You have secured your resources in the Planning phase of the sales strategy process. Now, how do you make sure the right people are in the right roles? How do you expertly execute the processes defined in the Engagement step?


You set up a seamless organizational structure. You place reps in optimally designed territories. Assign them the right quota. Incent them with a comp plan that reinforces desired behaviors.


Creating this winning sales organization involves six strategic steps. Developing a comp plan doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.


Step 1: Sales Org Design

In this step, you will design the org model and determine headcount.


Your sales org should be structured around the needs of your customers. Understaffed and bloated sales teams both cost your organization money. The former costs you revenue, and the latter increases costs. A poorly designed org can also result in lost customers and A-level talent attrition.


First, consider which channels your buyers want to use to engage your sales team. Then determine what level of sales specialization your buyers are willing to pay for. From there you can determine which model will work best for your organization.


Check out Greg’s interview with Tony Capucille for a breakdown of the seven organizational models.


Now that you’ve got the model in mind, answer these questions:


  • What roles need to be filled?
  • What are the responsibilities for each role?
  • What headcount is needed by role?
  • What is the production and cost of each role?
  • How should each role spend their time?


Finally, create a transition plan to move from your current structure to your new one.


Step 2: Channel Optimization

It’s time to align your sales channels with customer demand. Stop channel overlap. Allocate the right mix to control costs and assure customers’ needs are met.


First, consider what partner channels your buyers want to engage with. From there, determine your ideal partner profile.


Now, create a process for selecting, recruiting and onboarding the right channel partners.


Depending on how the channel sells your product, ensure you have proper coverage. Structure your channel org model to enable partners and avoid channel conflict.


Finally, regularly measure the contributions from each channel.


Step 3: Talent Program

Sourcing, onboarding, coaching, training and developing talent is critical to your org’s long-term success.


To build a team of top performers, start by assessing your hiring profiles. How do you assess talent to make sure you have “A” players in each role? How do you plan to recruit top talent quickly? Also, make sure your sales performance management system is aggressive enough.


Consider the following:


  • What is your candidate selection process?
  • How will you efficiently on-board new talent to reduce the time to productivity?
  • What training programs to you need to develop your team’s sales skills?
  • How will you utilize sales coaching programs to reinforce desired behaviors?
  • Can you improve your sales management training?


Step 4: Territory Design

Sales territory design is all about placing the right reps in the right territories. You need to allocate territories for revenue potential, but you might be doing it wrong. Ideally your best reps should work the territories with the most potential.


Assess the potential of each account, then prioritize the accounts. Now determine the optimal size of each territory and set goals for each.


If you need to transition accounts when you change territories, create a process. Also figure out how you will communicate sales territory mapping decisions to the team.


Step 5: Quota Setting

Setting realistic quotas can inspire your sales force while boosting profitability. To do this right, translate the corporate revenue goal into quotas. These quotas should accurately reflect the potential of each territory.


You’ll need to know the following to set reachable quotas:


  • What is the potential of each account?
  • What is the potential of each territory?
  • What is the production capacity of each rep?


Now you can rationalize the organization’s quota across all reps. You can also rationalize each rep’s quota against the organization’s.


But you’re not done yet. Create a process for stress-testing the quotas to determine where you are vulnerable.


Step 6: Compensation Planning

To keep your reps motivated and engaged, a strong compensation plan is essential. An effective compensation plan will do the following:


  • Stay within the corporate budget
  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Motivate desired behaviors


Developing a comp plan doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.


Your first step is to determine who should be part of the plan committee. The committee should now answer the following:


  • How do you accurately benchmark compensation for each role?
  • How do you determine what you want to pay relative to those benchmarks?
  • How do you calculate the cost implications of compensation decisions?
  • What is the optimal comp plan design for each role?


Discern if there is a way to automate compensation administration through technology. Finally, create a measurement system to track the effectiveness of your comp plans.


Need help applying this to your organization? Register for a live How to Make Your Number in 2016 workshop. An SBI strategist will come to your office and walk you through the process.


Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



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