To scale your sales team, think of your sales motion—the method your organization uses to deliver products or services to customers—like a recipe.

Initially, your job as the “chef” is to create an effective recipe for sales. Once your recipe is working well and tasting great, you can work with sous chefs to replicate your delicious dish using your recipe. Then you can grow further, and start teaching your entire kitchen how to create winning dishes using your methods. 

Scaling your sales organization works the same way. There are three main phases to sales team growth:

  1. Prove the successful performance of a mini sales team, including lead gen, selling and closing, and onboarding.
  2. Demonstrate the success of a full team of teams, including AE, SDR, and CS teams working under one manager.
  3. Clone the team and add another managerial level to get more rep groups up to speed.

Let’s take a look at best practices for each stage as you scale your sales organization.

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Stage 1: Forming a Mini Sales Team and Proving Success

Structure of a mini sales team

Your first task in going from founder-only selling to building a successful sales organization is creating a single mini sales team and proving that it’s a successful unit. Your mini sales team should include a Sales Development Representative (SDR), one or two Account Executives (AEs), and a Customer Success Manager (CSM). The founder of the company will lead this initial team. 

During this stage, you’ll focus on building an effective, repeatable sales and onboarding process. Document the process that works for your team using the tools that are easiest for your team to implement—it could be something as simple as creating a Google Doc, or you could use a platform like Notion or Accord.

Once your mini-team is consistently making sales, and you’ve started documenting the processes that work, you’re ready to move on to the next stage in scaling your sales organization.

Stage 2: Building a Team of Teams

Structure of a growing sales org

In this stage, you will replicate your initial mini sales team and create a “team of teams.” The business founder, an early VP of Sales, or a Sales Operations Manager will lead this team of teams, and each group will include an SDR, one or two AEs, and a CSM.

At this stage, keep in mind that sales organizations are revenue factories, in a way—but these “factories” are made up of human beings. And let’s face it, human beings are messy, so you’re likely to spot some problems with your sales processes during this stage. Document the issues that come up and the solutions you create.

With more people in your sales organization, you won’t be able to sit in on every sales call, and you won’t be able to hold all the information about every pending deal in your head. Create a fully-fleshed out sales playbook from the initial documentation you created in the first stage.

Use data-driven sales management at this stage to help the people in your “team of teams” use metrics to help people improve their performance. Measure the quantity and quality of phone calls, emails, social media requests, and other sales activities each of your reps does, so you know exactly how each person is performing according to real data—not instinct. 

You’ll know you’re ready to exit this stage and move on to the next step when:

  1. Your SDRs are creating plenty of opportunities
  2. Your AEs’ calendars are full and they are regularly winning deals
  3. Those deals are being passed on to CSRs, and customers are having success

Ideally, you are measuring all of these metrics closely, so you’ll know exactly when to move to the next stage of scaling up your sales team. 

Stage 3: Expand Your Team and Hire Second-Level Managers

Structure of a scaled sales org

Once your “team of teams” has been optimized and proven, it’s time to scale the system and bring in multiple managers who are responsible for leading their own teams. 

In this stage, a data-driven management approach will continue to help sales managers improve every rep’s performance by measuring their everyday activities and outcomes. Every manager can measure sales rep performance using metrics like:

  • Opportunities in pipeline
  • Meeting on the calendar
  • Emails sent
  • Phone calls logged
  • Win rate
  • Average selling price

In this phase, you have the opportunity to fine-tune your sales playbook to reflect the best practices, scripts, and other resources of your organization. It’s also critical that you empower your managers to set appropriate and manageable goals for all your reps, based on real data.

During coaching sessions, managers should look at the forecast for the rep for the next 90 days to see if they’re on track for reaching their goals. If they’re not, coaching conversations can be based on real data about input and output, so the rep knows exactly what actions to take to reach their goals.

Data-Driven Sales Management at Every Stage

From your very first sales hire to a thriving sales team with 20+ members, a data-driven sales management approach can help you succeed. 

Atrium’s automated data sync gives your sales managers all the metrics they need to have better coaching conversations and empower their SDRs, AEs, and CSRs for success. 

You can get started with Atrium in under two minutes, and start tracking the critical input and output metrics that will help your organization thrive at every stage. 

Sign up for Atrium for free today to get started.

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