“How do I know how to build my Inside Sales team?”
I get this question all the time, and I’m glad, because it’s one of the most important (but easily overlooked) questions a sales manager can ask. Too many sales managers use a standard inside sales structure (often the one they inherit) and try to shoehorn a sales process into it. But this is backwards: You must design your sales team around your sales process & revenue goals.
The main reason sales managers stick to cookie-cutter team structures is because there isn’t a single blueprint that works in all sales contexts. Because of this, sales managers often rely on overly general, pre-made design plans that operate on industry averages and simple ratios instead of one tailored to their needs and context.
The truth is that designing the right inside sales team requires a deep and nuanced understanding of your company’s revenue goals, historical performance, and sales process so that you can create the team that’s right for you.
Here are some of the most important metrics to use to help you build an inside sales team with the makeup, size, and structure you need to achieve results.
- Sales Results Metrics – Know your revenue goals and use historical data about your sales team’s performance to determine the number of deals and opportunities you need in order to hit that number. For that, you need your Average Deal Size, Win Rate, and Sales Cycle.
- Sales Activity Metrics – Once you know how many opportunities you need to generate enough deals and revenue, you must understand how well the activities your reps perform lead to deals. How many opportunities does it take to create a single deal (opp : deal ratio)? How many calls must your Business Development Reps (BDRs) make so that they create enough opportunities (dial : opp ratio)? Answering these questions will tell you how many BDRs you need (and what activities they should be performing) in order to generate enough pipeline to hit your revenue targets.
- Marketing Metrics – Most likely, your leads will not all come from your sales team – Marketing will contribute some too. Look at marketing’s historical pipeline contribution and average marketing cycle to determine how many sales reps you need to convert marketing leads into deals.
It may seem like a lot to wrap your head around, but these metrics will help you build the perfect inside sales team for your specific context. And if you want some help, you’re in luck: Our FREE eBook on the topic has a lot more information – and 3 Excel spreadsheets to do the tricky math for you!