Or How…………. which one is the chicken, which is the egg when it comes to sales team structure?
“Glenn, we’ve asked you in because we are currently grappling with the question around whether the long-standing structure and deployment of the sales team is still optimal, as our environment and competition evolves”. I was all ears, as I sat across the board room table, pen poised and ears pricked. Being an old scientist, I thought “this is the classic pin prick causes pain – finger recoils in response” syndrome.
My battle hardened briefers had suffered a recent spate of brand new opportunity pitch losses, interspersed with a couple of long-standing customer cross-sell near misses. Pin prick – ouch. Finger recoil response = “maybe our long-standing sales team structure meant we weren’t nimble enough, weren’t proactive enough, didn’t have the right people doing the right things at the right time, weren’t something enough to win those opportunities”.
And so ensued a subjective debate between relevant sales, marketing and customer service managers about what a restructure might and should look like. As usual with subjectivity, the loudest voice and/or the highest rank usually carries more weight and ultimately wins the debate.
There is a different way when it comes to continuously assessing appropriateness of sales team structure and form that is diametrically opposed to the ubiquitous pain-response mechanism. Come back next week and we’ll explain.