I've come to learn that creating a compelling sales structure comes from understanding the ecosystem it lives in. The end goal is increased revenue at a decreased expense but how do you get there? Each year, quarter, or month, SMBs implement new changes in an attempt to try the latest trend, hack, or best practice with the only assurance it might work is that someone has already tried it and found some success.
That is the trap that so many SMBs fall into; making singular changes without understanding the entire ecosystem first. Instead of thinking about the following change we should make to improve the key metric of the month, we should really unpack what outcome we are trying to achieve for ourselves, our employees, and our customers. If any one of these three groups isn’t 100% satisfied, the entire system will fall like a house of cards. This is a phenomenon similar to the project management triangle theory.
The triangle theory is about the balance of three constraints and how they affect the quality of the outcome. In the world of sales, it describes a company that makes a change because one of the three groups (ourselves, employees, and customers) isn’t satisfied. By doing this they often successfully improve the experience for that one group however over time the other two groups become less satisfied. Thus creating a cycle of quick fixes while really only considering one group at a time.
I once worked with a company that changed the compensation system almost quarterly. The idea was always to keep the employees hungry and the company brimming with profit. At first glance, we think “poor employees”. Yes, that is a fair observation however think about the “poor customers” that are serviced by these “poor employees”. So, how do you come up with sales structure improvements?
You must understand with a high level of specificity where the company is now. What is working well for stakeholders, employees, and customers, and what isn't? Once you fully comprehend what drives people to happily act you can then align the company structure to ensure that all three parties are getting what they want and need.