Your sales force is a system and it won’t work properly if it’s disorganized. Here are three tips on how to organize your sales force.
Your sales force is a system. Like any system, it won’t work properly if it’s disorganized. If you want to manage and direct your company’s growth, you have to be able to manage and direct your sales force. Their efforts are key to your company’s profitability, and keeping them organized will help you maximize their productivity. Some salespeople prefer to work independently, while others like teamwork. Some are farmers, while other are hunters. Balancing and focusing all of these competing qualities is no simple task. It takes planning, training, and frequent oversight to keep everyone on the same page. However, once the system is organized and running smoothly, the rewards can be enormous. To help you start enjoying those rewards, here are three tips on how to organize your sales force.
Before you can organize your sales force, you must organize your business. You need to have a strategic vision for the future of your company, and have all of your departments pursuing that vision. If you organize our sales force to pursue a plan that others aren’t adhering to, their efforts will be less effective. Whether it’s expanding into new territories, increasing overall sales, or just weathering an economic storm, make sure everyone is headed in the same direction.
Once your business has a strategic plan, and everyone is focused on that plan, you can start organizing your sales force. There are a lot of organizational systems to choose from-the one you pick will depend on your business structure and goals. Whichever you choose, make sure that your salespeople know their roles in that system, and receive the training and support they need to be successful in those roles. Simply telling everyone that they’re organized in a different way won’t do the trick. Until everyone is comfortable with the new system, it will take constant effort on your part to make it stick.
Whichever organizational system you use, it won’t work properly if you don’t direct the individual efforts of your salespeople. They all have different strengths and weaknesses, different training and experience, and different likes and dislikes. All of those factors must be taken into account when you’re trying to organize your sales force.
Independent, self-motivated “hunters” should go at the top of your sales funnel. They should be seeking out and qualifying prospects, providing you with a steady flow of new accounts. At the other end of your sales funnel are the “farmers.” These are the detail-oriented salespeople who enjoy nurturing and growing existing accounts. Within these two broad groups, there will be a wide variety of different personalities, and some overlap. Some salespeople are better in person, others excel at written communications, while others are better on the phone. You’ll have some salespeople who thrive under the pressure of handling a big account, and others who prefer smaller contracts. Whatever the makeup of your sales force, it’s up to you to organize their talents, training, and efforts to best pursue the goals of the company.
There are rainmakers on every sales force. For whatever reason, everything they touch seems to turn to gold. While the rainmaker hunters get the lion’s share of the attention, you can find rainmakers at every level of sales. These are the salespeople who find ways to make you more money. Whether it’s landing new clients, upselling or cross-selling existing accounts, or finding ways to make the sales process more efficient-these are your money makers.
When organizing your sales force, your rainmakers should feature heavily. Your top hunters should be handling high-value prospects. Your top farmers should be in charge of your largest accounts. It should go without saying that your top talent should be handling your top priorities. However, without the proper organization, it can become every salesperson for themselves. If you want rainmakers at the top, you have to put them there.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.