Sunday 4 December 2022

For exponential growth, separate out your Lead Generation and Sales Teams

One of the crucial steps to scale up the revenues is to separate out the Lead Generation Team from the Sales Team.

Many founders (including myself) initially do everything, including reaching out to prospects, to closing the prospects. As the Business grows, they start building a Sales Team to handle the Sales cycle. Then gradually the Sales Team also starts doing the job of Lead Generation.

However, here is the catch - Generating leads and closing leads are two vastly different tasks. Sales people are good at converting prospects to paying contracts. They're usually not good at Lead Generation methods like cold email reach outs, cold calling, or even messaging prospects on LinkedIn. These things are best done by a separate team called Sales Development or Business Development (BD) Team.

As soon as your Sales Team grows to more than 3 - 5 members, start building a separate BD Team and you'd be amazed by the efficiency improvements. BD Team can focus more on building skills like:

1. Reaching out to prospects on LinkedIn, email, and cold calls.
2. Explaining the offering over a 10-minute call.
3. Identifying if the prospect indeed faces the problem statement that the startup is trying to solve.

BD Team is typically not good at the below activities. Put it the other way, the Sales Team is supposed to do the below activities:

1. Showing product demos
2. Navigating stakeholders
3. Negotiating
4. Objection handling
5. Contract signing

Both the above set of skills require different mindsets and different personality traits.

So the ideal structure is to separate the BD Team from the Sales Team. Let the BD Team focus on prospecting and setting up meetings. Give each BD Team member a goal of setting X meetings per week. And the Sales Team can take care of the prospect from this meeting set by the BD Team member, till closure/contract.

BD Team will carry pipeline generation targets and the Sales Team will carry revenue targets.

There are 2 fantastic books to learn more on this subject:

1. Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross
2. From Impossible to Inevitable by Jason M. Lemkin

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