How have B2B Sales Team Structures Evolved Over the Years?

In agile markets, the nature of sales continues to evolve, and only those enterprises that can identify these changes and evolve on time will thrive. The same trend is witnessed in B2B selling, where buying habits of business consumers are evolving, and marketers and business heads need to build sales teams that can capitalize on the potential market opportunities faster. Yet, many sales leaders have been slow to react to these changes in the B2B segment. It has become imperative to create sales teams that are better aligned to meet the needs of modern buyers.

B2B buyers are now better informed than before; they know what is needed to address the issues they are facing. The only help they need from salespersons is in: making the right choice. Salespersons must now focus on helping B2B buyers with the actual buying process instead of actively selling to them. Several other interesting trends have been spotted in sales processes structures over the last five years. Read on to learn more.

Evolution of B2B Sales Team Structures

Here are some of the most interesting aspects related to the evolution of B2B sales team structures over the last five years: –

1. Hybrid Working

Ever since the pandemic set in, companies have started looking for ways to optimize their sales functions. They found the answer with a hybrid work model, and now over 90% of companies plan to persist with the changes they have made to their sales team over the last couple of years. The reason for this decision is two-fold wherein the customers prefer to be served in this manner, and salespersons seek freedom in their work style. In the coming years, B2B sales enterprises who wish to optimize their sales will continue with the remote-first working model, where they have a clear preference for the hybrid model. Such has been the response to the hybrid working strategy that by 2024 it will emerge as the most impactful sales strategy. Buyers and sellers both prefer engaging remotely, with almost 66% of them preferring remote engagement to in-person interactions at various stages of the buying cycle.

2. Digital and Online Experts

An increasing number of B2B buyers are becoming more comfortable with online channels to satisfy their needs for a range of products and services. More than 70% of B2B customers are comfortable spending over $50,000 on a single transaction under the remote working model. The number of customers willing to spend over $500,000 or more stands at 27%. This trend has encouraged sales leaders to include salespersons who are comfortable with digital and online channels. B2B customers now use up to ten channels for any purchase, including email, phone, mobile app, web chat, and several others. This is almost twice the number of preferred channels from five years ago. Hence, in addition to hiring salespersons skilled with the latest software and technology, sales leaders are training their existing salespersons in these skills to capitalize on the opportunities available.

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3. Multi-team Effort

In the B2B space, different users have different requirements. They need products and services customized as per their specific needs. Hence, it has become imperative for B2B sales teams to work in collaboration with other relevant teams within the business. Working in silos is no longer an effective way of catering to customer needs. Sales teams must collaborate with the marketing team, product development team, customer success team and several others. This collaboration has been helping many enterprises not only reach out to the customers effectively but also ensure a higher success ratio.

Evolution of B2B Sales Team Salaries

Here are some of the most interesting aspects related to the evolution of salaries of B2B sales teams in the last five years:

1. Updated Compensation Plans

Companies prefer offering a base salary plus a commission plan for the salespersons. Herein, salespersons receive a base salary from taking care of their basic expenses and then commissions based on their performance as an incentive. Almost 48% of companies use this model wherein the ratio of base pay to commission is 60:40. This ratio can be changed based on a number of factors, such as the type of product, the complexity of usage, and several others.

2. Uncapped commissions

In competitive markets, companies always strive to motivate their employees to go for higher sales. As a result, an increasing number of leaders are migrating from capped commissions to uncapped commissions in their compensation plans. Herein, there is no upper limit on the amount that a salesperson can earn as a commission. This works as a huge motivational factor for salespersons to close as many deals as possible in a given period.

B2B sales have been evolving at a rapid pace, and the trend is expected to continue in future as well. As the preferences of customers have undergone rapid changes in the last few years, companies need to align their operations accordingly to be in a better position to cater to customer demands.

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