[VIDEO] How to Structure a Successful Sales Team

Does this problem sound familiar?

We spend an enormous amount of time searching for and then hiring what we think to be “A” players.  We then invest time (hopefully) training those reps before releasing them into the wild, only to ask them to do several different roles.  We’ve essentially taken our A players and forced them to do 2-3 different roles making them B or C players at both.  I hear this time and time again, and it’s a mistake we made personally too.

Watch the Video Below:

How to Avoid the Problem

  • Specialization
    • We always had AE’s (Account Executives) and CSM’s (Customer Success Managers) – AE’s focus on strictly net new, CSM’s focus on the Customer and any upsell, renewal opportunities
  • What we did first:
    • Scale an SDR team – eliminate the AE role where reps were self sourcing their own leads and closing them.  Reps that were born closers weren’t great prospectors and vice versa
    • Then we made the mistake again, forcing SDR’s to do both inbound and Outbound
  • Next step we:
    • Created Inbound Role & Outbound SDR roles
    • Then we divided our AE team:
      • Ramp Team – SMB accounts
      • Mid-market Team
      • Major Accounts team
  • Creating a team mentality:
    • Inbound SDR’s round robin leads across all teams
    • Paired AE’s up with dedicated SDR’s – this alignment provides for far better account penetration and they know each other’s tendencies

One thing to be sure you don’t overlook:

  • The knowledge transfer – everyone needs to speak the same language from your inbound/outbound SDR all the way to the CSM
  • We’ve built required fields and automation of data transfer in SFDC (ie surveys that auto populate the key data, call sheets that tie data to opportunity & account, sales handoff that ties data to account for CSM, etc)


What have you seen work for your organization? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

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Steven is responsible for Enterprise Sales at DiscoverOrg. Steve has grown with DiscoverOrg with positions in Research, ..read more