Why Empowering Your Sales Team Structure Will Boost Your New Year

10 mins

Empower your sales team for a successful January 2024. explore strategies for effective team structure, training, and motivation. Drive performance with insights and support.

Ensuring your SDRs are fully prepared and motivated to start a new year head-on to maximise their performance and achieve their targets might seem an obvious concept and strategic approach if you are a sales leader. However, are you, as a leader, truly maximising the advantages of effective business planning to start the new year as strongly as possible? 

In the fast-paced world of business, being prepared is a game-changer. It's about analysing your sales team structure, making investments, streamlining sales recruitment strategies, setting KPIs and targets, and implementing training and development opportunities to ensure your sales team are the best they can be going into January. 

This guide provides sales leaders with fascinating insights into strategies that can support them in ensuring their sales teams have the personnel, motivation, skills, and targets to tackle the next 12 months with the passion and drive needed to succeed in the sales environment. 

Analyse Past Performances and Sales Team Structure

While the new year is a time for new opportunities, the end of the year can provide an excellent chance to deeply analyse the business and sales teams’ performance over the past year. If you’ve had a successful year, you can question what the team did well, how we achieved our targets, and where we can improve further. If you’ve underperformed, you can question where the areas of improvement are, whether certain members are struggling to meet their targets and whether they are targeting the right businesses and markets.

Whether you have performance or underperformance, all businesses and sales leaders should conduct an in-depth assessment of their sales team structure. By doing this, you will understand what is working in your business and what changes you need to make. 

Why is sales team structure so important? 

Team structure affects how your SDRs collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with each other and other departments within the business. An effective sales team structure can not only improve the number of leads but also the quality of opportunities and leads generated by SDRs. This improvement contributes to the efficiency of your sales process and pipeline, ensuring alignment with your broader sales strategy and organisational goals. Moreover, a well-designed team structure plays a pivotal role in fostering your SDRs' motivation, engagement, and retention.

Enhancing your sales team structure requires a systematic approach, from understanding its current state to designing and implementing changes. Collaboration, data-driven decisions, and continual evaluation are key elements in understanding and unlocking the full potential of a successful sales team structure.

Therefore, you can build an understanding of the performance of your current sales team structure by gathering feedback from other team members and stakeholders against crucial KPIs, including:

  • Lead volume

  • Conversion rates

  • Revenue and ROI

  • SDR performances 

  • Job satisfaction

  • Average deal size

  • The average length of the sales cycle

By measuring the current sales team structure, you can pinpoint skills gaps and opportunities to focus your sales training, development, and sales recruitment strategies before the start of the new year. So, once you have assessed the feedback and data, ask yourself the following questions. 

  • Do you have enough SDRs for the target markets for the year ahead?

  • Do the team have the right skills and sales training to handle the diversity and complexity of the sales prospects?

  • Do you have the right incentives and rewards to drive their performance?

  • Are they aligned and motivated to the goals and strategy of the sales team and the wider business?  

Identifying gaps and opportunities is crucial to designing a new sales team structure. Factors such as team size, composition, reporting lines, and communication channels must be considered. Decisions on specialised or generalist roles, dedicated or shared roles, and flat or hierarchical teams impact the overall design. The structure should align with organisational goals and foster collaboration.

Ongoing Implementation of Sales Team Structure 

Once any changes to the sales team structure have been agreed upon, it is vital to communicate the rationale and expectations of the change to the wider team and business. Transparent and clear communication helps to foster understanding, mitigate potential resistance, and ensure everyone is on the same page.  

Ensure that SDRs receive continuous sales training and support throughout the year and measure performance using established metrics. This ensures the SDRs stay abreast of industry trends, product knowledge, and sales strategies. Regular sales training courses, workshops, and access to relevant learning and development tools should be made available to empower the sales team to drive their success over the 12 months. 

Examples of sales training courses and workshops include:

  • Prospect training 

  • Account development training

  • Negotiation training 

  • Pitching training 

  • Technical sales training 

  • Sales management training 

However, you shouldn’t just stop analysing your sales team structure once the new year begins. Continuous evaluation and improvement are the foundation of the success of any sales team, no matter the industry or market. Regularly analysing data and metrics allows for the identification of trends, strengths, and areas of improvement. This data-driven approach enables agile decision-making and the implementation of necessary adjustments to tactics or strategies. 

Consider Onboarding New Team Members in Advance 

Scrutinising the last 12 months' performance and your sales team structure before kicking off again in January allows you to decide if you need to hire new SDRs, and the end of the year presents an excellent time to do this. If you decide to hire new employees, there are many advantages of doing this before the start of the new year, including: 

Develop Product Knowledge - Due to holidays and year-end closures, December tends to be a relatively quieter month in many industries. This provides a suitable time for new hires to absorb essential knowledge, familiarise themselves with products or services, and undergo sales training courses without the intense pressure of immediate performance and target expectations. This allows them to enter January ready to go with a solid understanding of the company, its offerings, and sales processes.

Target-Setting and Planning - December also serves as a natural period for companies to establish goals, devise strategies, and plan for the approaching year. Onboarding new team members during this timeframe integrates them into crucial goal-setting discussions, providing an understanding of sales targets and expectations for the upcoming year. This proactive approach ensures they clearly understand their objectives as January begins, enabling them to hit the ground running confidently and purposefully.

Contribute to Year-End Performance - By onboarding in December, new sales team members can contribute to the team's overall performance for the full year. They have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the sales cycle, establish relationships with clients, and potentially close deals before the year-end. This early productivity sets a positive tone for their ongoing performance in the following months.

