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Scaling a Sales and Service Team with Diligence

Growing your organization can be an exciting venture. It can also be a journey that siphons all of your cash and positive energy, if not done meticulously. To ensure you take the appropriate steps towards scaling your sales team (business development reps {inbound/outbound}, customer success reps and account executives) effectively, there are 5 critical components for creating optimal growth and sustainability.

1.      Build a competent, cloneable system

Establish a competent process that is easy to understand and teach. This starts with the message you are trying to deliver. It is very important that your message is buttoned-up and your organization’s “story” is polished. What story is your organization communicating and is it consistent throughout?

Have you precisely defined your target audience? Who are they? What are their challenges/problems? How is your solution their best fit (product-market fit)? How does this message differentiate and elevate your organization? Many startups & small companies try to scale their sales abilities before they are ready. It is important that you know who your ideal customer is and what message you want them to hear.

As you establish this, your process for your lead lifecycle is critical. How are your business development reps (BDRs) teeing up your account executives with ONLY sales qualified leads? Your closers should spend most of their time closing and not wasting much time qualifying leads. The more each member in the process can focus on their strength, the greater the results each member will accomplish. With greater results, comes more commission, higher job satisfaction, a higher retention rate and more revenue for the company, with less cost.

You also want to ensure that the reporting and feedback on this lead system is understood by each member. The information that the prospects and customers are sharing with you throughout the selling process, is critical for selling and serving effectively. At the end of the day, you want your customer to be your greatest promoter. Which brings us to the next critical element in scaling with diligence, momentum.

2.      Build a strategy that cultivates momentum growth.

As team members experience small wins, highlight these reps and share their stories. When you are scaling a team and adding a lot of reps, members can feel discouraged in the early stages before they start winning. By seeing others win and hearing the stories about their journey to these victories, members gain confidence in the process.

Once the wheels start turning for the team and members are getting wins across the board, it’s important to continue to build buy-in, while creating a competitive environment. This will help you extract the full potential from your competitive reps and it will ultimately turn into a large revenue generation engine for your organization.

When reps are winning and customers are happy, your ability to scale increases exponentially. Talented reps know other talented professionals and you’re ability to hire more talent becomes easier. When customers are happy, others in the industry hear the noise you’re creating and want the same level of service. Build an award winning service/product and they will come (Ray {Kevin Costner} illustrates this well in the Field of Dreams). Momentum starts with your ability to serve well, especially in this new digital arena we have created. Good and poor service does not go unheard anymore.

3.      Build a culture of winning and celebrating 

I’ve worked with many organizations and have seen some that attract new talent and others that can’t keep their best employees. So what’s the difference? This could be the same type of company, in the same industry, but with a different law of attraction working. As the statistics for how long someone stays with a company decreases, it is ever more important to ensure you are manifesting an environment that recognizes its people and rewards its top performers.

Within this, be sure to leverage top performers and their effective practices. Whether it’s the managers or the individual reps that are winning, use the top performers to highlight their actions that’s creating this optimal success.

Are you building an exceptional culture where people want to retire, while attracting their talented networks? Or are your talented people “keeping their options open” to other opportunities while going about their everyday duties?

4.      Hire talent and train them effectively 

You want to hire as many A-players or individuals that possess the IT-factor. These are (sales) professionals that are self-disciplined, have high integrity, possess a champion’s mindset and know how to plan their performance masterfully. If you’re able to build a team comprised of these individuals, your ability to scale effectively comes down to your product/service and how well you lead them. These individuals thrive in environments that are set up to win. Additionally, when top talent is competing against top talent in an organization, great things are bound to happen. As you hire these A-players into your organization, build a strategy that is unique to your sales organization. Where are these talented individuals coming from? How were they prospected? Build a funnel for top talent and keep the competitive environment churning within the organization.

5.      Prioritize the customer experience

I’ve touched on this throughout this article, but I also need to end with and emphasize it. There’s nothing that will squash your organizations momentum or early success more than unhappy customers. If there’s not an established feedback loop for the sales and customer success team, customer challenges may never be addressed. If this happens within your organization, prepare for some heavy fallout from your customers. Whether that means pulling the plug on their subscription, bad press/reviews, refund request or a lack of renewals. If this occurs, your sales team will feel the wrath as they try to find new customers to fill the void. This can create some severe discouragement throughout an organization, but mostly for the individuals that are paid (commissioned) on their results and the service team dealing with all of the frustrations. If the sales member’s desired commission can’t be reached, you’ll be losing top talent to other organizations that can get them there.

As you prepare to scale your sales and service team, a well thought out plan with a diligent leader are essential. Start building a sales playbook from the beginning. As the organization changes, so will the playbook slightly, but it’s important to keep your focus on how you’ll continue training more and more reps.

With a customer and people focused approach, combined with a vision that inspires to be an industry leading enterprise, your organization is positioned for scaling success. As you develop your sales playbook with effective, simple processes, you’ll be destined to capture the full market share that your product/service allows. For more information on how your organization can plan and scale most diligently, contact one of our consultants at Fortune 5 Consulting.

Joel Puthoff

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