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Sales Team Structure

Founders lead early sales

Founders should lead sales for their companies at early stages and develop strategy and processes for sales. Their initial hypothesis and understanding of the problem, market, and product is essential in driving those efforts and will need iteration to drive on overarching company progression effectively.
Founders shouldn’t worry about not knowing how to sell, they need to understand their customer. Getting to directly know the problem, market, and approach solutions more completely by directing sales especially at early stages is essential.

When to hire a first sales representative

As a company grows, sales processes can move to representatives who will be able to execute effectively given insight and established strategy after they take on an initial shape.

New sales vs. account management

Sales teams are often divided between new sales (“hunters”) vs. account or relationship management (“farmers” for upsell) when you’re at scale (50+ sales people). Depending on the size of the upsell opportunity and sales skills required, some organizations may reroute these back to the new sales team.

Customer success

Generally, Customer Success doesn’t touch sales. They would alert the sales team on new leads that emerge at existing customers.

Sales ops

For early stage companies, there’s no need to institute strict sales / pricing rules. Experiment with different deal structures & pricing units to see what works for your customers to drive sales.
See
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Open core pricing
for some additional information on pricing.
  • Create an authorization matrix.
  • Quota carrying individuals focus on selling.
  • Don’t let Sales pressure the Sales Ops team.
 
Important:
  1. Sales data in the system must be accurate regardless of who’s managing them.
  1. Be strict about revenue recognition policies.