6 months ago
February 21, 2017

5 Signs Your Sales Team Needs to be Restructured

When any of these five symptoms appear in your sales team, it may be time to consider a restructuring solution.

Claire McConnachie

Sales team restructuring can be a tough subject to tackle, but the hard truth is that restructuring is frequently necessary in today’s marketplace. Many of the issues that sales teams face are best solved with restructuring, whether it’s the processes, procedures, or people that need to be changed. When any of these five symptoms appear in your sales team, it may be time to consider a restructuring solution.

1. Your Sales Team’s Morale Is Suffering

There are many causes for dips in morale, and not all of them are within an organization’s control. Yet low morale is a critical indicator of a sales team in need of restructuring, and no matter the cause, it is an organization’s duty to address. Restructuring to distribute the workload, improve processes, and remove obstacles to productivity can bring morale back into positive territory.

2. Your Sales Team’s Efficiency Is Slipping

If it once took an average of one month to convert a prospect into a client and the conversion timeline is starting to stretch, your sales team is losing its efficiency. It’s easy to blame these slips on external forces, but the cause of such efficiency losses is just as often internal. Restructuring your reporting processes and possibly the people you have in place can help remedy this problem.

3. Your Sales Team is Losing Margin

Slimmer margins mean higher costs for maintaining an existing sales team, since margin is a key measure of sales team effectiveness. If your margin is eroding because sales numbers are falling, too generous deals are being offered, or for any other reason, restructuring can bring your sales team back to cost effectiveness. Making decisions on which sales representatives are able to change under training and which are not can be difficult but necessary in this restructuring scenario.

4. Your Sales Team is Not In Line with Your Strategy

It isn’t uncommon for sales teams to gradually fall out of alignment with an organization’s long term strategy, especially if that strategy is not regularly reiterated. In most cases, it’s easy to tell which sales representatives are in tune with your strategy and which are not. If reminders and coaching do not bring out of alignment sales representatives back up to speed, it’s a sure sign that restructuring is needed.

5. Your Sales Team Is a Classic 80/20 Example

Also called the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule claims that in most circumstances, 80% of consequences are the result of 20% of the causes. In sales teams, this is often taken to mean that 80% of the sales come from 20% of the sales people. However, there is no reason that this should be a given. If you could clone your top 20% of sales representatives and separate the bottom 20%, you probably would. Although this is impractical, what you can do is restructure to bring in new talent so that your top performers make up 30% or even 40% of the sales team, driving productivity and your sales numbers higher.

Sales team restructuring is most effective when it’s done proactively, before change becomes a necessity, rather than reactively. Identifying the signs of a sales team in need of restructuring before problems become evident can keep teams running smoothly even in times of change without negatively impacting sales numbers and productivity. Be alert to the signs that your sales team might benefit from restructuring so that you can keep your team running at peak productivity.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.