Structure follows strategy; structure is the skeletal system of a well-crafted strategy.
If strategy equates to the goals, objectives and methodologies, and resources required for success, then structure is the organization’s framework or design of the organization to execute the strategy. In other words, structure is the practice of organizing your organization in order to make sure you can execute the strategy.
Organization structure is overlooked far too often. H.R. constraints, lack of understanding of strategic direction, desire to just hurry up and sell, lack of cross functional support and more, routinely stifle sales organizations from creating sales structures designed to support the sales strategy.
At ASG Consulting, we are fanatics about helping our clients optimize their sales organizations to optimize their pursuit of their strategic objectives. We make sure your organizational structure supports your strategic goals.
Consider a recent client who hired us to accelerate revenue after over 18 months of stagnant sales.
Within the first few weeks, ASG Consulting quickly recognized that they were not structured to execute. This ASG Consulting client was a SaaS company that sold a facilities management tool designed to help companies manage their physical corporate assets. Originally structured as an outside sales organization, the team was delivering very little in way of revenue and consistent pipeline.
Although not perfect, the company strategy was fairly sound. It was built around targeting a very specific segment of the market, leveraging its first generation product and aggressive pricing to close a handful of initial users by a specific date.
A key element of the strategy was education. In a nascent space, with little competition, a substantial amount of education was required to garner buyer attention. Based on the aggressive goals and short timelines, an outbound structure that required one-on-one conversations to drive the education was ineffective.
Salespeople can only talk to and educate so many people in a day.
With only minor tweaks to the strategy, ASG Consulting restructured the organization to increase its ability to talk to more people faster and pre-educate prospects before they engaged with a salesperson.
The new structure was established accordingly:
- Removed the outside sales structure
- Added an inside sales team
- Incorporated a Sales Development Team
- Created a lead development & content market team
- Instituted a social selling methodology.
The objective of the new structure: to educate, educate, educate, as quickly and effectively as possible. By creating lots of high-value content, that was easily downloadable, our client was able to get to more people faster. Prospects were more informed and had a better understanding of the value proposition before they were introduced to the salesperson. The new structure positioned the client to generate more qualified conversations and to educate buyers faster than a team of outbound sales reps who were getting mired in one-on-one teaching conversations that were slow to develop and progress.
The benefits of a strong structure that enables the strategy are substantial:
- Shorter sales cycles
- Better, more qualified opportunities
- Improved cross functional communication