Regardless of the size of a business, it is essential that it knows how to structure its sales teams. Yes, the sales force is at the heart of profitability: no matter how much you have the best product or service, if you don’t know how to sell it, it’s a waste of time.
Knowing how to effectively structure your sales team is the best way to boost your sales. But how to do it? If there is no perfect organization or miraculous recipe, there are nevertheless some fundamentals to be respected. In this article, we give you the best practices that can be applied to any company wishing to structure its commercial activity.
Structure its sales force in line with its commercial strategy
Before even thinking about organizing your sales teams, it is essential to be clear on the sales objectives to be achieved. From the commercial strategy results the organization of the sales force (and rarely the reverse!). Are your business goals fuzzy and hard to express? There is no point in going any further: if you are not able to write in black and white, with encrypted data, your business strategy is that you are not yet ready to take the next step. Next. Because, how do you expect your teams to achieve their business goals if they are sailing on sight?
It is therefore necessary to start by giving meaning (a direction, but also a meaning) to the commercial actions. Defining a business strategy is not done lightly. To help you out, we’ve compiled the 10 Commandments to Clearly Determine Your Business Goals.
According to eWorldTrade, Once this first step has been validated (although it is not immutable), you will quickly be faced with a recurring problem: the lack of time. This is where the organization comes in. Being organized is the essential key to dealing with the lack of time that any sales team encounters in achieving its objectives. Without an organization, even the most motivated sales teams will struggle to prioritize their tasks. They will tend to act permanently in “firefighter mode”. The risk is gradually sacrificing importance to emergency management. Eventually, your sales force will completely lose sight of the business strategy that had been defined.
To act as a builder rather than an extinguisher, you have to give yourself the means. The manager (or the leader in the case of a VSE / SME) must organize his sales force so that it is able to more easily achieve its commercial objectives. This is its main role and its responsibility.
For example, if your sales strategy is to specialize by field of activity, your organization must take into account the specialization of your sales representatives by profession. Another scenario, if your objective is to develop the large accounts in your client portfolio, you must set up the roles of Key Account Managers, whose remuneration takes into account the loyalty of these large clients.
How to structure its sales teams on an organizational level?
You need to make sure you have an organizational structure that is as clear as it is effective. Concretely, each member of your sales team needs to know who is responsible for what and why. The organization chart must be clear. Thus, your sales manager (or you) is responsible for the general management and the definition of the sales strategy, as we have seen previously.
Depending on the size of your business, it is a good idea for the sales manager to have a sales assistant to handle administrative matters. The larger the sales team, the more it is necessary to structure and prioritize responsibilities. Intermediate sales managers should be present to supervise teams of three to five salespeople. They are in charge of local management and monitor the performance of their teams.
To complete the picture of a typical business organization, consider including strong business support. Often apart from “classic” sales forces, customer support is your customers’ privileged interlocutor and manages issues that do not directly bring you value (order entry, technical support and complaints in particular).
Likewise, it is relevant to set up support for the seller (ADV, flow managers, import / export specialists, etc.) to ease the burden on salespeople.
The sales organization must take into account the needs of the customer. This is why the commercial breakdown is usually done by type of customer, by product, by sector (activity or geographic) or by distribution channel.
However, this traditional mode of organization sometimes reaches its limits. The salespeople in these different departments often have to be multifunctional (prospecting, loyalty, “inbound sales”, negotiation, etc.). It is therefore sometimes wise to complete the market / sector organization with a breakdown by commercial activity:
- A team in charge of qualifying incoming prospects;
- A team dedicated to “hard” commercial prospecting;
- A team responsible for finalizing sales;
- A team responsible for commercial loyalty.
Digital and marketing tools to better organize its sales teams
At the center of any effective business organization is people. As a sales manager, it is your responsibility to motivate salespeople in order to achieve set goals. To facilitate the work of your sales force, many digital tools are at your disposal.
A fluid and efficient CRM (customer relationship management tool) is the best ally of a sales team wishing to increase productivity. It allows you to better understand your different customers and analyze commercial performance (which is the basis). Tools for automating business processes exist: they allow your teams to delegate the management of ancillary and time-consuming tasks to stay focused on sales.
Digital has been involved in all sales missions and it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it. Prospecting bases, contact management tools, professional social networks, intelligent directories, “marketing automation” tools (to follow and automate the stages of the commercial pipeline, etc.). If you would like to know more about the available solutions, we invite you to read our detailed tests concerning Nomination (prospecting platform), Data nanas (“sales automation”) and Drop Contact (data collection tool).
It is also necessary not to decor relate the sales and marketing functions. This is still too often the case with separate departments that do not communicate with each other. Because what is marketing? Answer: find ways to sell something to someone. We’re pretty close to the commercial goal, aren’t we? Your sales force must therefore be grouped together with marketing, so that the two functions can complement each other fully.
You now know that it is essential to structure your sales force according to your business strategy. In order to have an optimal organization, do not hesitate to rely on proven commercial divisions, but also on digital tools likely to make your life easier. To better structure your sales teams, it may also be interesting to create a financing captive and to use solutionStructure uctureture bs such as sales financing. In any case, your organization must be completed with the commercial tips that we entrust to you in this article.