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How to scale a SaaS sales team: 5 tips for scalable growth in 2022

How to scale a SaaS sales team: 5 tips for scalable growth in 2022

How to scale a SaaS sales team: 5 tips for scalable growth in 2022

How to scale a SaaS sales team: 5 tips for scalable growth in 2022

15.03.2022 – James Boreham

How to scale a SaaS sales team: 5 tips for scalable growth in 2022

A high-performing, scalable sales team lies at the heart of most SaaS businesses’ success. But as investments increase and revenue targets along with them, many startups are faced with the same challenge as they grow: how can they scale their sales team quickly and effectively?

There’s no hard and fast rule, unfortunately. But I can offer five actionable tips to scale a SaaS sales team from someone that’s done it themselves. Here are my top tips for scaling your SaaS sales team.

1. Establish your priorities (and be prepared to revise them)

To scale your SaaS sales team, you need to establish priorities that tie directly back to your core objectives. These priorities can then be used to devise a more granular and actionable set of objectives that have a more meaningful impact on your bottom line.

These priorities could involve hiring a certain number of new BDRs or AEs, for example. Alternatively, it could mean allocating resources to develop your existing team’s closing abilities. Keeping these priorities front of mind is essential to maintaining focus and ensuring the work being done delivers the best growth curve possible.

2. Establish effective self-serve processes and knowledge sharing

One of the biggest challenges of scaling any team is managing to do a lot with a little. Knowing how to generate the most value from limited time and resources is critical. Yet, getting this wrong continues to be a primary factor behind why many businesses (and sales functions) fail.

One of the biggest opportunities in teams like ours is the way we share knowledge. Our account executives deal with different customers every day. These customers all have different demands and questions. These questions could get passed directly onto me. But, in most cases, that need not be the case. Usually, they can self-serve more instead and quickly retrieve the answers to their questions at the point of need.

To enable this, we build and maintain a large collection of resources that outline specific processes, scripts, and guides. This covers everything from sample demos to a playbook on how to handle objections. We even have a bank of information outlining the best messaging to use against certain competitors in deals.

Having this information in one centralized place is essential to scaling. Managers no longer need to spend large chunks of time explaining information to individual team members. Instead, it can be sourced quickly and easily from our playbooks. I can also rest assured that the information our sales team uses is both accurate and consistent. Without this information stored in one knowledge base, this may not be the case.

Establishing these knowledge management systems means I can dedicate my time to the higher-value, more contentious questions I receive. This helps us focus on the tasks that really move the needle.

3. Find the tech stack that best serves your team

Another best practice for scaling your sales team in SaaS is to lean more on technology and to build a tech stack that best enables your team. For us, certain tools have proven pivotal in our growth, and we want to squeeze as much value from these as possible.

The best example of this is Gong. This is a platform that records and analyzes the team’s customer-facing interactions, and we use it to analyze performance during demos, discovery calls, and more.

The tool delivers clear insights into where certain individuals within the team can improve their approach on calls. It also highlights where their strengths lie, and how they can learn from others. The best thing about this particular tool is that the data it provides is incredibly granular. It’s specific, actionable, and generally very accurate.

These insights enable us to scale faster by identifying specific areas where we need to improve, without needing to invest huge amounts of time doing this analysis manually. Fortunately, as a company that sells contract software that seeks to achieve similar efficiency, we’re quick to embrace these technologies and adopt them effectively.

By freeing up this time and identifying the most critical opportunities for growth, our sales team can capture revenue more scalably. They can also develop their own skills much faster.

4. Collaborate effectively with your talent team

Finally, your sales team needs to collaborate effectively with your talent team. After all, the key to scaling your SaaS sales team is to hire, retain and develop exceptional people.

Unfortunately, there’s often minimal interaction between sales and talent functions in most organizations. The teams communicate during hiring sprints, but it typically doesn’t extend beyond this. This is something that we actively avoid at Juro.

Our talent teams make a conscious effort to be well-informed on company-wide and sales objectives. They also pay close attention to who we want to add to that team and why. Likewise, when planning future hires, we’re aware of the importance of certain aspects of the hiring process. We also and how to assess prospective hires in accordance with the criteria the talent team set out.

To hire the best talent to grow your sales team, sales and talent teams need to establish a relationship whereby they can comfortably challenge each other on hiring decisions. But they also need to acknowledge the other team’s strengths and respect these to ensure the best outcome for the company always prevails.

Without these robust relationships, the conversations are often inefficient and new hires often won’t align neatly to the needs and objectives of the sales team. Typically, this hinders performance and long-term growth rather than facilitating it.

5. Retain and nurture the talent you already have

But hiring isn’t the only way to scale your SaaS sales team. You need to focus on retaining and nurturing the talent you already have too.

There are lots of reasons for this. Firstly, like retaining customers in SaaS, retaining talent can save scaling businesses a lot of money. In fact, the average replacement cost for employees is $15,690 for SMEs. If growing your sales team means replacing existing talent, this won’t growth won’t be scalable.

Secondly, by nurturing and coaching your existing sales team members, you ensure that your sales team have a firm understanding of your product and company values, and that they can work effectively with existing processes.

Employee nurture isn’t easy, particularly when you’re already stretched for time. It’s an investment, but one that’s well worth making. To retain talent in a competitive candidate market like sales, you need to have robust career maps in place, with a clear progression route for each team member. You also need to ensure they’re well compensated, and not just in terms of salary.

But interestingly, one of my biggest tips for retaining SaaS sales talent isn’t related to pay or promotion. It’s about how they’re feeling and ensuring their concerns are addressed early on. To do this, I try to check in with each member of my team regularly to discuss both personal and professional life.

We also have a section of our weekly 1-2-1s dedicated to assessing their mindset throughout the week. This helps us to flag any issues and fix any concerns quickly before they escalate. All of these efforts, albeit small, contribute to retention and performance in some way, thus helping us scale healthily.

Takeaways:

There is no hard and fast rule to scaling a sales team within a SaaS company. Instead, there’s a myriad of factors to consider, and that’s what puts a lot of sales leaders off.

In reality, scaling your SaaS sales team means fixating on all of the small details that help you achieve the objectives. It’s about improving communication, enabling self-serve and automating tasks where you can to free up more time. It’s about hiring the best people, but also working hard to retain the great talent you already have.

There’s always going to be a tradeoff when scaling a sales team. The key is establishing your priorities early on and revising these as you go to find a balance you can sustain.

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