A small work team in gathered around a large office table discussing and strategizing.
Creating a tailored business-to-business sales team can can help your company unlock new opportunities and customers, forge deeper relationships with clients, and solve challenges. — Getty Images/Maskot

Creating a standout customer experience goes beyond service and marketing — it impacts sales, too. While many business vendors offer similar solutions, you can separate your company from the competition by developing personal connections and understanding your B2B customers’ needs.

One way to develop these connections and enhance the customer experience is by creating a robust sales team. Your salespeople are pivotal in fostering relationships, which require skills like communication, active listening, and negotiating.

Here are six strategies to follow when creating a tailored sales department for your B2B company.

Decide on a sales structure

Choosing an influential sales leader is the first step in creating your B2B sales team. Your sales leader shapes your team’s structure based on product, market, and sales approaches. A sales manager also oversees metrics, the B2B sales process, revenue impact, and company reputation and scalability.

This role also helps manage talent acquisition, training, and retention to align the culture with company values, ultimately creating a successful tailored sales structure for your business, such as the structures below:

  • The island fosters individual autonomy within a larger company (ideal for selling multiple products) and capitalizes on each salesperson’s strengths.
  • The assembly line delegates specific tasks to team members (similar to an assembly line), focusing on shorter sales cycles and boosting customer retention.
  • The pod operates as a self-sufficient unit within a business, combining sales with other departments to target market segments or demographics.

If your business is a startup, consider moving away from an island structure, as it needs more collaboration. Instead, opt for an assembly line or pod setup, where each member works in their specialized roles. For example, an entry-level salesperson might focus on appointments, an account executive might close deals, and an account manager might handle upselling and onboarding. This arrangement boosts collaboration and efficiency and mirrors the B2B sales funnel.

[Read more: 4 Tips for Building an Effective B2B Sales Strategy]

Identify essential sales skills

Knowing the sales skills you’re looking for in a candidate — such as product knowledge, storytelling, and problem-solving — is one of the first steps in crafting a winning B2B sales team. Recognizing these skills early in the process will only set your sales team up for success.

You can find and hire competitive team members by writing enticing job descriptions, speaking with candidates promptly, and conducting thorough interviews.

Create a collaborative sales culture

Sales team culture isn’t just a concept; it’s a tangible foundation that unites teams toward their shared goals. Culture shapes the behaviors of your employees, which in turn influences sales approaches and customer interactions.

Specifically relating to B2B, businesses often prioritize competitive tactics with individualized goals (unlike B2C, where customer satisfaction is the primary goal), which can create a divide within organizations. Shifting to a unified sales culture by adopting a modern approach is crucial in a competitive B2B market.

[Read more: 5 Ways to Manage B2B Customer Expectations]

Just like building a house, constructing a B2B sales process demands a strong foundation, precise planning, and working with the appropriate tools.

Construct a strong sales process

Just like building a house, constructing a B2B sales process demands a strong foundation, precise planning, and working with the appropriate tools. Begin with understanding your client’s customer journey, mapping every interaction in anticipation of engaging with the client. Prioritize leads to gain potential customers, and encourage your team to give feedback on the sales process.

Integrate technology

Blending technology with your B2B sales department boosts efficiency and collaboration. Deciding when the right time is to invest in sales tech will depend on the complexity of your sales processes, team growth, market changes, and other individualized factors. Leveraging tools like customer relationship management software, LinkedIn for networking, outreach tools, and accurate data providers can assist your sales team and streamline day-to-day operations.

Stay flexible and maintain a growth mindset

By hiring employees who are quick to adapt — and ensuring leadership models are adaptable — your sales department can maintain flexibility and foster a growth mindset. Sometimes an account executive might switch up their role and support the team rather than lead, similar to a tag-team approach. This flexibility, especially when an account executive takes a supporting role, can progress prospects through the sales pipeline and ultimately create a springboard for growth within your sales team.

[Read more: B2B Sales Techniques for Building a Loyal Customer Base]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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