Joining us for today’s show is Chris Stoddard, a Vice President of Sales who knows a thing or two about generating revenue growth. Our topic today is Organization Design. What types of reps you need and the best organizational chart for you. Chris and I followed pages 282 – 284 of the PDF workbook outlining emerging best practices of Sales Organization Design. I personally found this interview with Chris to be an incredible demonstration on thinking through feet on the street. It’s an innovative approach to deploying capacity and really thought provoking in terms of what an AE is capable of performing in a team-based model.
Chris Stoddard is the Vice President of Sales for Pulse Secure. Pulse Secure is in the secure access business of helping people, devices, things, and services connect to corporate networks through laptops and mobile devices and just about everything else. Watch as Chris demonstrates how to determine the right number of feet on the street by walking us through an emerging sales organization model called the pod model.
Business is booming at Pulse Secure under an innovative model of organization design. Sales leaders should keep an eye on this approach for a glimpse into the future as well as ideas on how to improve your current structure. This new approach to organization design allows the structure to remain flat and empowers high performing Account Executives to be player-coaches and achieve tremendous teamwork.
We begin the show with an overview of the traditional seven types of B2B sales organization models. This provides a foundation for you the audience to think through the options and evaluate your own structure. Watch as Chris describes how he started with the Stratification Model of organization design. By stratifying the accounts into large, medium, and small, the sales force is assigned by the size of the account regardless of geographic boundaries.
Watch as Chris describes how he adapted his stratification model into what he refers to as a Pod concept. He wanted as little distance as possible between the most junior seller and senior leadership. He created a selling pod, or selling unit with five core elements. There’s an Account Executive or a senior salesperson. There is a territory Account Manager that farms existing accounts. Also included is an Inside Sales Rep and a partner Account Manager dedicated to servicing our channel and evaluating resellers. The final element of the pod is a Systems Engineer. Typically, a pod is five core people and that can scale up or down based on the market opportunity.
The pod concept places a high level of accountability into that senior seller of each pod. That senior seller operates as a player/coach to the members of their pod. We look for someone who has historically been able to carry their own weight inside a sales model as well as act like a mentor and be part of the hiring process. Chris avoids the middle layer of our management hierarchy and the senior seller is a first line of information back to leadership. Watch as Chris details the approach.
Chris and Greg engage in a debate about the lack of specialization in this organization model. While this model has been perfect for Pulse Secure, sales leaders need to consider the model carefully before jumping feet first.
Why this matters? Too few reps and you’re going to miss the revenue number, too many reps and you’re destroy profits. Hire field reps when you need inside reps and frustrate customers. Organize in a hunter/farmer model when you need industry verticals or product specialists and the revenue goal will be harder to hit than it needs to be and so it goes and so it goes.
Consider this new approach in a pod concept where you have a highly empowered account executive who acts as a senior leader in managing a team of territory account managers, inside sales reps, partner managers and system engineering and keeping the organization flat. Does this make sense for you, or could you borrow ideas from this model to enhance your existing model. Listen as Chris goes into depth on how to create enterprise value and how to determine the quantity for your sales force.
If you would like to spend some time with me diving into the best sales structure to drive your revenue, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing.