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Boost Tech Sales in Slumps: 4 Tested Strategies

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Successful consulting firms consistently refine their business models and invest in their consultants' efficiency to increase revenue without inflating marketing expenses.

Studies indicate that the median productivity for consulting firms is essentially static. Only one in five increase revenue 10 percentage points faster than marketing and business development expenses in a given year, and only 3% do so consistently over four years.

Even the fastest scaling firms can effectively boost their revenue at a pace that far surpasses the increase in sales and marketing expenditure.

In today's digital era, most executives perceive a mixture of enhanced training, demand generation, and the strategic deployment of a selection from the approximately 10,000 available digital sales and marketing tools, as the path to the top.

Rarely do they consider optimizing their sales structure. However, the upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the swift adoption of virtual selling has left executives reluctant to reassess their sales structure. However, successful businesses understand the need for this; they realize that aligning the right staff, with the right tasks, for the right clients, at the right stage in the sales process, is an evolving procedure that requires regular fine-tuning. This approach minimizes staff turnover, accelerates the onboarding of new sales staff, and ensures the right sales experts engage with customers at the right stage in their journey in a cost-effective manner.

Opportunities in the Sales Structure

Leading companies consistently adopt four key strategies to optimize their sales structures.

Streamlining Specialty Sales Coverage

The proliferation of specialized sales teams often results from growth via acquisitions or the launch of new products. However, if unmanaged, these roles can become redundant, leading to overlapping duties for sales reps and causing frustration for customers and reps alike. By ensuring the salesforce is well-versed with the new products or buyers, businesses can restructure these specialist organizations to avert such issues. This streamlining enhances customer experience and, by reducing total customer interactions, significantly improves team productivity. For instance, Dell experienced a roughly 20% jump in rep productivity after merging its server and storage specialist teams a few years post-acquiring EMC.

Structuring Inside and Outside Sales Roles

The pandemic has shown that inside sales reps can be equally, if not more, productive than outside reps when the time saved on travel is invested in interacting with more clients. Specialists or pre-sale reps, not being primary relationship owners, find the transition to inside sales roles easier than account executives. A robust inside sales team ensures customers can interact with experts irrespective of their location, thus improving customer service and bringing tangible value to the company at a lower cost.

Establishing Inside Sales Training Programs

In a competitive market with increasing attrition rates, an inside sales training program that feeds the account executive pipeline is highly beneficial. Research findings suggest that the duration of a sales representative's tenure is the most significant factor contributing to their productivity. For example, a hardware company established an inside sales academy that considerably strengthened its sales team. The academy graduates achieved their quotas twice as fast as external hires and outperformed them by 30%. They were more likely to remain with the company and had double the chances of being promoted to a managerial role.

Maximizing Productivity through Support Staff

High-growth companies need to reassess their sales roles to avoid overburdening reps with a broad product scope, leading to a drop in productivity. ServiceNow, a cloud-computing platform, saw a 30% increase in revenue to $5.9 billion last year, with a sales and marketing expense growth of 24%. Part of this success was due to the company's decision to delegate certain administrative tasks to a less expensive team in India, saving significant time for their sales staff and enhancing their job satisfaction.

Irrespective of the growth phase, businesses can significantly improve sales rep productivity by adapting their sales structures and complementing them with initiatives and digital tools. By persistently enhancing revenue growth faster than sales and marketing expenses, leading companies exemplify the advantages of continuously refining sales structures while concurrently investing in their frontline rep's productivity.

For these select few, dynamic sales structures and a comprehensive approach to productivity offer a significant competitive edge.



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