Building a Sales Team - Sales Roles and Responsibilities

What is a Sales Team?

To begin, let's call a spade a spade: A sales team is a group whose job is to pitch a company's product or service to clients. A sales department's overall aim is to satisfy the company's growth goals in terms of product sales, subscribers, services, sales volume, client engagement and retention, and increased profitability. This department, which is led by the sales manager, is made up of sales representatives, sales specialists, and customer service representatives who work together to accomplish daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales targets. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to putting together a sales team. Every business, based on its development, scale, and objectives, will have distinct demands, and every organization will need to design its sales staff to fit those needs. Based on the scale of the organization, a sales department might include anywhere from a few to hundreds of individuals. In just a moment, we'll go through a sales department's various sales roles and responsibilities.

Roles and Responsibilities of Sales Teams

1. Account Executive

An account executive is a sales role responsible for selling goods or services to leads and creating specialized proposals to maximize the chances of closing the transaction and converting these leads into legitimate clients. Frequently, the corporation would establish sales quotas for the account executive to meet. As a result, their incentives should be based on how rapidly they can move transactions through the sales cycle and eventually close them. They will be encouraged to continue pushing deals as they move toward their quota. The account executive manages to convert qualified leads into clients, not generate qualified leads. In a smaller business, for example, a startup, these positions may be combined, but keep them separate when identifying sales team members in the conventional sense.

2. Sales Manager

The account executive's direct supervisor is usually the sales manager. The sales manager has the responsibility of ensuring that the sales team functions properly. They assist in goal-setting, tracking important sales metrics, motivating and supporting their sales team, and overseeing and guiding the sales team. The sales manager is also responsible for hiring and training new team members, driving sales, managing the budget, defining sales targets, reviewing the team's performance, and dealing with performance-related concerns.

3. Sales Development Rep

Who is it that qualifies leads if not an account executive? Sales development rep is a sales role that discovers fresh leads for account executives and is frequently the initial point of contact with a new prospective client. SDRs gather leads from various sources, compile contact lists, and then contact leads to assess their interest. They could be responsible for prospecting for leads in the first place, or they might be provided a list of leads via an email list or something similar by the marketing team. Because sales development reps are largely instrumental in introducing new business, they aren't much involved in the final contract. They do, however, assist AEs in qualifying the best leads. Take into account using incentives to encourage SDRs to pass high-quality leads to AEs while also rewarding them for leads that close later.

4. Sales Specialist

Many sales teams employ specialists who are skilled in all aspects of the product or service and have extensive industry knowledge. This is the person you want to handle difficult client queries or sophisticated issues. Product demonstrations and customer proposals are additional skills that a sales expert possesses. This expert in a sales department takes on any complicated sales or sophisticated issues that the rest of the team faces. Although sales experts do not conclude negotiations, they are vital to the sales process. Consider various incentives based on the difficulty of the transaction. For example, incentives for an existing client demo may differ from those for a new prospect demo.

5. Customer Service Representative

A prospect becomes a client once the salesperson has concluded the deal. They are no longer in the account executive's control at this point. They are now directed to the customer service department, where customer service representatives are responsible for assuring their satisfaction. Customer success representatives concentrate on renewing that sale as well as up-selling and cross-selling current clients with various add-ons and product offers. By taking care of your present customers and lowering churn, your customer success team ensures that you don't lose money in the long run. For a fresh business, a single customer service representative or a small team is likely to be sufficient.

Importance of Sales Team

Business Development

Building great relationships and actual connections is critical in this internet world when consumers can simply publish comments and reviews on various digital channels for everyone to see. Third-party reviews and comments are considered more reputable because they are not directly affiliated with a company. Building a solid connection with consumers is one technique to establish long-term connections that will result in clients who will endorse the company and, as a result, assist in the growth of the company.

Conversion Rate of Sales Leads

The sales team of a firm maintains continual contact with its target audience to form relationships with leads and convert them into paying customers. The sales department not only builds relationships but also acts as a link between the products/services being presented and the demands of the potential consumer. The top sales teams have a better chance of turning more leads into paying customers, resulting in greater earnings and a larger client base. The most critical aspect in ensuring sales is lead management.

Retention of Customers

The importance of a company's sales staff and their critical role in its success should not be overlooked. Sales teams significantly influence brand reputation, long-term client relationships, customer retention, overall business success, and increasing revenue. Customers seldom report a negative experience with a company and switch to a rival instead. Most customers have abandoned a business connection due to bad customer service. Customer retention is critical for corporate success since keeping customers is less expensive than bringing in new ones, and it may also contribute to profits.


Because the sales team is responsible for producing sales, increasing your business, and maintaining current clients, having a competent sales department is critical to a company's success. You may create more sales divisions to earn extra money after your sales staff is up and going. It's critical to get compensation right when it comes to motivating your sales force. You may focus on each position's capabilities by personalizing incentives to each role. This keeps your team engaged, encouraged, and driven to achieve your objectives. Is there a sales department in your company? When did you discover it was time to hire more salespeople? Did you start with a complete sales staff or gradually add people? We'd like to know how you proceeded with this.

About Author

Sumeet Shah

Chief Growth Officer @Incentivate, has over 15 years of experience in management consulting, product engineering, and analytics, working with clients across multiple countries, functions, and domains.