Ultimate sales org chart guide (with awesome tools and templates)
Your customers love your product, and the revenue is growing quickly. It’s time to expand your operations and take your business to the next level. In this transition, it’s essential that you lay a strong foundation for your sales team.
What if you onboard too few sales representatives? Then you might fail to achieve your desired growth. And if you hire too many people, it will eat up your profit margins.
So with the goal of sustained long-term growth, you begin by calculating the number of people you need. A sales org chart is a godsend in such a scenario to distribute responsibilities and flesh out the relationships between individual roles in the team. It efficiently communicates operational information across your organization and paves the way for a high-performing sales team.
In this article, I will show you around a few org chart creators, share a few sales org chart templates, and example structures of successful organizations. By the end, you will be equipped to create an effective sales organizational chart that provides clarity and directs your team to deliver predictable results.
- → What is a sales org chart?
- → Five best org chart creators & builders for sales teams
- → Three sales org chart templates to map out your sales strategy
- → Four org chart examples to get design ideas
What is a sales org chart?
A sales org chart shows the inner structure and hierarchy of the sales department in a company. It can include details of each employee, including their titles, names, and contact info.
Remember that the chart is a dynamic entity and should evolve as per changes in your organization hierarchy. Here’s an example sales org chart:
Note that the positions define the sales team structure and not the people who are filling the role currently. So put the job title of the team member first followed by their name.
Most chart builders will allow you to import your employee data and create a sales org chart automatically from it. The data file could be a spreadsheet with the following information: title, manager, name, and phone number.
Five best org chart creators & builders for sales teams
Once you have properly formatted employee information, you can get cranking with the following builders to create a sales organizational chart.
Pingboard helps companies visualize their team structure with real-time people data. It even has a photo directory to find the right person and their info using its Android and iOS apps. The tool lets you print the org chart and collaborate with your team for building one.
Here are the details you can include for every employee. You can even include the team goals and the t-shirt size of every individual.
Best Feature: Pingboard is best known for its software integration, which isn’t commonplace with other tools.
2. Org Plus Real-Time Express
The Insperity OrgPlus RealTime is an automated org chart builder that requires you to import a spreadsheet as the data source. It has three chart size options: up to 100, up to 250, and up to 500 employees.
After you upload the data of the employees, their photos, the roles they play, and their supervisors, you get eight professional themes for creating an org chart. The final publishing is available in various formats, including Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, and HTML.
Best Feature: The tool is great for creating boardroom-quality charts that you can use in presentations.
It is a drag & drop tool with templates across the following categories to get started quickly.
It allows you to bulk import the employee roster of your company from a spreadsheet.
The paid version also allows you to add custom data fields for every entry. You can use these unique items to save information like “the employee’s favorite drink.”
You can export an org chart to a PDF and also share a link for public viewing. A big drawback of Organimi is that it requires an annual paid subscription for availing all of its features. Also, the free version only allows the creation of one org chart.
Best feature: If you have a static org chart handy already, then Organimi specializes in quickly turning it into a dynamic one. It also integrates with LinkedIn and G Suite.
OrgWeaver is a drag & drop cloud solution that allows you to build customized org charts and collaborate with colleagues instantly. You can import data from excel spreadsheets, but if you’re manually entering information, its ‘quick add’ wizard allows you to add multiple employees simultaneously.
Best Feature: You can cut and paste your customer’s employee data directly inside the org chart maker.
5. Lucid Chart
While it’s a diagram software, Lucid Chart also lets you import data from a spreadsheet and create org charts. It offers a slew of org chart templates for different kinds of organizations (as visible in the screenshot above).
You need to follow the data format below to auto-create an org structure. Every column of your sheet needs to have a title, and every employee should have a supervisor marked by their employee ID or name.
You can also drag & drop the org chart shape from the shape library if you want to create a chart from scratch.
The tool allows you to upload photos, change shape, manage the fields you want to display, and modify the layout.
Best feature: There are templates for a variety of industries to get started quickly.
Note: In case a person is holding more than one role, it makes sense to show both the positions. In the example below, Paul Smith holds two titles (CEO and VP of Engineering). Note that his name appears twice in the org chart.
