the saying goes, “there’s a place for everything and everything in its place.” This is true of your sales team too. There are clear stages of the sales cycle: prospecting, qualifying, closing, and retaining. Not specializing your sales team results in inefficiency, unclear career paths, underdeveloped skill sets, low conversion, burned customer relationships...basically, your team will never reach its full potential.
"You will not be successful unless you have prospectors prospecting, closers closing, and inbound lead qualifying done by people in a dedicated qualifying role. If you do that, usually companies triple how fast a qualified lead is generated." – Aaron Ross, author of the bestselling book, Predictable Revenue
What does the ideal sales team look like? Here are the components.

Prospecting: Outbound Sales Rep

Your outbound sales rep has to conjure up new sales opportunities or garner interest from cold accounts. This person should be aggressive, discerning, affable, and efficient, and possessing strong business acumen. They should know the ins and outs of the customer’s business - what problems they encounter, which competitors pose the most threat and why.   

Qualifying: Inbound Sales Rep

One of the most broken steps in inbound marketing is the marketing to sales handoff of leads. Their primary function is to qualify leads generated by marketing activities - PR, advertising, social media, content marketing. With a salesperson specializing in understanding where the lead came from and what motivated them to engage with your business, you’ll experience higher conversion rates and opportunity. This person should be competent in marketing and sales, singularly empathetic, and creative enough to solve the problems of the prospect (with your products).

Closing: Account Executive

Without the previous two roles, the Account Executive wouldn’t have opportunities to close. By the time a lead has reached the AE, the lead has expressed a need for your product and ability to purchase. It’s on the AE to lock down that deal.

Retaining: Account Manager

The Account Manager is in charge of ensuring the customer’s success and securing renewals, all the while keeping an eye out for opportunities to upsell. It walks the line between sales and support.