How to efficently set up a sales department?
June 25, 2006 4:41 PM   Subscribe

What is the most efficient organizational structure for a sales department?

I run the sales division of a successful marketing consultancy. For the last few years our business has grown by leaps and bounds (more than doubling our revenue each year for the last few years) and we've finally outgrown our sales infrastructure.

To that end, what is the most efficent way to set up the sales department for managing this hyper growth? As a consultancy, training new sales reps is difficult as our sales process is very involved and requires a strong knowledge of the marketing process. Any and all insights are welcome. Thanks!
posted by tundro to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What CRM software are you using? Is there a shared Knowledge base (both for internal and external questions?) How is the marketing process currently being communicated to your reps (both new and existing?)

I know these aren't answers, but it helps to know how mature your organization is already before suggesting something that is already obvious to you.

My company is in a similar situation, so I am interested in this as well!
posted by sciatica at 10:41 PM on June 25, 2006

The answer to your question depends very greatly on the philosophy of your company and the ways in which it is marketing itself and delineating the selling cycle activities. You really haven't given enough information for anyone to give concrete advice, since, if your problems revolve around expanding your client list enormously, you have one set of issues, whereas, if you are trying to do bigger projects with fewer, larger clients, your sales activities are bound to be substantially different. Accordingly, you will need different organization, management, and tools to achieve success in these different situations.

Supposing that you are selling fairly involved marketing projects to clients in well-defined lines of business, and that you have a fairly flat sales organization, you might find something as generic as Siebel Systems CRM to be a reasonable starting point, if a bit of a project to set up and operate (especially if you aren't already an Oracle house). But there are dozens of sales management systems competing in the marketplace, and you may find one far better for your needs if you investigate. Certainly, getting your sales reporting/time accounting efforts to more or less automatically drive your followup, tracking and sales management efforts is key to staying afloat in a fast growing company, where you are getting lots of new people up to speed, with a comparatively few experienced managers and team leaders at the core.

I think you might also benefit from re-thinking your sales approach, trying to simplify matters as much as possible. It may be that much of the complexity of your offerings are only of interest to a small (if lucrative) percentage of your customers. If you are in a rapid growth phase, you may find that applying the old 80/20 rule is vital to getting the job done. Providing your sales people with tools like typical project prototypes may avoid much of the need for lengthy engagement proposal drafting, while getting answers to the clients common questions about costs, timeframes, and resources. Follow this up with fresh success stories, ROI case studies, and referral sources, and you can get fairly new people qualifying leads in days, not weeks or months.
posted by paulsc at 11:03 PM on June 25, 2006

« Older Can I have simultaneous access from 2 computers to...   |   Can I get waxed downstairs and still maintain my... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.