Enterprise IT ISVs, in early stages of growth, should consider implementing matrix sales organizations. As per the web site of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council a matrix organizational structure is “[a]n organizational structure in which two (or more) channels of command, budget responsibility and performance measurement exist simultaneously. For example, both product and functional forms of organization could be implemented simultaneously, that is, the product and functional managers have equal authority and employees report to both managers.” (quoted from the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council web site, for which a link has been provided, above).
In our experience, a matrix sales organization can be used, successfully, to add healthy contention to the activities pursued by, for example, inside and outside sales representatives managing the same geographical territory. When both sales representatives responsible for a revenue stream report into different management, they are more likely to pursue differing strategies which, nevertheless, may be more advantageous for the overall business than a unified plan that neglects to cover all necessary facets of territorial account management.
In sum, an early stage enterprise IT ISV should not neglect to explore a wide range of sales strategies that may make sense. After all, it is much harder to renovate deeply ingrained plans and activities than it is to explore opportunities that may seem tangential while plans are still in a formative stage, especially where senior management would like to explore the benefits of a “ready, fire, aim” operational strategy. The facts are that seemingly tangential activities sometimes pay off with unexpected benefits. When sales teams are restricted within a monolithic management structure, the opportunity to test new plans can be inadvertently stifled. Where possible, it is advised to implement a horizontal reporting structure where all staff members report into senior management. However, when business growth reaches a point where horizontal reporting lines are no longer feasible, a matrix organizational structure can, and should, be at least considered as a method of redesigning reporting lines.
If your organization includes a number of sales personnel, but actual performance is short of expectations, you may want to consider implementing a matrix organizational structure. IMB Enterprises, Inc. can assist you as you decide whether, or not, implementing a matrix structure is truly an option for your business. Further, where a matrix structure may work, we can certainly do the analysis required to pinpoint performance gaps and possible remedies. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Ira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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