Guest Column | January 15, 2020

Rapidly Scaling Your Salesforce To Accommodate Rapid Growth

By Jerry Brooner, Scout RFP

global market growth

For many SaaS companies – rapid growth brings a wealth of new challenges to tackle – particularly when it comes to recruiting and enabling sales teams to meet revenue targets and lay a foundation for customer success, at scale. Continuing to scale a sales team after an acquisition requires focus on three core areas – thinking beyond traditional recruiting practices, creating accountability across the teams and aligning with an updated corporate culture and mission. Doing these three things in new ways gives you a leg up on your competition and ensures that you are able to successfully scale your business while empowering new employees to do their jobs.

Here are three ways to quickly scale your workforce to accommodate rapid growth.

Thinking Beyond Traditional Recruiting Practices

A strong sales team is made up of top-notch talent and to scale rapidly you have to look beyond traditional recruiting strategies. The job market has become so incredibly competitive that companies need to recruit talent differently. Hiring a headhunter to solicit resumes, reaching out to your network asking for leads or posting on job boards will not attract the very best sales candidates. Companies must take a new approach to identifying and engaging sales talent using alternative and creative methods.

One approach companies should implement is looking beyond their normal talent pools for recruitment to areas where potential employees may have skills that are transferable to sales. Many great sales executives started in customer success, operations, marketing, and many other areas. Social Selling is also a key to attract the next generation of talent. Both of these non-traditional approaches ensure that you are looking at the entire hiring universe instead of being too focused on the traditional talent pool where everyone is hunting. Getting creative looking for talent where no one else is focused will enable you to hire talented team members that will set you up for long term recruiting success.

Additional best practices for attracting top talent include:

  • Find future leaders - Hire candidates who will have the ability to lead teams in three years or less. Leaders are employees who understand how to prioritize, see opportunities where others don’t and are decisive in their actions.
  • Stay true to corporate values - Company culture, especially after an acquisition, is not about being buddies with your existing team members. The focus has to be about hiring people with a set of values that aligns with the new culture of the combined companies and best meeting your customers’ needs.
  • Commit to development and training – The success of each team member is dependent on having a quality onboarding plan and continuous training in place. After onboarding, organizations can continue to support employee growth by instituting a management culture that encourages ongoing training. Managers should feel empowered to ask their teams if they need help and should welcome the opportunity to pass skills and knowledge on to them.

Focus On Accountability

Accountability is a key factor for success in any organization but especially in sales. Cultivating it can be a real challenge for most businesses but is ultimately something companies should use to their advantage and lean into. Employees do their best when they have clearly defined expectations and support to meet their targets. Sales leadership must clearly define individual targets that are measurable for each team member to keep them accountable to impactful outcomes. Next leaders should set specific objectives that need to be met across the entire sales organization. This includes metrics besides closed revenue like pipeline, customer satisfaction and whatever goals your entire company is focused on achieving. After these have been set it is important to continue to provide updates on progress to your teams so that the entire sales force is accountable.

Aligning development, learning and growth are also critical to success. Accountability shouldn’t just be about repercussions for wrongdoing and poor performance, it also means rewarding your team when they hit milestones. Ask each person how they like to be recognized - publicly? privately? - and support their preferences.

Aligning Sales Culture With Corporate Culture

A sales strategy can be even more powerful and effective when it's aligned with the overarching culture of your company. Every single member of the sales team needs to live and breathe your corporate culture and mission – they simply cannot be effective without it. New recruits need to understand how sales culture is aligned with corporate culture – it needs to be built into training processes, reinforced through regular all-hands meetings and communication and demonstrated by executive leadership.

Want to drive a culture of Customer Success? Nothing is more impactful than leading by example, especially if you are on the executive team. Sales culture is built when every member of the team is speaking a common language with one another. A common language makes it much easier for everyone to collaborate, work together as a unit and scale effectively. Remember, compensation drives behavior so if you want to set goals for joint sales after an acquisition, aligning compensation for joint sales will enable a focus on matching.

Quickly scaling your sales force after an acquisition or other major changes should be viewed as an opportunity for change and improvement. By moving beyond traditional recruiting methods, focusing on team accountability and ensuring that your team is fully aligned on company culture and mission, you can help to build out the best sales team possible, setting the stage for continued growth and success.

About The Author

Jerry Brooner is Chief Revenue Officer at Scout RFP.