Are your salespeople responsible for both pipeline development and closing deals? If so, you’re likely implementing the hybrid sales approach. This structure is typically adopted by smaller companies due to perceived financial or logistical constraints. It makes sense that if you don’t have a huge budget, you ask your sales reps to do ‘double duty’. While this seems like the most logical solution, you likely aren’t seeing the results you want and need. Let’s look at why this may be.
Why the Hybrid Structure Doesn’t Work
This next statement will come as no surprise: most salespeople hate the prospecting process. Why? Because they likely did it for years before becoming a sales rep, and it’s something they left behind purposely! That being said, there are actually many sales prospectors really don’t want to sell. What’s important to note is that each task requires different skills and strengths. These skill sets SEEM similar, but they really aren’t. It’s like asking your website developer to write content just because he works on a website. Not going to work.
Requiring your salespeople to prospect is an inefficient use of time. It doesn’t set your people up for success, and it doesn’t maximize their value. Here are 4 ways the hybrid structure can hurt your organization.
- Struggles with Prioritization & Productivity: When a rep plans their day, how do they determine what’s more important – prospecting or opportunity advancement? Without absolute clarity about their responsibilities, the result is a lack of productivity and neither task gets the attention and focus it needs.
- Increased Stress and Burnout: Hybrid structures may also mean a larger workload, which leads to faster employee burnout and higher stress. Remember, salespeople typically spend only 30 percent [HR1] of their time selling, and when you add prospecting responsibilities, that number shrinks dramatically.
- Weak Pipeline: As mentioned, salespeople, especially seasoned ones, truly dislike prospecting. Thus, they’re less likely to put in the time and effort necessary to be successful at it. Prospecting is hard, and it takes diligence, motivation, and time to do it properly. When it comes down to it, sales reps will spend more time on active opportunities and social selling rather than prospecting. The result? A weak pipeline and missed sales quota.
- Varying Skill: It’s simple. Someone great at prospecting may not be the best closer and vice versa, just like a salesperson may not be as good at marketing. Success lies in structuring around strengths and special skills. Set them up for success.
Outsourcing: A Solution to the Hybrid Structure
For a more streamlined approach to your organizational structure, consider outsourcing your prospecting efforts instead of wasting time and dealing with costly turnover on the hybrid structure. While it may appear as an additional, high-cost line item, outsourcing could actually save your business money. How? By automating and streamlining the movement of prospects through the sales funnel, outsourcing maximizes your ROI by ensuring your sales professionals are focused on actively working and closing deals. You’re enabling your sales team to focus on what they do best: selling. Speaking and leaning into their strengths as salespeople will, in the end, be good for business.
Create and Convey a Plan
When determining your company’s structure, make sure your salespeople understand how you’re organized, what their priorities are, and to whom they report. Whether you’re planning your structure for the first time or redoing a current plan, you’re in the right place. FRONTLINE Selling provides an array of resources in addition to our software solution, Staccato Pro, to help your salespeople reach new heights of success.