How to structure an inside sales team for improving conversion rate
Sales team structure is one of the least focused parts of sales in most organization. Typically the same structure is often used for a very long time with minimal optimization. Most of the sales team today are typically structured the same way.
When actually working with these team, I found there is so much optimization that they need to do in the process and it can be made more effective. These small optimizations can seriously improve team’s conversion ratio. What are these small optimizations, how to identify them and how to structure a sales team in today’s world of sales?
I want to share with you a simple and effective way to structure a sales team that has helped many businesses to reach revenue goals. Our company arrived at it after many optimizations and tryouts. We took into consideration following before coming up with the structure of a sales team:
- A variety of skill sets salespeople have in the team and also different levels of experience.
- Smooth transfer of lead from one team to another so that no lead is missed. If done effectively, this sales structure will create a sales machine for you with predictability in revenues/cost.
- Focused roles that sales people need to have for maximum efficiency.
Here is how the sales team structure would look:
Lead Generation team – Lead generation team is responsible for generating leads along with relevant details of the business and point of contact. You can even ask them to work on identifying other information about the point of contacts like personal blogs, twitter handle, Linkedin profile, awards & recognition, news about the business (funding/layoff etc.) and any other relevant information that might help sales team to personalize the message and qualify leads.
Example: If you have a marketing product and there was a news mentioning lead’s intentions to put more marketing budget or their business is hiring more sales & marketing people, then it’s probably a hot lead. If lead is laying off more people or booked losses or stock price is going down then you might consider it as a cold lead atleast at this point of time.
Your business can also use some online tools to gather this information or give the task to the lead generation team. These are just additional details which are good to have in the sales process.
Most important details lead generation team should collect for you
- Business name, Business website
- Decision maker name (CEO or your focus department head), Decision maker email id, Decision maker personal or desk number(if possible)
- Corporate office number, Address.
In our experience, each person when working for 8 hours a day can collect a maximum of 60 Leads with all the above important details. You can also think of outsourcing this step to another company which will save a lot of time and effort for your business. You can even outsource it to freelancers or a company.
I suggest you outsource this step in the process or just buy some data from data Services Company. Lead generation step is too much time and effort when done internally; you shouldn’t waste time on just generating leads for your business and instead focus on closing them.
Tip: Create multiple channels to gather leads since you don’t want to run out of leads someday in future.
SDR Team(Prospecting Team)
SDR team is the one which will identify prospective clients for sales people to close. They are the one who filter out cold leads from a list of leads and supply qualified leads to the sales team. SDR team qualify leads through various methods like cold emails, cold calls and lead profiling. Different businesses adopt different strategies to qualify a lead.
SDR team should know the profile of typically qualified lead that has good potential to close which means sales manager should work with SDR team to communicate qualified lead profile.
SDR team also tries to understand the DMU of the lead (Decision-making unit) which will help the closing team to be well prepared for closing the deal.
Here is a typical process of lead qualification by an SDR team –
- SDR team does a research about the lead as well as decision maker whom they want to connect and ways to personalize messaging if possible.
- The team sends a cold email to a lead.
- Does follow-ups through emails and tries to get a response by generating interest in the lead.
- If the lead has any objections then SDR would make efforts to make lead get over those objections.
- Aim is to get a positive response by generating interest so that lead is willing to have a call & wants to check out product.
- At this stage SDR team will pass the lead to the sales team through an email introduction.
Above is just one of the ways an SDR team can qualify and pass the lead to the sales team.
Deal Closing Team (Closers)
Once sales team receives a qualified lead from SDR team, they connect with the lead either through a phone call, online call or email. This is done to understand profile and requirement of the lead which will be useful at the time of preparing a tailored proposal.
At this point, they can either set up another online meeting or a phone call or a face to face meeting to share the tailored proposal based on the previous call.
Proposal is the stage where sales person will deliver sales pitch along with collaterals which will contain product value proposition, problems solved, pricing structure and testimonials. This step can also include case studies that will generate trust in the lead.
There can be other documents that you might share along with proposal like competitor comparison sheet but it depends on your business and the lead profile.
This is also the stage where you clear any further objections lead might have regarding your product which will help you close the deal. Objections like high pricing of your product and how you can justify the price of your product. Objections like “Can your business deliver?” or “What kind of support lead can expect from your business?”
It is important that sales team is already aware of typical objections or questions a lead might have and the best way to answer it to be able to close the deal efficiently.
Customer Success Team
Once a lead becomes a customer, it is very important to ensure customer satisfaction and steps to avoid buyer’s remorse. This is taken care by customer success team. Immediately after receiving a customer, customer success team carries out a step called customer onboarding. Customer success is a pretty exhaustive process in itself which we will cover in another article.
Hope you found this article useful. Do share with others and comment any points we have missed.