Winning Strategies for Scaling Your Sales Team

Winning Strategies for Scaling Your Sales Team

Mark Roberge is the former CRO of HubSpot. During his tenure, Roberge grew revenue from $o to $90 million and expanded the sales team from 1 to 450 employees. Below is a summary of Roberge’s recent post on ThinkGrowth entitled, 10 Sales Leadership Lessons from 10 Years at Hubspot. The 10 sales leadership lessons are:

  1. Entice prospects with education rather than product demos. An educational offer not only yields higher conversion rates, it also positions the salesperson more favorably to help the buyer. Salespeople must first understand if they can help the buyer before they pitch them a product. Only then is a demo appropriate.
  1. Issues with customer success are often solved through the sales compensation plan. Sales compensation plans are the most effective tool to drive strategic change through an organization. Consider the high-level strategic objectives of an organization and then explore whether the sales compensation can  reinforce them.
  1. Metrics-driven sales coaching is the most important lever to drive productivity. Show how the salesperson ranked against their peers in each stage of the funnel and how their activity compared to the prior month. Ask the salesperson which skill they would like to develop and how you can help them.
  1. Minimize friction in customer hand-offs with front-line cross-functional alignment. Structure front-line organizations around the buyer, including physically sitting them together, to form relationships and naturally optimize experiences. The front-line manager can then assist with alignment issues in real-time.
  1. Missed revenue targets are more often a symptom of bad planning than bad execution. Proper bottoms up sales and marketing planning must support top-line revenue goals. The five silent killers to planning are demand generation, manager-to-salesperson ratio, salesperson attrition, salesperson ramp and seasonality.
  1. Optimize demand generation requirements around a 40-hour work week rather than a pre-determined quota to drive sales productivity. Do not calculate demand based on historic conversion rates on leads or appointments. Calculate demand based on a 40-hour work week to yield the maximum potential of the team.
  1. The most important sales training occurs when the salesperson can walk in the buyer’s shoes. Once the salesperson truly understands the day-to-day job of the buyer that they are serving, the salesperson can then effectively relate to, help and advise them.
  1. Today’s empowered buyers dictate the sales process, not salespeople; develop the buyer journey first and then design a sales process to support it. If the salesperson cannot add value beyond the information the buyer can find on their own, the buyer has no reason to engage with them.
  1. There is no universal criteria for top salespeople; the ideal sales hiring criteria is unique to your business and must be engineered prior to scaling. Success or failure is largely dictated by your sales context and the salesperson’s fit for that context. For example, who is your buyer? How complex is the product and sale? Etc.
  1. The greatest motivation factor is a formalized career growth plan. Most organizations rely on a subjective annual review and traditional 2%-4% increase in salary based on performance. Career growth should instead be based on objective criteria where performance dictates advancement.

All contents copyright © 2017, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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