Imagine a high-functioning sales team, a well-oiled machine where every member plays a crucial role, seamlessly working together to bring in new business. This dream team doesn’t just materialize – it requires careful planning and a well-defined structure. Here’s where sales team structure comes in, the foundation for building a team that crushes its goals.

Key Roles of Building a Building a Sales Dream Team

Sales teams, like orchestras, have various instruments (roles) that contribute to the overall harmony. Here are some key players and their roles:

1. Sales Director/VP

  • Role: The Sales Director or Vice President oversees the entire sales operation, setting goals, and strategies, and managing the sales team. They provide leadership, guidance, and direction to ensure the team meets or exceeds revenue targets.
  • Rewards: Recognition for achieving overall sales targets, performance-based bonuses, and opportunities for career advancement.

2. Sales Manager/Team Leader:

  • Role: Sales Managers or Team Leaders lead individual sales teams, providing coaching, support, and motivation to team members. They are responsible for setting team goals, monitoring performance, and implementing strategies to drive results.
  • Rewards: Performance-based bonuses tied to team targets, recognition for leadership excellence, and opportunities for advancement within the organization.

3. Account Executive/Manager:

  • Role: Account Executives or Managers are responsible for generating new leads, nurturing prospects, and closing deals. They build relationships with clients, understand their needs, and propose solutions that meet their requirements.
  • Rewards: Commission-based compensation for sales closed, bonuses for exceeding sales targets, and recognition for outstanding performance.

4. Business Development Representative (BDR)/Sales Development Representative (SDR):

  • Role: BDRs or SDRs focus on outbound prospecting, qualifying leads, and setting appointments for Account Executives. They conduct research, engage with prospects, and identify opportunities for sales engagement.
  • Rewards: Incentives for setting qualified appointments, bonuses for lead generation, and opportunities for career advancement based on performance.

5. Inside Sales Representative:

  • Role: Inside Sales Representatives engage with leads primarily through phone calls, emails, and virtual meetings. They qualify leads, demonstrate product capabilities, and close deals remotely.
  • Rewards: Commission-based compensation for sales closed, bonuses for meeting or exceeding sales quotas, and recognition for sales excellence.

6. Field Sales Representative:

  • Role: Field Sales Representatives engage with leads and clients in person, often traveling to meet with prospects and attend events. They build rapport, conduct presentations, and negotiate deals face-to-face.
  • Rewards: Commission-based compensation for sales closed, bonuses for acquiring new clients or exceeding revenue targets, and recognition for exceptional sales performance.

7. Sales Operations:

  • Role: Sales Operations handle administrative tasks, CRM management, sales analytics, and process improvement. They ensure the smooth functioning of sales processes and provide support to the sales team.
  • Rewards: Recognition for optimizing sales processes, bonuses for improving efficiency or reducing costs, and opportunities for career growth within the operations domain.

9.  Sales Enablement:

  • Role: Sales Enablement provides training, resources, and tools to enhance the effectiveness of the sales team. They develop sales training programs, create sales collateral, and offer support to improve sales performance.
  • Rewards: Recognition for developing impactful training materials, bonuses for improving sales productivity or effectiveness, and opportunities for advancement within the sales enablement function.

Choosing the Right Structure

The ideal sales team structure should reflect your company’s unique needs.  Here are some popular structures and the businesses they might best suit:

  • The Assembly Line (Functional Structure): This classic setup assigns dedicated roles for prospecting (SDRs), closing (AEs), and customer retention (CSMs). It’s efficient for companies with standardized products and a straightforward sales process, functioning like a well-rehearsed pop song where everyone knows their part.
  • The Geographic Groove (Geographic Structure): Here, salespeople are assigned territories, allowing them to develop deep customer relationships and market knowledge within their specific regions. This is ideal for companies with localized sales focuses, like a band playing different gigs in various cities, adapting their performance to each audience.
  • The Product Powerhouse (Product/Service Line Structure): Reps become experts in specific products or services. This intricate structure caters to companies with diverse offerings, akin to an orchestra with instrumentalists specializing in different sections like strings, brass, or woodwinds.
  • The Customer Concerto (Customer/Account Structure): Reps focus on specific customer segments or account sizes, fostering strong relationships but potentially limiting exposure to different industries. Imagine it as a jazz band catering to a specific audience, like a high-end club.
  • The Pod Squad (Pod Structure): This hybrid approach features small, cross-functional teams handling the entire sales cycle for a specific customer segment. It’s like a chamber group, each member contributing to a tightly-knit performance, fostering collaboration and deep customer understanding.

Tips for Building a Strong Structure 

  • Know Your Goals: Define your sales objectives before finalizing your structure. Who are you selling to? What are you selling? What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? Aligning your structure with your goals ensures everyone is working towards the same objectives.
  • Analyze Your Resources: Consider your company size, budget, and available talent pool. A lean startup might require a more versatile “all-in-one” approach, while a larger corporation can benefit from a more specialized structure.
  • Embrace Flexibility: The business world is dynamic. Don’t be afraid to adapt your structure as your company evolves. Regularly assess your team’s performance and adjust roles or responsibilities as needed to maintain optimal efficiency.
  • Communication is Key: Clearly communicate roles, responsibilities, and reward systems to everyone on the team. Regular team meetings and individual coaching sessions foster transparency and keep everyone aligned.


Investing time and effort into crafting a strong sales team structure is like conducting a magnificent performance. It creates a harmonious environment where each member plays a vital role in driving sales success. But remember, the symphony doesn’t end with the final note.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What function does a sales team serve?

They are in charge of achieving the company’s growth objectives through the sale of goods, services, or subscriptions. 

  • Why does a sales team perform well?

The ideal team will comprehend and be able to apply marketing concepts, possess thorough product knowledge, be up-to-date, and have a positive work ethic.

  • A structured sales process: what is it?

Accurate tracking and evaluation of the performance at each step is made possible by a structured sales process. You may find bottlenecks, develop methods, and make wise decisions that lead to continuous improvement with the aid of this data-driven strategy.