Take the Opportunity to Identify your ‘Hot Category’ 

Companies are often finding success by identifying what we call ‘hot categories’ - sectors or markets that, based on the gathered data when you’ve assessed your sales team structure, have a higher likelihood of conversion. By identifying these categories, businesses can strategically tailor their approach to meeting those industries' specific needs and demands. 

This targeted focus allows sales teams to streamline their efforts, allocating resources where they will most likely see significant returns. This strategic alignment ensures that every interaction is purposeful, maximising the potential for successful conversions. 

Furthermore, taking this data and research-led approach allows SDRs to create detailed profiles for the decision-makers in specific industries. Understanding the challenges, preferences, and choices of important people of key people in those industries supports salespeople in creating personalised and compelling pitches. 

By paying close attention to the details of these profiles, sales efforts become more relevant and establish a stronger connection with existing and potential clients. This not only increases the chances of successful engagement but also allows the sales team to address the specific needs and goals of decision-makers, going beyond generic pitches and messages. 

Finally, identifying ‘hot categories’ and building on proven achievements instils confidence and builds morale within the sales team, particularly at the junior level, as it can help them achieve ‘quick wins’ in January and understand where to start and what customers, businesses, and industries to look at when pursuing sales. 

Consider the January Blues of your SDRs

January is often one of the most exciting times for businesses, bringing new opportunities and budgets. However, for your SDRs, this can be a different story. Some team members may be driven and ready to take on the new year head-on. For some, after the festivities and excitement of the holiday period have worn off, they’ll be back to long commutes, meetings, and targets. There may be team members who, in the new tradition, start assessing if this is the right career for them. 

Here are some key strategies to ensure your team are motivated for the year ahead:

Reward and Recognition Programs 

After putting their heart and soul into reaching their targets and maximising every opportunity, most SDRs will rightly expect some recognition for their hard work. Its importance to team morale is highlighted in the fact that organisations that have a formal employee recognition program have 31% less voluntary turnover and 2.7 times more engagement from the workforce.  

Whether their rewards are bonuses, salary reviews, personalised gifts, or extra holidays, this celebration of winds ensures that their efforts have not gone unnoticed and are much more likely to feel motivated to drive their performance so they can be rewarded again. 

Highlight Sales Training Courses and Development Opportunities  

Applying to top, middle, and underperforming SDRs, ensuring that the sales know that they will be supported throughout the year to elevate their skills and performance will be a major drive behind their passion to start the year well. Group discussions and one-to-ones with the sales team allow you to discuss with them where their areas of development are, their morale going into the new year, what their training expectations are, and what their career aspirations are. 

Through these conversations, leaders in collaboration with the SDRs can develop bespoke sales training and development strategies to learn new skills, improve performance, elevate current skills, and prepare them for promotions. With a 20% increase in sales reps achieving their targets from attending sales training courses, it is hugely beneficial for the business personally, but importantly, the sales teams' passion and morale to continue driving their careers forward.

Arrange a Motivational Sales Kick-Off

A sales kick-off is a yearly gathering that brings together your complete sales team. The primary objectives of these meetings are to inspire your sales and leadership teams, offer sales training courses, commemorate achievements, foster collaboration and camaraderie, and outline your strategic roadmap for the upcoming year. 

These sessions play a pivotal role in establishing the outlook for the entire business, instilling motivation at all levels, and instigating a collective drive toward achieving both individual and organisational objectives for the year ahead.

The benefits of a sales kick-off are substantial:

  • Offering a rare opportunity for the entire team to convene

  • Establish strong business networks

  • Engage in education

  • Boost the morale and energy of the team 

  • Celebrate wins 

  • Opportunity to launch sales training courses

A few examples of strategies used at sales kick-off meetings include - Keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and success stories from sales leadership can all form a highly motivating event. 

If you would like more information about planning and implementing a successful sales kick-off, discover our insightful guide: Why an Effective Sales Kick-Off is Crucial to Your Success. 

Let’s Wrap Up How Sales Team Structure Empowers Your January 2024

As a sales leader, your commitment to ensuring your SDRs are fully prepared and motivated for the upcoming year's challenges and targets is a strategic imperative. This comprehensive guide has illuminated the critical strategies that go beyond the obvious, offering profound insights into building a sales team ready to tackle the next 12 months with unmatched passion and drive.

From the meticulous analysis of performance and sales team structure to the ongoing implementation of strategic changes, this guide emphasises the importance of a systematic approach. It underscores that your team's success hinges on collaboration, data-driven decisions, and continual evaluation. By aligning your sales team structure with organisational goals, fostering motivation, and addressing performance gaps by providing sales training courses and development opportunities, you pave the way for sustained success.

As you embark on this journey of preparation, analysis, and strategic planning, the guide serves as a comprehensive resource, equipping you with the tools to lead your sales team into January 2024 with confidence and a shared vision for success.

Need Support in Building an Effective Sales Team Structure?

Our guide has shown the importance that sales team structure, sales training, and a motivated sales team has on driving performance and success in January and throughout 2024. Our expert and experienced team are ready to provide you with tailored guidance and training to ensure you maximise the performance of your sales team heading into the new year. 

With over 25 years of experience in providing bespoke industry-leading bespoke sales training solutions to businesses in the UK and internationally. Contact the team today to discuss how we can support your businesses to achieve unprecedented success in 2024.

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