Which Sales Roles Should You Hire Next?

Right Seat on the Bus Blog by EPOCH Sales Management Solutions

One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is putting the right salesperson on their team in the right sales role, especially when it comes to new business development. 

right sales role

As a small B2B business owner or sales manager, you have a limited number of salespeople on your sales team.  You may need each salesperson to perform multiple roles.  As you grow your sales team, consider specialization into the following roles:

Role

Primary Responsibility

Secondary Responsibility

Account Executive/ Sales Executive

Close new business at new accounts

Create new opportunities at new accounts

Account Manager

Close additional business at existing accounts

Create new opportunities at existing accounts

Outbound Sales Development Representative

Create new opportunities by outreach to new accounts

Create new opportunities at existing accounts

Inbound Sales Development Representative

Create new opportunities at new accounts from inbound leads

Create new opportunities at existing accounts

Sales Data Specialist/Lead Researcher

Build clean, targeted prospect lists

 

Our recommendation is to specialize sooner than later based on salesperson expertise and the needs of the business. 

So, what are the ideal traits and characteristics for each role?  

For fun, we attached a “Persona Name” to each role and added some traits and characteristics to describe the structure and “rules” each follow:

Role

The Persona Name

Unique Traits and Characteristics

Common Traits and Characteristics

Win new biz at Dream Accounts

“Mc Dreamy”

Strategic, persistent, relational.

Can continue pursuit for the long term.

Good Communicator


Empathetic


Passionate


High Emotional Intelligence



Win new biz at Bread-and-Butter accounts

“Brenda Leigh” 

Pigheaded determination and discipline; touch of relational

Can let go and move on to the next one.  There are more fish in the sea.

Win new biz at Existing Accounts

“Tommy Boy”

Service and growth oriented. Relational.

Ensure the client is happy. Always looking for new opportunities at the account.

Create new opportunities through sales outreach

Erin Brockovich

Pigheaded determination and discipline, organized with a touch of relational.

Willing to work the grind of email, phone, mail, and LinkedIn day in and day out.

Create new opportunities through Inbound Leads

Alex “Hitch” Hitchens

Responsive, persistent, disciplined, organized and relational.

Can bird dog any prospect that “raises their hand” with system and planning.

Builds clean target prospect lists

“Michelle Brock”

Detailed, Organized, disciplined

Loves working with excel and databases.

 

How many people do you know that are a fit for 100% of those characteristics? 

When you hire a “universal salesperson” that is what you are asking them to be.

So, how does a small business optimize their sales team as they grow from one to ten salespeople.  Each company needs to evaluate its own new business development situation to develop systems and processes and build expertise. This is meant to be a guide. Focus on the concept and principles. Each situation will be different.  This situation assumes a small business in pursuit of one market.  If your business has 2 or more markets, you will need to adjust these numbers per market, sharing what “overhead’ you can depending on the similarities in the markets keeping the big picture in mind.

First, consider your mix of new opportunity process “buckets”.

 

Existing Client

Intentional Networking/ Referrals

Multi-Touch Multi- Media

Targeted Sales Outreach

Speaking about Thought Leadership

Follow – up to INBOUND Marketing Engine

Best Fit

Account Manager Role

Account Executive Role

Outbound Sales Development Rep Role

Senior Leadership Roles

Inbound Sales Development Rep Role

           

Good Fit

Inbound or Outbound Sales Development Rep Roles; Senior Leadership Roles

Senior Leadership or Account Manager

Account Executive

Account Executive Role; 

Account Executive Role; Outbound Sales Development Rep Role

           

Lesser Fits

Account Executive Role

Inbound or Outbound Sales Development Rep Roles

Senior Leadership or Account Manager

Account Manager Role; Inbound or Outbound Sales Development Rep Roles

Account Manager Role

 

Initial Roles

Initial Salesperson Roles (1-2 salespeople) – Fill your biggest gaps first.

  • Detailed person to build out your targeted lists and manage your campaigns.
  • Salesperson to get initial appointments (outbound).
  • Salesperson to manage existing accounts.
  • Salesperson to qualify inbound leads.
  • Salesperson to (qualify and) close inbound leads.

Leverage existing employees, technology, or virtual assistants, where possible, to handle tasks such as: build lists (under your direction) and qualify inbound leads. Consider existing personnel, skilled at customer service, to manage existing accounts.  At least one salesperson is partially responsible for new business development. 

Each company needs to evaluate its own situation.  

  • For some companies, the first sales hire(s) may need to be the hiring of a universal sales development rep and a virtual assistant to do the sales data specialist role. 
  • For other companies focused on inbound marketing engines, the inbound sales development representative can be a higher priority.
  • Some companies develop a ratio of sales development representatives per account executive.

Consider your mix of processes that your company will be using in creating new opportunities

Goal: Confirm Product/Market fit. Demonstrate that your sales processes and structure are repeatable for someone besides the business owner.

Growing the Sales Team (3-5 salespeople) – Preparing to hand off sales to a sales manager.

  • Build out your sales development role and establish learning tools to build expertise.  You still may use a virtual assistant, technology platforms or other existing employee to build lists.  Have one person dedicated to “creating new opportunities”.  May combine this role with Marketing Assistant.
  • Optimize mix of Account Managers and Account Executives based on demonstrated competence and expertise for your business to grow existing accounts and win new logos.  Recommend there is at least one salesperson (Account Executive role) dedicated to winning new business.  There may be more.

Goal: Confirm that your sales processes are repeatable for multiple people.

Managing team

Adding Sales Manager (6-10 salespeople) – Scale the team and complete the specialization.

  • Recruit, Hire and Onboard sales manager to lead sales team growth with emphasis on identifying competence while developing and enhancing skills for each role.
  • Complete sales team specialization focusing on self-mastery. Optimize Sales Development Rep, Account Management and Account Executive Roles.
    • Sales Development Team (1-3 people)
      • Builds Lists
      • Manages Sales Campaigns
      • Create New Opportunities
    • Account Management Team (3-6 people)
      • Maintain and grow existing clients.
      • May need to do limited new business development.  Consider Dream Account New Business Development.
    • Account Executive Team (1-3 people)
      • Dedicated to winning new business.
      • Focused on mostly Bread and Butter Accounts.
  • Consider a dedicated Marketing Rep at this point if you do not have one yet.

Goal: Optimize specialization of the sales team to scale your team.

Reminder: If your business has 2 or more markets, you will need to adjust these numbers per market, sharing what “overhead'' you can depending on the similarities in the markets keeping the big picture in mind.

 

Would you like someone to guide you in this process? 

Schedule a 30-minute conversation here.

Want to Find More Qualified Sales Candidates?

Click here  to enroll in our free August 30, 2022 webinar  with a panel of 3 recruiting experts

Download our guide to help you Put the Right Salesperson on Your Team in the Right Sales Role

Download Guide

Would you like someone to guide you in this process to get ready to hire? 

Schedule a 30-minute conversation here.

 

August 29th, 2022|Categories: | | |

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