This explainer video advises entrepreneurs to avoid hiring a superhero salesperson, and instead design the right organizational structure for sales, one with clearly defined roles, functions, and processes, a lean sales engine where each staff person specializes in what they do best.
Meet Laura, a successful entrepreneur. Like many business owners, she wears a lot of hats. She’s responsible for production, delivery, staffing, payroll, expenses, billing...And, of course, sales. She knows how critical it is to have a steady stream of leads. And when she has a lead, Laura does all the sales work: emails, scheduling, meetings, follow ups, proposals, presentations. Laura wants to grow her business, but she finds that her income swings from feast to famine. It’s tough to establish steady, reliable sales when she’s working on so many projects.
Laura hires a “superhero salesperson” to take over. But, like most first-time entrepreneurs, Laura has never hired, trained, or managed a salesperson. It’s a common, but expensive and painful mistake.
So what should Laura have done? Instead of focusing on finding the perfect salesperson, Laura needs to design the right organizational structure for sales, one with clearly defined roles, functions and processes. A lean sales engine where each staff person specializes in what they do best. Laura starts by shifting some of her workload to sales support people like Calvin. Working with target customer profiles, he uses researchers to generate lists of leads and sets weekly and monthly goals.
Calvin designs multi-touch outbound marketing campaigns. He hones the campaigns and designs new ones based on feedback about messaging that resonates with target customers. He manages and reports on all pipeline activity. When a prospect is ready for a sales call with Laura, Calvin schedules it. Sales support includes administrative jobs like managing Laura’s calendar, email follow-ups, note taking, report writing and generating proposals. And he manages the CRM.
We call this specialization of roles “shift and lift. ” Shifting away lead generation and administrative tasks from Laura, while lifting her up to focus on the thing she does best: client-facing work. This frees up Laura to focus on client-facing activities like discovery calls, and prospect meetings. Now she can concentrate on sales opportunities, closing deals, and managing clients.
The result is an efficient, repeatable and scalable sales engine. It automates routine tasks and maintains a steady stream of leads, allowing Laura to effectively engage customers. It works when Laura is the only sales person and it works when she’s hired an entire sales team.
At Dana Consulting, we understand the difficulties of founder-led sales. We can help you hire and train your sales support team and provide them with the tools to build a powerful sales engine and transition your company for growth.