Why should you care?  Proper structuring of the sales force has been proven to produce a double digit revenue uplift.  Conversely, if efficiency is your goal, structure clarity will illuminate waste and lead to significant cost savings.


Sales organizations should have multiple structures depending on the number of market segments they are pursuing.  The graphic below shows the six most common sales structure options that organizations should consider in their Go To Market Strategy.




You can determine which structure option(s) make the most sense for each of your market segments by reviewing the bullets below. 


Stratification: match best resources on best customers


−     80% of revenue driven by 20% of accounts

−     Substantial upside in the large accounts

−     Larger accounts have a favorable cost to revenue ratio

−     Larger accounts value dedicated resources


Activity: specific role focus to match sales strategy


–     Complex, lengthy activities in the sales cycle

–     Significant margin to accommodate committed sales roles and mgmt

–     Clearly defined hiring criteria for sales roles


 Geography: aligning the sales force to geo markets


−     Accounts have centralized decision making

−     Geographies exhibit broad need for product portfolio

−     Clients value face to face interaction

−     Generalist approach is viable


Buying Roles: resources are aligned to key customer stakeholders


−     Clear alignment of products to buying roles

−     Value propositions, collateral and programs aligned to each role

−     Buying roles are distinct and have specialized needs

−     Prospect database is well populated with contacts per role


Product: sales professionals represent specific products to meet customer needs


−     Large product markets to support dedicated sales people

−     Complexity and number of products too much for sales person to master

−     Product value and use similar across industries or end user types

−     Customers favor sales’ product knowledge over other expertise


Industry/Market: sales resources are focused on key industry verticals that require deep domain knowledge


−     Clients desire industry domain expertise

−     Clear industry specific needs for certain products

−     Untapped industry potential

−     Revenue growth justifies additional selling expense


Call to Action:

Once you determine the structure options that are the best fit, it is imperative to understand how each structure will impact your corporate strategy.  What is the expected impact?  If the impact outweighs the disruption to the organization, develop a change management strategy and begin assessing the roles needed to bring your corporate strategy to life.  Also, download our sales force structure whitepaper on research findings.


It is important to understand the potential in each market/territory before determining the correct structure to deploy.  View our webinar from December 15th to learn more.



sbi on linkedin


Follow @ScottGruher


Follow @MakingTheNumber



Scott Gruher

Orchestrates and designs the perfect project strategy, one engagement at a time, to ensure that every SBI client makes their number.

Scott joined SBI in 2010 with years of hands-on experience in sales leadership and enterprise selling. Since his arrival, he has helped dozens of organizations dramatically accelerate growth, from Fortune 10 organizations like Phillips 66 to fast-growing cloud service organizations like InfusionSoft. Scott specializes in cross-functional alignment. He helps leaders align around the growth goal and design the right processes to bring the strategy to life. His unique combination of real world experience and a pragmatic approach to problem solving have made him one of SBI’s most demanded resources.

Read full bio >