LSA Global Insights Newsletter: 3 Smart Strategies to Scale and Upgrade Your Sales Team

2.29.2016

3 Smart Strategies to Scale and Upgrade Your Sales Team

A flock of birds is silhouetted against a blue sky in the shape of an arrow

Most of our clients are looking to grow their sales force to meet ever increasing revenue expectations. 

But sales leaders face four serious complications that make it difficult to effectively scale and build a high performance sales team:

1. First, according to CSO Insights, the average annual sales turnover is almost 30%. So just to keep your team the same size, sales leaders must attract, hire, onboard and develop an entirely new sales force every three to four years.    

2. Second, sales people are expensive. According to the US News and World Report, the average sales manager base salary is approximately $126,000 and the average sales rep is paid $55,000. Additionally, direct replacement costs (excluding customer and opportunity costs) average 1.3 times salary.    

3. Third, the growing requirement for sales reps to have higher business, financial, technical and analytical acumen has significantly added to the training and ramp-up investments necessary to set new sales hires up to succeed.    

4. Lastly, companies are struggling to identify and hire for the distinctive attributes that produce a salesperson who can sell effectively for their company's unique sales strategy, organizational culture and brand promise. 

The implications are clear and were powerfully stated by a client during a recent executive coaching session. "Sales leaders who are unable to consistently attract, develop, engage and retain top talent will not hold onto their jobs for long. The success of sales leaders depends upon the success of their team."

If you are looking to scale or upgrade your sales team, here are three smart strategies:

#1 - Consistently Attract Top Sales Talent
For anyone who has grown a sales team, you know it's not easy to find and attract top sales talent. "A" players are probably making more in their current job than you can pay them in their first year with you. Additionally, Rolodexes do not always transfer from one company or industry to another. The good news when you are planning to hire is that, according to the latest Glassdoor research, 68% of sales professionals expect to look for a job in the next year. The top 5 reported factors that would cause them to leave are:

Salary and compensation (72%)
Career growth opportunities (65%)
Company culture (48%)
Relationship with manager (46%)
Senior leadership (38%)

To set your team up to perform at their peak and to attract and hire top sales talent, make sure that you start with strategy, align your sales culture and then hire for what matters most by:

Creating a clear, believable and implementable go-to-market sales strategy that aligns with the overall business strategy.

Defining your ideal target client and the key situations where you should win most of the time.

Crafting a compelling value proposition that clearly differentiates you from the competition, deeply resonates with your target clients and is supported by persuasive case studies.

Building a high performance sales culture that clearly defines success and failure, provides meaningful rewards and recognition, holds people accountable, responds to market changes, shares information, is decisive, and reacts well to change.

Using a proven behavior-based interviewing process to rate candidates.

Being careful, lastly, not to oversell the position, your company or the opportunity...or to be oversold by the candidate. As one executive recruiter put it, "At its worst, you can have a cartoon-like situation where the hiring manager is overselling a job opportunity to fill an open slot and the sales candidate is overselling their motivation and capabilities to get a new job and, while they are both so focused on closing the deal, they miss that they are not a good fit for each other." 

Read the Final 2 Smart Strategies to Scale and Upgrade Your Sales Team

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned