Sales Organization: Benchmarks

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Sales Organization: Benchmarks

Below is a summary of key findings on organizational structures of the sales divisions of PepsiCo, Nestle, American Express, InterContinental, Marriott, Cisco, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Google and Apple. Diagrams may be found here. The following findings also include best practices for sales organizational structure.

Organizational Structure

PepsiCo
  • Organizational structure of the sales division for PepsiCo may be found in Figure 1 here.
  • There are a total of 7,564 employees within sales, including partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
  • The organizational structure of the whole company may be found here.
Nestle
  • Organizational structure of the sales division for Nestle may be found in Figure 2 here.
  • There are a total of 4,248 employees in sales, including owner, partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
  • The organizational structure of the whole company may be found here.
American Express
  • American Express is structured with 12 divisions plus the office of the CFO. These divisions include corporate affairs; HR; legal; marketing; risk, banking & compliance; strategy; CIO; global commercial services; global customer services; merchant & network services; global services group, and CTO (see organizational chart here).
  • The organizational structure of the sales subdivision may be found in Figure 3 here.
  • There are a total of 1,277 employees in sales, including owners, partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
  • Given the scope of its business division, it appears that some divisions may be responsible for their own sales strategy. For example, its global commercial services (GCS) hires its own sales strategy employees to work for the division.
InterContinental
  • InterContinental Hotels Group is structured with 7 divisions plus the office of the CFO. These divisions are sales & CTO, Americas, EMEA & Asia, Greater China, marketing, legal & secretary, and corporate affairs (see organizational chart here).
  • The organizational structure of the sales division may be found in Figure 4 here.
  • There are a total of 1,530 employees in sales, including partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
Marriott
  • Marriott International is structured with 10 divisions plus the office of the CFO. These divisions are customer experience, legal, HR, communication & public affairs, Americas (retiring), consumer & technology, development & design, North America, and Caribbean & LATAM (see organizational chart here).
  • Its sales & marketing subdivision falls within the international division and is separated by regions.
  • The organizational structure of the sales subdivision may be found in Figure 5 here.
  • There are a total of 732 employees in sales, including VPs, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
Cisco
  • Cisco is structured with 12 divisions plus the office of the CFO. These divisions include HR, Cisco collaboration, customer experience, legal & compliance, operations, sales & marketing, government strategy, enterprise networking & cloud, communication, CIO, chief of staff, and strategy (see organizational chart here).
  • The organizational structure of its sales division may be found in Figure 6 here.
  • There are a total of 4,314 employees in sales, including partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
IBM
  • IBM is structured with 9 divisions plus the office of the CFO. These divisions are cognitive solutions, corporation strategy, global & EU markets, HR, systems, operations & IT, legal & general counsel, industry platforms, and marketing (see organizational chart here).
  • Sales is a subdivision of its global & EU markets division.
  • The organizational structure of its sales subdivision may be found in Figure 7 here.
  • There are a total of 11,312 employees in sales, including owners, partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
Intel
  • Intel is structured with 12 divisions plus the office of the CFO. These divisions include corporate strategy, HR, product assurance & security, client computing group, sales & marketing, legal, data platform group, CTO & technology development, non-volatile memory solutions, Mobileye, Intel capital & growth incubation, and data center & connectivity (see organizational chart here).
  • The organizational structure of its sales division may be found in Figure 8 here.
  • There are a total of 1,263 employees in sales, including owners, partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
Microsoft
  • Microsoft is structured with 11 divisions plus the offices of the president and the CFO. These divisions are digital & strategy, LinkedIn, marketing & consumer business, CTO & research, sales & operations, HR, business development, experiences & devices, gaming, cloud & AI, and commercial business (see organizational chart here).
  • The organizational structure of its sales division may be found in Figure 9 here.
  • There are a total of 7,051 of employees in sales, including partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
Google
  • Google (not its parent company Alphabet) is structured with 6 divisions by business lines, excluding the office of the CFO of Alphabet. The organizational chart of Alphabet may be found here.
  • The divisions within Google include ads, cloud, YouTube, Android, hardware, and infrastructure (see organizational chart here).
  • Given the scale of its business lines, it appears that a sales subdivision falls within each business line. For example, Google Cloud has its own sales employees.
  • The organizational structure of Google sales subdivision may be found in Figure 10 here.
  • There are a total of 3,970 employees in sales, including partners, VPs, heads, directors, managers, and others.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.
Apple
  • Apple is structured with 9 divisions plus the offices of the CFO and the COO. These divisions are legal, software engineering, marketing, special projects, hardware engineering, hardware technologies, Internet software & services, machine learning & AI, and retail & HR (see organizational chart here).
  • From its website, it appears that its sales & support subdivision falls within the legal division.
  • The organizational structure of Apple sales subdivision may be found in Figure 11 here. There are a total of 2,705 employees within sales, including owner, partners, VPs, heads, directors, and managers.
  • Please note that the chart shows all the way to manager positions. For details on structure including entry levels and interns, please see here.

Best Practices for Organizational Structure

  • According to Aligning Strategies and Sales, a book by a senior lecture of Havard Business School, there are four ways to structure a sales organization.
  • These are geography/territory, product/service line, customer/account size, and industry/vertical segment.
Geography/Territory Structure
  • This structure organizes the sales team by geography or territory. According to the organizational structure of Marriott shown in the previous section, it appears to implement this structure for its sales team.
  • One of the benefits of this organizational structure is that it allows sales employees to develop deep knowledge of a given location, allowing them to work with local businesses, understand regional competitors, and track target accounts. Sales employees working in one specific location can also develop cross-functional skills.
  • It is also easier to evaluate sales performance and identify market potential in a given location.
Product/Service Line Structure
  • For companies that sell different product/service lines, the sales team may be structured according to those products and services. From the organizational structures in the previous section, Google appears to employ this structure.
  • One of the benefits of this structure is that it allows sales employees to develop expertise in a given line and therefore become more effective in communicating its value to clients.
  • One of the disadvantages of this structure is that sales employees may potentially become fixed on the features of the products instead of the best solutions for clients.
Customer/Account Size Structure
  • This structure organizes a sales team based on the types of customers or account sizes--for example, individual customers vs. enterprises.
  • Due to various sizes or budgets, different types of customers/accounts have different goals. This practice allows sales employees to tailor to their different needs.
  • The practice, however, could be challenging for resource management in order to ensure equal quality of service for all clients.
Industry/Vertical Structure
  • Sales teams may also be structured by the different industries/verticals of clients that use the company's products or services.
  • If different industries/verticals use the company's products and services in different ways, then there is an advantage in this practice, which allows sales employees to position offerings according to the needs to these industries/verticals.
  • The main disadvantage of this practice is that it is the most expensive way to structure a sales organization.
McKinsey's Two Types of Practices for B2B Sales

Research Strategy

To carry out this research, we searched for organizational charts from public databases and provided a link for each company. For sales organizational charts, we collected diagrams from Apollo database and compiled them in a Google Doc with a link provided in the report. For companies where a sales division does not appear obvious from the organizational chart, we ran searches on their official sites to locate the division or their hiring for sales employees to understand which division is in charge. As for best practices for sales organizational structure, we gathered information from a sales and strategy book.
Sources
Sources