Building a B2B sales team takes a lot of time and effort away from your everyday business operations. However, it’s essential that you have a sales team to generate long-term revenue.
Many small to medium-sized companies rely on referrals to grow their book of business; however, this approach isn’t sustainable for the long haul. If you have a sales team in place, you have the ability to accelerate business growth beyond referrals, resulting in a greater ROI.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:
- What Is a Sales Team?
- Who Is Involved in a Sales Team?
- Who Should Be the First Person You Hire on Your Sales Team?
- When To Consider Outsourcing Parts of Your Sales Process
What Is a Sales Team?
A sales team is a group of people who engage with potential customers in your target market and encourage them to purchase your company’s product or service. Everyone on a sales team has one ultimate goal: drive revenue for your business.
Sales should never be a one-person operation. It takes a group of highly skilled and growth-driven individuals to effectively move potential buyers through every step of the sales cycle. A sales team takes more than the salespeople themselves—it takes collaboration among departments to ensure every potential customer has a positive experience with your company and is likely to close business.
Who Is Involved in a Sales Team?
There are a lot of key players involved in a productive and sustainable sales process. If you want to build a successful sales team that yields long-term results, the following business growth experts are essential:
Accounts executives are the revenue drivers of the sales process. They’re responsible for pitching and selling qualified leads that other sales team members generate.
Account executives should be your top sales experts and know how to persuade leads to sign on the dotted line. To keep costs low, many small to medium-sized businesses task their account executives with everything under the sales process. While this idea may sound good in theory, it means they’ll spend more time prospecting and less time personalizing sales pitches for high-converting leads. Keeping account executives separate from other core responsibilities within the sales process allows them to do what they do best: sell and drive revenue for your business.
Sales Development Representatives
Sales development representatives (SDRs) are responsible for nurturing relationships with prospects and setting up account executives with high-quality sales opportunities. By sending cold emails and making phone calls, they bridge the gap between sales and marketing and make sure no qualified prospect falls through the cracks.
Within the sales development sector of the sales team, business development representatives (BDRs) are responsible for prospecting and qualifying prospects in the sales pipeline. These individuals are tasked with finding and verifying the contact information of key decision-makers within the sales pipeline. They’re also responsible for ensuring the prospect is qualified for your company’s product or service offerings, which is vital for setting account executives up with sales meetings that are likely to convert.
To get the most out of your sales efforts, you must incorporate marketing specialists into your sales process. While sales and marketing are often two separate departments, they must collaborate to meet the needs of different buyer personas in your target market.
Marketing specialists prioritize generating outbound leads and converting inbound leads. When generating outbound leads, they focus on crafting email marketing campaigns that continuously nurture leads even if they’re not ready to buy yet. These campaigns keep your company at the forefront of the lead’s mind, so your business can be the first they turn to when they’re looking for a product or service provider.
Marketing specialists also convert inbound leads into qualified prospects. Potential buyers can find your company online through a wide range of digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and social media marketing. However, just because a prospective business is looking for a solution to its pain points doesn’t mean it’s qualified for your company’s product or service.
If an inbound lead submits a request for a sales meeting through your website, landing pages, or social media platforms, marketing specialists direct them to the SDRs so they can learn about the lead’s qualifiers and determine whether there’s a good fit for your business.
Sales Enablement Creators
Sales enablement creators (also known as content marketers) are the glue that holds together sales and marketing. They produce sales-focused marketing collateral that helps SDRs and marketing specialists engage potential buyers and accelerate their journey through the sales funnel. Sales enablement assets include:
- Company brochures
- Product or service sell sheets
- Industry-focused infographics
- Client case studies
- Promotional videos
These marketing materials can be used for outbound and inbound lead generation efforts. SDRs can implement them into their email marketing efforts, or marketing specialists can embed them into your company website for increased visibility and boosted SEO value. These assets are vital for effectively moving prospects down the sales funnel and closing deals.
Sales Operations Analysts
Sales operations analysts are responsible for putting together everything you need for qualified prospecting. They use various prospecting tools to build lists and ensure prospects meet your company’s qualifications. While they may prequalify leads, it’s still essential that BDRs and SDRs talk with prospective businesses one on one to verify that they meet your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Sales operations analysts should be every other sales team member’s best friend. They help with data entry for BDRs and SDRs and help marketers better understand the buyer personas of your target market. Additionally, sales operations analysts help marketing teams forecast sales better, giving them a better idea of what new revenue opportunities are on the horizon.
While sales operations analysts are key players when it comes to initial prospecting, they must keep each contact in the sales pipeline up to date. Many sales teams use CRM extensions to maintain data integrity and make sure everyone involved with the prospect can access their contact information when they need it.
Who Should Be the First Person You Hire on Your Sales Team?
While many influential people are involved in a sales team, small to medium-sized businesses often don’t have the ability to onboard everyone immediately. So, which should be the first person you hire for your sales team? Well, this depends on what sales pain points you’re experiencing:
- If you need a more predictable sales pipeline, you’ll want to hire sales operations analysts first to help you forecast revenue opportunities.
- If you want to spend less time relying on referrals for business growth, you need to hire sales operations analysts to help you find new prospects for your sales pipeline.
- If you’re struggling to generate more sales leads, onboard sales development reps to help guide leads to the end of the sales funnel.
- If you want your account executives to spend more time selling than prospecting, hire sales development reps to present account executives with high-converting business opportunities.
If you’re juggling too many tasks and cannot prioritize building your book of business, hire account executives to help you close more deals.
When To Consider Outsourcing Parts of Your Sales Process
Many roles within the sales team can be outsourced to third-party sales and marketing firms. While many companies prefer to internalize their business growth efforts, that isn’t always the best option. It may be worth outsourcing parts of your sales process when:
You Don’t Have the Time
Lead generation is incredibly time-consuming and can take away from more critical day-to-day business operations. Many companies outsource their sales and marketing efforts to prioritize retaining clients, providing excellent customer service, and closing business with significant sales opportunities.
You Don’t Have the Money
When you add up all the salaries, benefits, and compensation plans of a sales team, you spend at least $471,000 a year—and this doesn’t even include costly sales tools and technologies. If you’re a small to medium-sized business looking to protect your bottom line, sales outsourcing may be your best solution because you can get the most bang for your buck.
You Don’t Have the Expertise
Last but not least, you should consider outsourcing parts of your sales process if you don’t have the expertise to maintain a process that yields sustainable results. Good sales experts are hard to come by, and outsourced sales and marketing companies often acquire the best in the business. They have all the skills to use crucial sales tools and technologies effectively, ensuring you get the most out of your efforts.
While sales teams take a lot to build and maintain, the ROI goes very far. Sales isn’t a one-person job, which is why it’s vital to hire a team of business growth experts who specialize in each part of the sales process. If you don’t have the time, money, or expertise to internalize your sales and marketing, consider outsourcing parts of your sales process to a third-party lead generation company.
At Sapper Consulting, we help growing businesses build their sales pipelines and secure high-converting sales appointments. Our team of sales and marketing experts is well-equipped to prospect, qualify, nurture, and set sales meetings with verified decision-makers. If you need a sales team that yields long-term results, contact the sales reps at Sapper Consulting!