Here’s why scaling sales teams is about removing friction

Oct 28, 2022
By
Ashley Wilson

One of the biggest challenges for any company is scaling its sales team. As the company grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the same level of success and momentum. This is often because as the company expands, more and more complexity is introduced into the way your products get sold. This can be caused by a number of factors, including new territories, higher regulatory standards, new products, and even just the natural growth of your customer base. Additionally, as the size of your team increases, the level of organizational support that each sales rep gets from their chain of command inevitably goes down.

The good news is that most successful companies out there have figured this out.  They've systematically identified the challenges affecting their team over time and implemented processes and systems to overcome them. In this article, we'll focus on an approach to prioritize these efforts and roll-out effective solutions before they drag down your team's quota.

The key lesson we've learned from talking to many sales teams is that there is no silver bullet to improve your sales process. Counter to what many enablement firms out there will say, there's no 8-week program, one-size-fits-all approach to scaling. The reason is that each company has a unique culture, product, and go-to-market strategy. That said, there are definitely some commonalities among the challenges that all sales teams face when they're scaling. They can be broadly classified into 4 main categories:

  1. Inefficiencies in the process
  2. Lack of clarity around what needs to be sold and to whom
  3. Lack of standardization/repeatability
  4. Friction in the system

We believe that the approach will help the most when pushing through some of these is one: focus on friction. Remove friction from the activities you want your team to do, and add friction to the activities you don't. Friction in sales is often managed through micro-processes you can facilitate using automation, and coaching. Friction can also be added by introducing approval processes or required CRM fields. What's important is to see the process and the tools as your canvas to shape how your organization behaves at scale.

First, it's important to take a solution-focused approach. This means you need to identify the specific challenges affecting your team and then develop incremental solutions. Trying to address all of the challenges at once and roll out a huge overhaul will only lead to confusion and frustration. Small improvements, released constantly, are always better than huge improvements rolled out rarely.

Second, it's essential to have a well-defined process in place. Your sales playbook should be an easy-to-read document, accessible to everyone, from day one. Beware, a 75-slide deck won't cut it either. Focus on what's essential. This will help your reps unblock themselves when things get messy and minimize the ramp-up time of new reps. That means: new revenue, come sooner.

Third, it's important to provide your reps with the necessary support they need to be successful. This includes both organizational support and training. Organizational support includes things like access to resources like customer data and product strategy. In addition, reps need access to tools that can help them sell more effectively, such as polished interfaces for your CRM and automation that interconnect the many tools they engage with daily.

If you can focus on these three key areas, you'll be able to overcome the challenges of scaling your sales team and continue seeing success in your business.

Scaling a sales team can be a daunting task, but it's important to remember that most challenges can be overcome by taking a targeted approach and implementing well-defined processes. By focusing on these key areas, you'll be able to help your reps ramp up quickly and sell more effectively into new markets. Let us know if you need help creating a plan to scale your sales team!