This Week’s Big Deal: Essential Roles on a Modern Sales Team
September 16, 2019
Great teams are not defined by simply having the best players. They are defined by depth, balance, and cohesion. Whether in business, sports, music, or otherwise, the highest-performing teams tend to include a diverse range of skills. Together, the team becomes a well-rounded whole greater than the sum of its parts.
This is especially true In the complex world of modern selling. It would be tough to find any single sales pro who embodies every element of an ideal skill set for the job today. But with the right skills represented in your team, you can work toward a well-rounded squad that checks every box.
Drawing inspiration from some of the latest trending sales articles on the web, here’s our breakdown of the key roles you should look to fill when bringing new talent into the fold.
4 Essential Specializations for the Complete Modern Sales Team
The Data Nerd
Some people love numbers. They have a passion for crunching data, making sense of the noise, and drawing actionable conclusions based on trends, patterns, and discrepancies. Having at least one such individual on your sales team is invaluable.
On the Eagle’s Flight blog, Paul Goyette points to survey results showing that 81% of sales reps feel having a connected view of data across the entire customer journey is important, yet only 49% of businesses report having fully integrated systems in place. The presence of a data-digging sales rep on your team can help create more connectivity and ultimately benefit everyone. Perhaps their affinity will even rub off on others (especially once they see the power of quality data in action).
The Processes Guru
If you’ve ever kicked off a meeting with something along the lines of, “Today we’re here to talk about process improvement,” you probably saw many eyeballs glaze over. For many, that’s a natural reaction. But plenty of folks thrive on finding new efficiencies in the name of increased productivity and decreased friction.
It’s hugely beneficial to have at least one rep in your unit who is apt to proactively say, “Hey, maybe we can do this better.” Even small things add up over time.
One place where process efficiency can often be improved is in the storage, organization, and distribution of sales content. In her recent piece titled How to Get Your B2B Sales Team to Actually Use Your Content, Nicole Mertes of Weidert Group writes: “If your sales team shares content that is created to address key buyer questions or pain points, the salesperson can use the time saved covering education on a topic and, instead, focus on thoughtful questions related to that content, truly challenging the buyer and enabling more productive, meaningful conversations that are better for the buyer and the salesperson.”
A process-driven pro can help ensure that the right content for the right situation is easily found and accessed, especially if they work in unison with the marketing unit. Speaking of which...
The Marketing Maven
Plenty of salespeople have background in marketing, or at least interest and curiosity around the discipline. This is a particularly valuable overlap at a time where sales and marketing alignment is a widespread focus.
Sometimes it can feel like the two sides speak different languages — either literally (terminology) or figuratively (processes, knowledge bases, workflow preferences, etc.). When your sales team features a marketing-minded seller, they can serve as a translator and conduit of sorts. Not only that, but they might even be able to help create content and coordinate on ad strategies.
As a new post on the challenges and strategies for accelerated B2B sales growth at MarketingProfs explains: “Connecting these two teams allows for the marrying of digital tactics (marketing) and the human touch (sales), which creates the perfect environment for generating and fostering leads and ultimately closing the deal. The branding, website content, and campaigns produced by marketing are more effective when coordinated with the customer-specific solution messaging that sales uses.”
The Social Media Addict
Sales pros everywhere are coming to see the advantages of using social media as a tool for building relationships that ultimately turn into deals. For some, acclimating to the ins and outs of social networks is a learning process. For others it’s innate, because they spend plenty of their own time surfing social media. They know the different styles of sharing and communication between various channels. They keep up on trends and new features. Their LinkedIn networks are large and highly engaged, because they’ve worked to make them that way.
These are people you want on a modern sales team. Last week on this blog we wrote about how a natural, authentic approach to social media may be most conducive to generating leads there. Experienced feed-dwellers can help their less familiar teammates find their rhythms.
Assemble Your Optimized Roster
Even the best sales managers and executives will struggle to deliver without a strong team behind them. Putting the pieces in place to create holistic balance will help make it happen. As you consider the makeup of your team and make additions, I recommend hiring with any shortcomings in mind.
A team that boasts passion and expertise with data, process efficiency, marketing collaboration, and social media is one built for success — now and in the future.
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