Sales leaders have a tendency to make out of sequence changes to their sales structure. Why? Adding heads or creating more specialized roles on the org chart are extremely visible augmentations.


SM to Rep Ratio Visual


How do you know if it is the right time to make a structure change?  Answer the 10 questions below to identify possible gaps.


Answer each question Y or N


  1. Sales Manager to Direct Sales Rep Span of Control – Is it between 6-9 to 1?
  2. Are you deploying Inside Sales?
  3. Can each sales role clearly explain where and how they add value during the sales process?
  4. Do you know the Customer Acquisition Cost for each market segment?
  5. Do you know the Lifetime Value for each market segment?
  6. Is selling time greater than 70%?
  7. Does each sales role has a defined cadence that they follow?
  8. Is there is a clear line of demarcation between selling roles?
  9. Are sales role accountabilities aligned with the corporate strategy?
  10. You have obtained direct customer feedback (from a reasonable sample size) on your sales force structure in the past 12 months


What to do with the results:


  • Yes on 8 or more – Structure is probably not the biggest area of opportunity
  • Yes on 5-7 – Structure may be holding your sales force back
  • Yes on 4 or less – Structure needs to be addressed in the near future


If you fell into the ‘less than 4 bucket’, what are your options?


  1. Fix internally – if you have the capability and resources available this might be the best option.  One of the first steps is to fully understand the key inflexion points where your customer derive value.  Compare these key activities to where your sales force is spending their time.  Are they focused on the areas customers are willing to pay for and that differentiate you?
  2. Hire a Sales Consultancy Firm – if speed, expertise, and quality are on the top of your wish list this is probably the best option
  3. Do nothing – if you have too many conflicting priorities or the change is perceived as too disruptive you may chose to do nothing


For more ideas on how to elevate your organization to world-class performance, click on the link below.



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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.

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