Your sales coverage strategy likely needs to evolve if you want to see sustainable, scalable revenue growth. If your organization continually sees roller coaster sales patterns, only to find your revenue hitting the same ceiling, it’s time to revisit your sales coverage design.
It can be frustrating when you have a proven go-to-market strategy but can’t scale your growth despite equipping your team with a winning sales playbook.
The territory or coverage element of your sales strategy could be what’s holding your company back from reaching its next growth chapter. The structure and plan that landed you in your current state likely isn’t the one that will fuel your next-level growth objectives.
Designing and implementing “the right” sales coverage model is easier said than done.
In my traditional VP Sales career, and now Fractional Sales Leadership practice, I have had tremendous exposure to the best practices of planning and executing sales structure rollouts in a variety of industries.
Whether you’re looking for hands-on involvement or a few tips to guide your steps, I’m here to help.
In this article, my objective is to shed light on three key areas that need to be diligently accounted for when redesigning your sales coverage plan.
If they are not navigated properly, there is risk for customer retention decline, sales rep fallout, and costly company-wide disruption.
Company-wide Sales Scaling Readiness
For lasting sales growth, you need to consider and plan for scaling all dependent areas of the business. Yes, your sales organization will need to realign as you determine how best to take advantage of expanded market opportunity but that’s only part of developing a successful approach. The other is how you align the rest of your organization to support a change in growth trajectory.
When I guide companies through these transitions, I advise them to engage their entire leadership team to assess each department’s available capacity and most practical methods for expansion.
As your sales organization drives a stronger growth pattern, your ability to meet the increased demand must scale with it. Sometimes this means adding another production shift, investing in additional warehouse space or equipment, automating manual processes, or a variety of other accommodations.
The key to successfully navigating change that has organizational impact lies in the effectiveness of your leadership team’s collaboration, planning, and execution. There are business risks that come with wide reaching change but when done right by executing on a well laid out plan, it can have a lasting and positive impact on your bottom line.
Sales Coverage Design Considerations
Before making changes to your current sales coverage design, you need to evaluate it. This is the time to revisit how your current team operates and whether or not you’ve outgrown your current structure or if you simply need more manpower to fuel it.
When evaluating a new client who’s trapped in a stagnant revenue pattern, a common root cause is that their current sales team members are overwhelmed and spread too thin.
This results in their inability to focus strategically on growing accounts or showing up each day at the top of their game to win over new accounts.
Scaling your sales team doesn’t necessarily mean revamping it. The changes could be incremental, such as segmenting sales territories, moving to or evolving an assigned account methodology, incorporating a dedicated or outsourced sales development (SDR) function, or a variety of other expansion models.
Tailoring your sales coverage plan to match your customer demographics and purchasing trends will provide you with the guidance needed to choose the right approach to expand sales coverage for your organization. Further, understanding how and why your customers buy from you will help you develop a strong communication plan to avoid the risk of customer retention decline as you transition to your new structure.
The other key activity that needs to accompany sales coverage design changes is the remapping of your sales process. Don’t miss this step!
You’ll need to adjust roles, responsibilities, and key accountabilities at various opportunity stages. This topic warrants a blog in itself given its critical impact on both the sales process and customer lifecycle. Stay tuned for guidance in my next article!
Communication Plan to Create Buy-in
When it comes to restructuring your sales team, there is no one-size-fits-all model. Every business has different needs and goals, so what works for one may not fit another.
Once you’re certain you’ve got it right, the next most important part is how it is packaged and communicated to the people that it affects the most, your salespeople. How well your salespeople embrace the benefits of structure changes will ultimately dictate its success.
Your most successful salespeople will naturally start by evaluating what the changes mean to them personally.
It’s not uncommon that some may be concerned about losing accounts, control, income, or even their jobs.
Whatever changes you make, your rollout needs to include an effective method of showing the impacted sellers how the new territory or coverage plan will open up new opportunity for them. This needs to be more than “talk”.
You may demonstrate how the new structure opens the door to higher earning opportunity through a plug-and-play compensation calculator. Or highlight how the changes create new career path options. The goal is to showcase benefits that nurture long-term employment satisfaction.
It is critically important that you turn your salespeople into advocates of the new sales coverage plan. This ensures they will be effective at creating buy-in as they lead the process of introducing it to your customers.
A well-designed communication plan should also include how your customers will be informed of the changes, how they will benefit, and smooth transition and/or introduction to the new members who will be supporting them.
When you hit the business juncture that requires you to revisit your sales coverage model, there are several things to consider in order to get it right.
- Consider growth implications to ALL areas of the business.
- Prepare a communication plan to address the sales team as well as the extended organization, and your customers.
- Stay positive because with any change there may be a period of rough waters while the impacted parties adapt.
Don’t underestimate the critical impact sales coverage changes have on organizational structure, employee satisfaction, and customer retention.
Whether you’re looking for hands-on involvement or a sounding board to guide your steps, I’m here to help. Contact me through any of these methods: (773) 203-7086 or email@example.com.
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I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.