What’s the Right Mix for Your Sales Team?

How many account managers do you need? Should any of them be specialists? Should you hire more sales development reps (SDRs)? If so, how many? Unfortunately, there’s no guidebook that can determine the perfect mix for your sales team, but with the right analytics, you can find what works best for you.

To develop a great sales team, you must assess the talents people already have and anticipate how their roles may change over time. Next, it’s important to identify the assets your team may be lacking and how to hire people to fill those gaps. Following are some points to consider as you build your team.

When to specialize

Small businesses and startups may have small sales teams where each member handles all tasks, from prospecting to closing. This approach may be a necessity, especially if you can’t afford to hire more people. But a better approach is to have each sales rep specialize based on his or her skill set.

Look at how much time your sales team spends on actually selling. If handling other tasks—qualifying inbound leads, for example—accounts for more than 20 percent of their time, that’s when you need to reallocate responsibilities. Assign someone to handle lead qualification or hire someone for that role so your sales reps can devote more time to sales.

As your team grows, you can further define specializations, such as customer success representatives or account executives. You’ll be able to create a structure that allows employees to advance their career internally rather than search elsewhere for bigger and better opportunities. Ideally, you should promote internally to fill two-thirds of sales roles and hire externally to fill the other third.

The role of the SDR

You don’t want your top sales reps spending time on prospecting; they need to be closing deals. So if you need more qualified leads, hire an SDR.

While an SDR is technically part of a sales team, the job itself doesn’t require sales experience. An SDR needs strong business acumen, along with outstanding organizational and communication skills. So, how many SDRs do you need? Well, it depends.

First, decide what percentage of the pipeline your SDRs need to fill. Then calculate that as a percentage of your annual sales goals, and look at the average amount of each sale to determine how many new opportunities an SDR would need to find to hit that goal. You may need to hire one SDR and track progress before you determine how many qualified leads you can reasonably expect, month-to-month. Once you gather that data, you’ll have a better idea of how many SDRs you should hire.

Getting the right people into the right roles is critical for success. Learn more about how to fine-tune your sales team in our white paper, “Understanding Your SDR Needs: Identifying Your Input and Output,” by filling out the form below.

For more information about how our Math of Sales solution can help you plan staffing and identify gaps in your sales staff, watch our video and request a demo of our software today.