Sales Team Challenges When Scaling

Continuing with yesterday’s post on Territories vs Wide Open for Sales Teams, one of the points mentioned was that with territories, as the team scales, the assigned geography for each sales rep shrinks (more reps equals more sub dividing of territories). As expected, many challenges arise as the sales team scales. Here are a few to consider:

  • Sales Reps to Management – The top sales reps often don’t make the best sales managers (different skill set and personality traits). As the team grows, it’s important to set expectations around the path to management and build management training programs.
  • Downward Lead Volume Per Rep – The size of the sales team often grows faster than the volume of qualified leads such that the number of leads per rep goes down over time.
  • Hiring Standards – It’s hard to find great sales people. As pressure is applied for hitting an overall team quota, there’s a tendency to lower hiring standards to get more people in the door. Don’t do it.
  • Undoing Special Arrangements – Special sales rep arrangements like owning certain reseller relationships or getting a slightly different commission for certain deals become problematic as the team grows and more specialized functions are implemented (like a channel program).
  • Adding Process – Some reps that thrive during the free-for-all early startup stage don’t make it as the organization hits the growth stage and adds more process. It’s not that one stage is better or worse. Rather, it’s important to connect the right personalities with the right stage of the company.

Scaling a sales team is hard, especially with the pressure from different stakeholders like investors. Know that there are many challenges scaling a sales team and these are just a few of them.

What else? What are some more challenges scaling a sales team?

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