Important Considerations Before Reorganizing the Sales Team
Contributed by Mary Tucker
Reorganizing the sales organizations is frequently driven by internal changes in a company. Those changes might include: new or exiting team members, expanded opportunities to sell new products or sell in new territories. Frequently, sales leaders focus on the internal mechanics of effecting such changes.
However, managing the retooling of a sales organization from an internal management perspective ignores two critical areas that can cause disaster if not planned for and addressed. These two issues are:
- How will your customers and prospects react to the retooling?
- How will your sales team react to the retooling?
Though these two important considerations seem obvious, many sales leaders don’t give a proper amount of attention to prevent a negative impact on their business.
Customers’View of Structural Changes in a Sales Organizations
We all hope our customers see as a knowledgeable business partner. Knowledgeable about their business, their buying processes, their requirements, their team and the best, most effective way to sell to them.
How does your customer view the introduction of a new sales rep? We hope they don’t view it as an end to the relationship, but they might. They should view it as additional work on their end. They need to teach the new rep about how they do business. How many times have they been asked to”break-in” the new rep? Recognize this as the great favor that they are offering to you. It takes time and trouble on their part to make the new rep successful. It might just be easier to say that they don’t have time…right now. This is a great opportunity for your competition to make inroads. They have been watching and learning from the sidelines.
Telepathic Sales People
We all love sales people that have great intuition. Sales people have the best intuition and communication skills when it comes to retooling plans. The best-kept-secret plans will still send shivers through a sales organization. The last thing that any company wants is a sales team that is distracted, a sales rep that speculates about changes with customers, or a sales rep that is simply so uncertain about their future role that they intentionally or unintentionally, mismanage their customers and prospects.
Rumors about sales organization changes are always a hot topic. Be swift, be clear about roles and responsibilities and set a clear path forward for your team. If sales people are not sure of their on-going role for one month of the year, that is 8% of their annual productivity. It is one too many opportunities to send a confusing message to a customer or prospect. And, it is a potential loss of a productive sales rep who sees that life may be greener, and more stable, on the other side.
Plan your sales reorganization well. There is much to be gained. Watch out for your customers and your sales team to ensure that you are rewarded for your efforts. Above all, be sure the reorganization effort is planned and led by someone who has done it successfully before.