Successful sales are dependent on sales processes that encourage value addition. Developing “continuous improvement approaches” through building efficient team structures and providing an after-sales experience encourages further customer retention. Building a successful sales team isn’t just limited to textbook recruitment and training, it involves providing adequate support by considering the following,
- Developing Multi level selling strategies
- Combining sales and marketing
- Adopting effective sales team models
Multilevel Sales Strategies.
Multilevel selling strategies heavily impact team selling. According to Johnston and Marshall in “Sales Force Management, Leadership and Innovation”, multilevel sales strategies in their most basic form involve sales teams that include top level management personnel.
The inclusion of top executives in sales teams is crucial to securing key clients and represents “proper organizational etiquette”. It has been proven that direct interactions between executives and clients supports the shaping of client-friendly sales policies.
Combining Sales and Marketing
The partnership between sales and marketing was coined “smart marketing” by Dan Tyre in 2008. Smart marketing creates a seamless buying process that can be observed in the B2B business environment, whereby blending sales and marketing roles makes the buying process become more streamlined. According to analytics generated by B2B generation agency Bluebird Strategies, organizations that have combined their sales and marketing teams have seen “209% more value from marketing, a 51% decrease in customer churn and enjoyed a 126% increase in marketing contribution to total revenue in three years”.
Adopting effective sales team models
The Organimi tool prescribes three sales team models that are uniquely suited for small to medium enterprises.
- Island Sales Team Model: Most start-ups implement the Island Team Model because of its size. The founder of the company typically acts as team leader and head of sales. The sales representatives generate and validate leads, close sales, provide after-sale services and report directly to the team leader. The role of the sales rep can be overwhelming in this setting, especially if the product profile or customer database increases. As a result, this model is not ideal for companies with sustained growth. It is however a structure that encourages direct involvement of founders in day-to-day client turnover, which has its own benefits.
- The Assembly Line Sales Team Model: This structure is particularly suited for small to medium-sized businesses. The assembly line sales team structure encourages job specialization by dividing the sales process into individual teams such as:
- Lead generation team: Responsible for generating leads, hunting down information, doing preliminary research about each prospect, and organizing data in a comprehensive way.
- Sales development team: In charge of developing upon the initial research by qualifying the leads that the lead generation team has gathered. Once qualified, they are passed to the account executive team.
- Account executive team: Responsible for demo-ing the product, responding to concerns, and closing the sale. Once the sale has been closed, clients are directed to the customer success team.
- Customer success team: Responsible for after-sale customer service as well as value addition, they receive and process customer feedback.
The Assembly Line Model encourages seamless sales processes by dividing work into specific tasks. This increases overall quality of work, ensures solid feedback systems, and encourages creativity and innovation. However, this model also has the potential to decrease customer ownership and relationships.
- The Pod Sales Team Model– The Pod structure is similar to the assembly line and is often employed by growing companies. The Pod Team includes smaller units that consist of individual assembly lines, encouraging further innovation by creating healthy competition between teams.
Building successful sales teams requires selecting strategies that result in customer-centric sales processes, increasing overall efficiency and opening up opportunities for further growth.
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