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Scaling your sales engine: where to start?

So – your sales engine is tuned up and running smoothly. Congrats! But it’s still helpful to look ahead at how you can scale your growth, farther and faster. Read on for some scaling tips.

#1: Get clear on your sales goal

Sometimes we don’t have a clear sales goal… or we aren’t clear on how much (or what kind of) sales activity is required to hit it.

So first, get clear on your goal – whether that’s measured by $ of revenue, type of revenue (MRR, ARR or new vs. repeat biz), numbers of customers, margins or other. Ensure your team is crystal clear on their own goals, so they know what’s expected and how to prioritize their time.

Also, it’s useful to do the math on how much prospecting is needed to hit that goal. In our Lean Sales course, we help you calculate how much prospecting activity you’ll need.

Identify how you’ll measure progress. Clear metrics are essential to your team since they are often tied to sales compensation and will get a lot of attention from investors and your board.

#2: Assess whether your ICP is changing as you grow

Sometimes we see that your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) changes as you grow – as more people find you, refer you, as you enter new markets. So work closely with your product and CS teams to ensure you understand how your ICP is changing.

How? Here are just a few ways to identify whether your “ideal” prospect is changing over time.

  • Review your sales funnel and look for where you win vs. where you lose
  • Assess where prospects are “leaking” out of your funnel
  • Have your product team look for new patterns around product usage and engagement
  • Marketing can look for whether different ICPs respond differently to your marketing campaigns
  • Analyze changes in your unit economics – by ICP
  • Keep validating, and do periodic customer interviews to confirm your ICP definition still holds

#3: Get clear on roles

In the early days, it’s often “all hands on deck” to get a deal over the line. But as you scale, you need to divide and conquer, and get clear on who’s doing what.

Consider the sales roles you have in place today, but also consider how that should evolve over time as your team (and revenue) grows. And how your team structure will need to evolve so you can manage and coach effectively.

#4: Change your focus from working IN sales, to working ON sales

To really hit the gas, your sales leadership changes from focusing solely on prospecting and closing deals. As you scale, sales leadership focuses on building and optimizing the sales engine, and building and managing the team for high performance.  (And of course, helping to close big deals!).

To do this, you likely need a dedicated sales leader with the experience and drive to make it happen.

You also need “sales” to be cross-functional (we call it “scmarketing”), ensuring that your sales, marketing and customer success leaders are all aligned, with shared goals and metrics. The truth: they win together, or lose together.

#5: Culture matters

Your culture can be a strategic advantage. So be intentional about setting a culture of performance. Reward and celebrate performance. (And get your sales incentives right!)

But also: reward and celebrate learning from mistakes and sharing lessons. A growth mindset helps bring the whole team along for the ride!

If you want to dive deeper into sales, check out our Lean Sales course. 

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