A few other tools like Visio, Gliffy, and OrgChart4U are also decent options to create a sales org chart, but they have a poor visual appearance. In Gliffy, for instance, you can’t add headshots alongside the titles of the employees, and it makes for a dull presentation.
Next, let’s look at a few organizational structure templates to get started with the org chart software we discussed above.
Three sales org chart templates to map out your sales team
Here are a few org chart templates you can put to use for structuring your team.
1. The typical sales organization chart
The picture below shows the sales organization structure for an enterprise. The sales director sits at the helm, and his subordinates include a sales supervisor, a distribution manager, and the like.
2. The modern chart template
If you have a fast-growing sales department, then the following flexible template by Airtable can come in handy. You can create different kinds of teams with sales reps focused on lead generation, and account executives focused on the enterprise. Indeed, the template can even function as your employee directory.
3. Integrated sales and business development template
Do you have one team of solution partners and another of account managers? Then here’s a sales org chart that you can use (powered by and editable in Creately).
Are you still looking for inspiration for designing an org chart for your sales team? Then here are a few org chart examples:
Four org chart examples to get design ideas
Do you know how organizational charts came into existence? Let’s look at its intriguing history and evolution of the design.
In 1855, a Scottish-American railroad engineer, Daniel McCallum, created an illustrative organization chart of the New York and Erie Railway. As you can see below, it shows the class and the number of employees in each department, and the division of administrative duties. However it wasn’t termed as an “org chart” back then.
Source: Library of Congress
Then in 1917, The Tabulating Machine Company (that later became IBM) created a pyramid style organization chart. It offered apt detail in the functional relationships as well as geographical and departmental subcategories.
This pyramid design above provides clarity to organizations as the hierarchy is clearly established. It has become a foundation for companies to create their org charts.
Now that you know the origin of the org chart, here are four distinct examples to help you structure your sales team.
1. HubSpot marketing team
HubSpot coined the phrase “inbound marketing.” The company majorly relies on content marketing to add value as well as earn the attention of their prospects. That’s why you see content serving a dedicated function as visible in the marketing department structure below.
Provided By: HubSpot
Main Takeaway: The marketing team’s structure above is focused on providing an excellent inbound experience to a buyer and adding value to them at every stage. Similarly, you can structure your sales team in a manner that lets you focus better on your core function.
2. Buffer’s table org chart
Buffer likes to experiment with traditional wisdom around work. So when the company expanded, they researched how to structure teams and focused their structuring efforts on “clarity, order, and communication.” These elements took shape in a table format below.
Provided By: Buffer
Main Takeaway: If you’re a company like Buffer that likes to “do things a little differently”, then your org chart building can’t rely on templates and software. You might need to design from scratch.
3. Incipient’s decentralized circular team structure
Incipient is a small company that helps businesses go digital through its strategy, design, and technology solutions.
To become agile and make product decisions quickly, the team turned towards a decentralized management approach. In the resulting circular structure that you can see below, lower-level management is also empowered to make decisions.
Provided By: Incipient Corp
Main Takeaway: While a circular or a flatter structure is novel, it might muddle clarity and make growth challenging. However as remote work is picking pace, the future of work could well be centered around self-organization and collaboration. It’s worthwhile to experiment with fewer titles and base everything on merit.
Organizations like Zappos show the way around holacracy, where powers are vested in every employee. As you can see, the structure is heavily reliant on self-management and reduced hierarchy.
4. SaaS Startup Sales Team ($5M to $10M ARR)
The SaaSX team has done a great job of providing sample sales team org charts to startups across three stages of revenue:
- Under $5M ARR
- $5M to $10M ARR
- $10M to $25M ARR
You can look at the second stage’s org chart below and the other org charts here.
Provided By: SaaSX
Main Takeaway: If you’re a SaaS startup looking to structure your sales team to grow and scale, you can adapt the above chart as per your budget, goals, and strategy.
Wrapping things up
As your business grows, laying down a robust structure for your sales team becomes essential to bring clarity and order in your functioning. Visually depicting the hierarchy further leads to a proper division of responsibilities, efficient communication, and alignment of your sales department with other teams.
Select the best sales org chart for your organization so that you hit your goals quarter after quarter, and year after year.
Want to learn more about hiring, managing and growing a high-performing B2B sales organization? Grab a free copy of The Sales Hiring Playbook today!