Does Your Sales Team Need an Overhaul?

August 6, 2019 | Melody Astley

sales team

Imagine this scenario. During your sales meeting you notice that participants appear disengaged, and they’re not meeting goals. You also note redundancies in the accounts your reps are working on. As the meeting closes and your sales team leaves the room, you feel like you’ve been to a funeral rather than a fun and energizing sales meeting. Throughout the day, you have this nagging feeling that prompts you to look back. You begin to notice a downward trend that’s been happening for months during sales meetings.

Sound familiar? Perhaps a reorganization is on the horizon.

Every sales team, throughout its lifecycle (from inception to maturity) experiences the need to adapt and restructure existing systems, processes, and members. It’s inevitable. Organizations that can quickly identify a need for reorganization at the right time will continue along their growth trajectory. Those who passively ignore the telling signs of the struggle will often yield undesirable results.

Signs You Need to Restructure

When it comes to restructuring your sales team, many factors should be taken into consideration to make the transition as seamless as possible. Change is most impactful if management does its due diligence when reconfiguring the sales organization.

Several interrelated factors may signal the need for change. For example, companies may change their existing structures to increase efficiency and reduce lost selling time. The other significant reasons for restructuring are alignment with changes in the market, product and or services, or go-to-market strategy.

Here are a few signs that signal that it’s time for change:

  • Market change, such as an economic recession or a booming economy, may require companies to change their sales process or strategy.
  • Entering into a new market or launching a new product often causes a need to either specialize or generalize the sales force by skills and experience, and type of activities performed in a particular role.
  • Low morale or inefficiencies in the process are often signs that something is not working. You might decide that the workload needs to be distributed differently to avoid the over- and underutilization of resources.

How to Successfully Restructure Your Team

To be successful in your reorganization effort, ensure whatever model you decide on aligns with the overall company goals. For instance, if a company goal is to increase gross revenue, a supportive reorganization goal would be to drive top-line revenue by implementing a new coverage model. Whichever model you decide to adopt, it should work in conjunction with the overarching strategic objectives of the company. 

As important as it is to define your new sales approach, it’s equally important to have alignment across your organization. Sales will not be the only department affected by the reorganization. With any change management, it’s vital to have buy-in from the other departments affected by the process change. As the go-live date approaches, you’ll want and need cross-functional support to be successful.

The goals of any impactful and high yielding sales team should be having the right number of team members paired with the right customers and generated leads. Having this cohesion will optimize your organization and enable them to maximize their impact on the top and bottom line. Regardless of the industry, if you have alignment, the right number, and type of salespeople on the right customers, you have the start to a winning team.

Once decision-makers from affected areas of the organization agree to reorganize, the next step is to evaluate market segments. Ensure the company aligns with selling to the markets and customers with the highest potential for success. Doing your homework and identifying the market segment that is right for your products/services is crucial. Compete where you know you can win. Don’t send your reps out to fight a losing battle against a much larger company with more resources. It’s essential to adopt the right customer segmentation model. Once the model is in place, you can determine how many reps you need, where you need their focus, and if you have the right resources on board.

Putting It All Together

Successfully putting your plans into action requires having the right strategies and tools in place. Companies often have multiple sales processes and tools, all of which may not adequately align with the selling needs of the new process or model. You want to enable your sellers as you go through the reorganization process. Take the time to evaluate methods and tools. Discontinue legacy systems and spend time researching the most suitable sales enablement tools on the market. Be sure your sales team has the support in place to enable their success in the field.

It’s good practice for companies to regularly evaluate their structure to align with changes in the marketplace appropriately. It’s not a “one-and-done” exercise but rather one that requires consistent tweaking to stay ahead of the curve. If done correctly and at the right time, the reorganization will optimize your sales team and increase productivity, employee engagement, and profitability. A win for everyone!


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