There are many benefits to specializing your sales agents. Here are some of the specializations that you can do and a few reasons why this specialization is a good idea:
Specialization of New Business sales agents/ Accounts Growth
Why you should specialize your sales agents and distinguish those who do prospecting and those who work in accounts growth?
There are many reasons for this:
- You’re saving money. Now, there’s no need to pay for experienced (and costly) sales agents to do prospecting. You will be able to reserve this role for beginner sales agent or even completely outsource it if you wish to reduce costs drastically.
- You’ll be harnessing each sales agent’s strength. Some sales agents are really good “hunters,” while others are a lot better in the growth of existing accounts or “farmers.”
- You can make your sales agents evolve. If an SDR (a sales agent who takes care of prospecting sales) goes over his quota for X months, he can become an Account Executive and stop doing prospecting sales. That’s pretty motivating!
- You’ll be encouraging a real work team where everyone plays a role and you’ll be limiting internal competition.
Specialization of Inbound/Outbound sales agents
By separating Outbound and Inbound, your sales agents will also be more efficient because juggling these two activities is quite difficult.
As proof, Salesforce.com tried to change specialized sales agents (Outbound Sales and Inbound Sales) to multi-function sales agents. Their productivity fell by 30% in one week…and they went back to their initial setup.
4 distinct sales roles
If we continue from the last two points, you’ll be able to specialize your sales team by separating them at first in prospecting of account growth, then in outbound prospecting of managing inbound leads.
By adding to that the management of your existing clients, your team will be made up of 4 distinct sales roles:
- Outbound Sales: The role of your Sales Development Representatives is to search for new clients by prospecting and to schedule appointments for your Account Executives.
- Inbound Sales: Alongside SDRs role is to manage the flux of entering leads, qualify them during a first call, and to potentially exhibit your product before ceding the job to Account Executives.
- Account Executives: Once your prospects are qualified by your Inbound and Outbound sales, their role will be to close deals. They can be either Inside Sales or Field Sales depending particularly on the size of the deal. They are also responsible for following-up on new clients until the solid solution has been implemented.
- Customer Success: It’s a question of the support team taking responsibility for clients once the solution has been deployed to them.
Other specializations can be beneficial depending on the size of your company. You can specialize your sales agents by activity sector in order to be more relevant regarding your sales pitch and to be adapted for your representatives.
It can also be tempting, even necessary in larger companies, to specialize your sales team in some of your products. If they are indeed a lot more familiar with the product and will have a better knowledge of the detailed sales pitch, the big disadvantage is that they will tend less to identify other potential client needs and to up-sell and cross-sell…
When should you specialize your sales team?
Obviously, your sales team has to reach a certain minimum size if you hope to specialize it. With one or two sales agents, it’s difficult to specialize them. Moreover, if your inbound leads volume is not enough, you can’t have a dedicated sales agent.
The best solution consists in specializing your sales agents when they have generated a certain volume of deals and when they begin to spend time handling your clients. You will then be able to develop them towards an Account Executive role. Moreover, you can hire more junior sales agents like SDR who will be in charge of the prospecting part.