Managing a sales team requires a knack for knowing when and how to scale. Whether you’re trying to build up staff to accommodate growth or figure out what changes to make during an economic downturn, use these three steps to prepare yourself now for effective scaling:


Your sales team may have a tough time closing deals when potential customers are trying to reel in spending in the face of declining revenue. But that doesn’t mean you should reduce staffing levels. Bob Sutton, Stanford professor and co-author of “Scaling Up Excellence,” wrote “… successful scaling means finding ways to limit the number of things that people are expected to focus on and execute.” That’s true in times of growth or decline. If your sales reps need to work harder to close deals during lean periods, create more time for them by streamlining processes. Sales performance automation software, for example, tackles a lot of the small, time-consuming tasks that interrupt the focus of your sales team. And increasing efficiency is also important when you’re scaling for growth. You may not need to add a team member, if you can give your existing staff more time to pursue leads.


If you’ve given your team the software to work more efficiently but can’t keep up with the influx of fresh leads, then you’re ready to hire more sales reps. But before you do, think about how you’ll prepare your new hires for success. In a piece for Harvard Business Review, Mark Roberge, senior vice president of sales and services for HubSpot, said that when interviewing potential new hires, he asked them how they trained at their last job, and many reported shadowing other sales team members. Roberge went on to say that answer concerned him, because “ … no one sales rep can teach the whole package.“ Decide how you want to introduce new hires to your sales methodology. You may need to invest some time into creating training videos and software tutorials, but you want all new hires to be taught the same information, in the same way.


When profits are down, it may seem counter-intuitive to spend money on tools and training for your sales team. But slumps are often temporary – maybe even seasonal, depending on your industry – so make use of any lulls to train and prepare your sales staff for busier times ahead. Invest in software that will ultimately make your team more efficient and effective, or find training resources that will keep your team sharp. To learn more about getting the most from your team, download our white paper, “How To Standardize Your Sales Process,” by filling out the form below: