Organizational structure is something that all companies must consider and carefully plan, especially when growing rapidly. When there are multiple large teams involved in the sales process, it’s imperative that teams explicitly understand the processes and policies that go along with the structure.
What is organizational structure?
An organizational structure defines how activities such as task allocation, coordination and supervision are directed towards the achievement of organizational goals. In sales organizations, this applies to how and to whom leads are distributed, who leads and supports demos, and how leads move through the buying process through different parts of the organization, among other things. Depending on the size of the company, there are many levels of organization that help to delegate responsibilities and create a productive structure. A company’s organizational structure will usually have all of the different sales teams reporting up to the VP of Sales, but Marketing, Partner/Alliance teams, Services, and Customer Success all come in to play for Sales at different times.
Why is it a challenge?
Not every person involved in sales processes and operations report to the same person. This means that while the ultimate goal of these teams is the same (generating revenue), each goes about it in a different way and supports sales through many different functions. It is not the primary goal of these other teams to support sales reps with sales efforts, because that is not their primary job function. This can often make it difficult for the sales reps to get the help they need in a timely manner, especially in large companies.
What can you do about it?
Sales enablement teams can help reps by connecting and partnering with all of these organizations when training and onboarding. It is important for organizations to have established and agreed-upon channels for communication so it is clear who should be held accountable for certain tasks. Another way to foster collaboration among these teams is by giving sales support teams (marketing, services, etc.) the chance to help with building and updating the overall sales process. This gives them a voice in the processes in which they are involved, and can help ensure cross-team interactions are documented and agreed upon from the start. The most important part of a functional organizational structure is the open collaboration it fosters.
Brian Groth is the Sales Enablement Manager at Xactly Corp, where he successfully created and currently manages Xactly’s entire sales enablement program, including the sales process, tools and training