A leading global financial technology (FinTech) client recently reached out with a big request: They wanted to completely overhaul their go-to-market organizational structure, roles and relationships. Like a number of our clients, they are moving towards a stronger sales-led oriented culture, recognizing the benefit of higher growth rates across all parts of the organization.
We immediately saw the benefit of their doing so and gladly helped. A poorly-structured organization threatens your revenue potential. After all, poor and outdated organizational structures breed misalignment across departments, delayed action and performance inefficiencies. But when you fine-tune your organization to be buyer-first in focus and to align to your current business model and market environment, you set it on the road to sustainable revenue performance.
Is your organizational structure as optimized as it could be? There are a number of factors that should tip off sales and go-to-market leaders to rethink their organizational approach. Here are five key drivers we think you should pay attention to.
1) TRANSITIONING FROM A FOCUS ON THE DEAL TO REVENUE
If your organization is in the midst of pivoting from a focus on closing the deal (transaction) to ongoing revenue for the full client lifecycle, your go-to-market organizational approach will need to pivot too. This transition comes with a number of changes that will influence your structuring and your team’s roles.
Are you moving to a cloud-based solution with recurring revenue contracting models? Is your account management focused on ensuring client satisfaction and client retention? Do they understand how to identify new value opportunities to serve existing clients? How is your financial valuation affected by more-predictable revenue streams and better visibility of future revenues? Is your team still focused on professional services post-sale or on client success and onboarding to support the whole product?
2) THE GRAYING OF LINES BETWEEN SALES AND MARKETING RESPONSIBILITIES
Many sophisticated B2B organizations are seeing their sales and marketing responsibilities blurring and overlapping. This is especially true in large organizations’ field marketing and demand generation efforts — or in those practicing account-based marketing and sales.
Take a hard look at the role of your business development representatives and ask yourself: Is business development the last stage of qualifying a marketing-generated lead — or the first stage of sales outreach and prospect engagement? Do they align to a market program or a selling territory? Is a business development representative an apprentice salesperson and compensated as such, or are they simply appointment setters?
3) THE GRAYING OF LINES BETWEEN SALES AND CLIENT SUCCESS / EXPERIENCE TEAMS
Historically, many companies segregated sales teams grouping “hunters” and “farmers.” Hunters focused on acquiring new logos, while farmers worked to expand the solution footprint or wallet share in existing accounts. Recurring revenue and / or SaaS delivery models increase the focus on client retention — not just expansion.
Who owns a client? What are your client retention rates? Are the client success teams compensated on retention only or on account growth as well? Do these individuals understand how to identify new opportunities and engage the right resources to develop them?
4) LOSING THE NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN SALES
The non-commissioned officer in sales used to be the staff sergeant — the first-line manager. They sat in the regional office with a sales team of six to 10 people. They were deeply engaged in accounts, coaching and training, opportunity and pipeline management, and reviews.
In the last decade or two, companies have eliminated this layer of management and consolidated upwards of 15-25 reps under a sales director. The sales director is not co-located with his or her team, has much less time for one-on-one engagement, and spends a disproportionate amount of time reporting-up versus managing and coaching down.
This shift will affect your sales effectiveness, sales technology, and training and coaching / onboarding. How often do your sales leaders participate in prospect or client meetings? How much training have they had to enhance their coaching skills? Are pipeline reviews viewed as reporting exercises or enablement opportunities? If these leaders are not coaching your sales representatives, who is?
5) NEW DISTRIBUTED NATURE OF THE SALES FORCE
As the non-commissioned officer has been removed, there is less need for small sales offices. COVID-19 further accelerated this trend. Even in Europe, where the relatively small size of the countries makes it more likely salespeople live within reach of an office to go in, COVID influenced more stay-at-home work.
Today, sales reps spend less time with managers and peers. They are now more likely to spend the majority of their time in a home office than in a traditional place of employment. This remote set-up makes the right sales systems, technology and methodology all the more important to get right.
Do you have a sales process and methodology tailored specifically to your organization, market and solution set? Does your technology actually benefit the representative as they work with a Prospect through the buying journey and selling cycle or is it simply a reporting tool? Do your sales representatives have assets and artifacts to support your methodology honed through numerous trial and error processes or is every asset produced on the fly by them? Do they have approaches that align the members of the go-to-market team for success or is each representative acting as a lone wolf?
STRUCTURED FOR SUCCESS
With an up-to-date and optimized go-to-market structure, your organization will have the foundational bones to Seek to Serve™ buyers with powerful solutions. Download the Mereo Sales Organizational Roles Guide for the most common sales structures that leading B2B organizations follow.
Reach out to our experts for a complimentary baseline evaluation of your current go-to-market structure.