Skip to content
7 min read

Tips on Building a Skill Based Sales Organization

Featured Image

This is the full funnel freedom podcast, supporting sales leaders, and managers to improve their sales funnels from people to prospects. I'm Hamish Knox. In this show, you'll learn how you can improve your results. Lead a great team and hit more targets with full funnel freedom. Welcome to the full formal freedom podcast.

I'm your host Hamish.. In this episode, I will share ideas and insights around building out your sales team and how the hunter farmer mindset that we've been steeped in forever is passe and potentially detrimental to our vision of creating full funnel freedom. Traditionally, we have hired hunters to fill the top of the.

Qualify and bring deals across the finish line. And then we turn those over to farmers who are theoretically going to expand those relationships and keep them from turning over to the competition. But as we've shifted to a hybrid selling in viral, Moving to a skills based model of hiring for filling the funnel is very similar to the idea that my friends, Marcus Kalki and David Davies talk about in their book and making channel sales work, where in setting up a channel, building out a special ops squad instead of a land army, very similar when we are looking to create full funnel of freedom in a direct sales.

And whether you are leading a sales organization of tens or hundreds or even thousand, or if you are a entrepreneur founder, who right now is doing all the sales yourself and thinking, well, that whole specialist skillset based sounds great for large companies, but it isn't for me, listen on and gather some insights on how you might build out a skills-based sales team to create full funnel freedom in your organization.

So if we start at the top of the funnel, let's flip our mindset and start looking for lead qualification experts. Now there is the sales development representative account executive account manager, SDR, a E a M with other various pre-sales engineers and other roles throw it in. That's very similar to the traditional hunter farmer.

Where we're looking at skills-based roles, starting with filling the top of our funnel, using an individual that I'm going to call a lead qualification. These are individuals who are very adept at sorting out suspects from prospects, whether these are inbound leads, outbound lead, they have a high focus on effective initial qualifying getting prospects, emotionally engaged, and then putting them onto the next.

These individuals are also very skilled at clearly articulating the next step in our process. As I mentioned in a previous episode, when we own our processing can confidently state the next steps to our prospects and our clients, we increase our credibility. We also want our lead qualification experts to identify any potential roadblocks or showstoppers early on in the conversation.

I like to have emotional conversations without the emotion. And this applies in all aspects, personal life, professional life with colleagues or with prospects and clients. And so if there is going to be a big issue coming down the road, whether it's that the prospect has to go to a bid situation or whether they've got a legacy piece of technology that they're going to have to sunset that there may be some people in their organization who are holding onto.

I'd rather know that at the very beginning of my sales cycle, so I can determine quickly whether or not I want my sales person to, or the lead qualification expert can determine whether or not they actually want to put this prospect into the funnel, or if they want to put them into a bit of a nurture campaign and warm them up for later because now no now does not mean no.

Moving down the funnel. So once our lead qualification expert has qualified at a high level, this prospect Herman that they are, they do fit our ideal client profile. We're going to flip them down to the qualified closers. These individuals, highly process oriented. And they are very determined to keep opportunities moving through their funnel by either disqualifying early or establishing a clear next step before they finish up with their current visit with their.

So we would have qualified closures on our team who are adept at creating rapport very quickly with multiple parties on the buyer side. And if necessary could easily integrate members of the sell side team, into the conversation if needed. So with our qualified closures, we want individuals who are very, very focused at following our predetermined process, which was spoken about in an earlier episode as well.

We don't want them to be reading from a script. We don't want them to be putting handcuffs on them and their prospect by saying, well, do you know the process as we have to do it this way, we are looking for them to gather information from our prospects to determine whether or not they are qualified to become our client.

And we want them to do that in a very conversational way, but hit the mountaintops that we've outlined for. Now we've turned the prospect into a client through our qualified closures. The next group in our sales team are the expanders. Farming is a passive activity or at least it sounds like it. I grew up on a, on a hobby farm and, and in a rural area where there were we're working farms and farming is certainly not a passive activity in the agricultural world, but in the sales world, farming oftentimes turns into professional visiting, closing, uh, an opportunity when it happens to present it to.

Maybe getting an introduction because the client is someone who likes to give out introductions as Malcolm Gladwell called them connectors. But with expanders expansion, it sounds active. It's proactive. In fact, so proactive activity and what we want in our expansion group are individuals who are very adept at going at least three wide and three deep in their client accounts.

Deeply understanding their client needs not only in the present, but looking forward and having the questioning skills to ask their current clients about future potential information, activities changes whether within their company or in their larger marketplace, whether that's government regulations or currency changes, technology changes that may impact their.

And be able to successfully create rapport and opportunities to expand those accounts. So again, our funnel turns into more like an hourglass as we have our expander team growing out our existing counts and as gathering new logos becomes increasingly difficult. Having a highly specialized and skilled team of expanders is going to keep our funnels consistently.

The cliche of, it's easier to sell stuff to people who are already buying from you is a cliche for a reason, because oftentimes it is, as long as our clients feel like our expansion team are genuinely focused on supporting them, as opposed to just hitting their quarterly numbers. The expanders are also very, very skilled at both giving and asking for introductions.

Smoothing the way for our qualified closers and our lead qualification experts to put new potential prospects into our funnel who are already warmed up via a very strong introduction from a current client. Now just like hiring a salesperson slash sales manager is a really horrific idea. And I have yet to see an example of where it really works.

The idea of hiring a quote-unquote hunter to fill both the top of the funnel and to qualify close means that we're, we're hiring someone with one very specific set of skills and ambitious, and that could be on either side of the lead qualification or the qualified close, and we're forcing them to do something that they're not very good at.

They probably have to burn a lot of mental and emotional energy to do it, and the results are going to be worse. So it would be better for us to hire a special. Coach and train them to be the best in their specific discipline. And then find someone else later on. I mentioned earlier that as a founder slash only salesperson, this may sound kind of kooky like, well, why shouldn't I just hire someone to take on all of this?

It's because they don't like to do quote unquote, all of the sales. They like to do a specific part of the sales. And if they say that they like to do the account management side, we need to test that out really clearly. Because a lot of times that means that they like to be a professional visitor and they like to get their emotional needs met by talking to people who tell them how awesome they are, as opposed to actually expanding that current relation.

So by analyzing our specific skillsets as an individual sales person, founder, or by analyzing even drew volts skillsets of our sales team, if we're running a sales organization, identify the gaps in the skill sets and where they fall into top of the funnel, middle of the funnel or bottom and expansion, part of the.

Design an ideal candidate profile, which was spoken about in previous episodes. And from there start to develop a team of highly skilled specialists who will work as a team to create full funnel freedom, but they will be highly focused on being the best that they can be in their desired skillset. This has been the full funnel freedom podcast.

I've been your host Hamish knocks sharing with you, ideas and insights on how the hunter farmer mindset is past. Possibly detrimental to building full funnel freedom in our organization, whether we are a founder slash only salesperson or whether we're running a sales team of tens or hundreds or even thousands building our sales organizations around lead qualification, experts, qualify, closers and expanders is more likely to a find people who have a specific skillset who are passionate about.

Delivering to that skillset and supporting the part of the funnel where we need the support and is going to give us more time to support coach and guide those individuals to make them the best in their current roles. Follow us on Instagram at Sandler in Y Y. If you would like to get involved with the full funnel freedom podcast as a guest or an advertiser, please email podcast at full funnel, until we connect on the next episode, go create full funnel freedom.

Thank you for listening to full funnel freedom with Amish knocks. If you want to increase your sales with ease, go to full funnel,