Quiz: Which Sales Organization Structure Will You Thrive In?

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Jay Fuchs
Jay Fuchs


This quiz might not be as flashy as that one you took about "what type of mermaid you are" or that one that determines if you're "100% Ron Weasly" based on how you respond to items like "I like chicken" and "I think Slytherin is an evil house."

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No, this quiz doesn't feature any mythical sea creatures or zany, unassuming, goofball wizards. But there's still quite a bit of practical mileage you can get out of it. It's always worth exploring how you work and what kind of setting will be the most conducive to your success.

The type of sales organization structure you work in can bring out the best in you professionally or seriously kneecap your selling potential. Understanding where you'll thrive as a salesperson can be an important factor in your career development and personal wellbeing.

So without further ado, here's a quiz to help you determine which kind of sales org you should work within.

Quiz: Which Sales Org Should You Work Within?

Select the answers that best apply to you.

1. How do you feel about independence and autonomy in your work?

A. I enjoy working on small teams that have independence and autonomy from corporate leadership.

B. Independence is important — but not as much as direct guidance from corporate management.

C. I do well working independently — but within definitively established parameters.

2. How do you feel about decision-making?

A. I want to be trusted to make decisions similar to the ones corporate management would make on my own.

B. I want to make decisions about specific products I thoroughly understand.

C. I want to make decisions to best cater to certain customers based on business size.

3. Out of these four ways of establishing rapport with a customer, which would you be best at?

A. Understanding the circumstances of the world around their business.

B. Demonstrating specialized expertise.

C. Speaking to the challenges that come with a business the size of theirs.

4. How do you feel about communication with other reps at your company?

A. Communication with other reps — beyond my immediate team — across my organization isn't a major priority for me.

B. I'd like to communicate with like-minded reps to help me better understand the products I sell.

C. I'd like to constantly communicate with other reps and teams to avoid overlap in responsibilities.

5. Which of these skills are you most adept in?

A. Working without constant guidance.

B. Developing technical knowledge.

C. Being able to establish rapport with different kinds of customers.

Which Sales Org Should You Work Within?

Mostly A's - Geography/Territory Organization Structure

This sales org revolves around allocating territories to individual reps or full sales teams.

If you landed on this org, you're likely better equipped and more inclined to learn about a specific geographic region, your competitors within it, and territory-specific issues. You're good at establishing rapport based on specific challenges a customer faces — mostly as a result of the world around them as opposed to their individual role or company size.

This structure often lends itself to more autonomy and isolation. Territories can be anywhere. And there's a good chance that each has its own local customs, sensitivities, and business practices. So, naturally, reps in this structure may wind up siloed from others. That can decentralize corporate responsibilities, giving territory managers and reps more personal responsibility and decision-making authority.

Ultimately, the Geography/Territory structure works best for organizations that need a local presence in multiple areas. And the reps that are best suited for it are thoughtful, empathetic, confident in their decision-making, and able to thrive without constant guidance.

Mostly B's - Product/Service Line Organization Structure

In this structure, an individual sales rep develops extensive knowledge about and sells a single, specific product or product line.

If you wound up with this org, you're probably a diligent worker who's able to completely hone in on individual projects. You know how to focus, apply yourself, and learn the ins and outs of what you set your mind to. You're also excellent at making the most out of guidance and feedback.

The Product/Service Line structure gives managers more bearing over sales efforts. Since each individual rep is assigned to one product line, they're often easier to train — allowing management to more flexibility shift selling styles.

This org best suits companies with multiple products or services. And the salespeople that thrive within it are generally good listeners who are able to develop deep technical knowledge and adapt to criticism.

Mostly C's - Customer/Account Size Organization Structure

The Customer/Account Size structure allocates responsibilities to different reps based on customers' account sizes.

SMBs don't buy the way large enterprises do. Selling to each takes different strategies and skillsets, and this structure accounts for that. If this structure suits you best, you're probably well-equipped to understand the fundamental nature of a specific kind of business.

This style is best for excellent communicators. Salespeople within this kind of org need to constantly touch base with one another. That ensures that all customers receive a similar quality of service and reps aren't stepping on each others' toes in terms of overlapping responsibilities. Salespeople that thrive in this kind of org are open, strategic, and willing to learn about business operations on a personal, human level.

This quiz is obviously high-level, but it should get you thinking. Take time to mull over your professional strengths and weaknesses — your interests and preferences. Understand the different kinds of sales organization structures and how those factors might play into one that fits you best.

The structure around your sales efforts is a major factor in you realizing your potential. You should always have a solid picture of anything that important.

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