You should start building your inside sales team by mapping out your grand vision first. Then, start hiring on a small scale and approach growth in manageable chunks in order to provide a sustainable framework to achieve the grand vision of the sales organization.
A common question I get is:
Should I hire a more generalists or specialists?
The specialized sales model has become ever more popular amongst sales organizations in the past five years. Many organizations have moved away from generalist models and are moving towards specializing or some sort of hybrid. And rightfully so.
These are decisions you need to make early on while establishing the framework of your sales organization, or your levees will begin to fail quickly.
Here are my top tips on how to build an inside sales team:
1. Hire Management Early
Direct managers will have the greatest impact on a team. The mistake that organizations often make is hiring a great sales rep & promoting them into a management role. There are a million articles out there about hiring a manager and losing your greatest sales rep in the same promotion.
Don’t do it. I’ll save that rant for another day. You need a hacker… someone who knows how to build a process. You need someone who understands Salesforce and the capabilities of it… someone who understands the full sales cycle & has been on both sides of the specialized model.
2. Build a Scalable Recruitment Process
If you haven’t read Mark Roberges’ book, The Sales Acceleration Formula, then go buy a copy and read it before you do anything else. He lays out the framework of a recruitment process that is second to none. Approach your recruitment process similar to your sales process. You want it to be data-driven. Build it in a way that will let you determine the quality of your hiring and how successful those reps turn out to be. Then you can adjust your recruitment strategy based on the success of the hires you are making. This will give you framework to determine where you need to focus your efforts.
At Lucid Software we have built a strict recruitment strategy and interviewing process that every candidate goes through. It encompasses interviews with role plays and an individual scoring that is given from each interviewer. We then compile all this data to look through the quality of candidates that we are putting through the sales hiring process. After we make hires, we can build a repeatable process to continue to hire tops reps or adjust our screening process based on the pre-hire assessments.
Lastly, find local schools and establish relationships with the sales departments to recruit from. You will spend more time training these recruits, but if the right hires are made and they are put through the correct training, they can be molded into the your ideal sales reps.
3. Establish a Sales Process
Establishing a sales process is crucial in rolling out a sales organization. A good sales process will give you the ability to track data and have insight into any point in the sales cycle from marketing to SDRs to AEs and so on. Determine what metrics are important in your sales cycle and build steps in your sales cycle to give you visibility into these stages. This emphasizes the importance of having direct managers that understand Salesforce and the process well enough to determine these.
A good sales process is will make life easy for reps to stay organized. A weak process will leave reps confused, frustrated, and apathetic. This will often lead to reps documenting important information in other locations other than your CRM.
The most difficult part in a sales organization is building a scalable, repeatable hiring framework.
Map it out, visualize it, test it and perfect it as you scale. This will give you complete control over the direction of the sales organization.