/The Replacement Ladder for Amazon Sellers

The Replacement Ladder for Amazon Sellers
Mar 25, 2024 3 min read

The Replacement Ladder for Amazon Sellers

Dillon Carter
Dillon Carter
Co-Founder, COO at Aura

Building a successful team requires both intention and strategy. This is an area I see many Amazon sellers struggling to overcome.

Among the various strategies for building a team, The Replacement Ladder method, by Dan Martell, is one of my favorites. Dan created a sequence you can follow to know exactly who to hire next.

The Replacement Ladder: Admin → Delivery → Marketing → Sales → Leadership.

However, selling on Amazon is a bit unique and requires a few changes to the above. To make those changes, we'll focus on the major areas every seller needs to know: sourcing, purchasing, administration, sales, and finance.

The Replacement Ladder for Amazon Sellers

Traditional roles like "delivery" or "sales" are not well suited for our world, so we'll make a few changes. We also need to shift our perspective from "outsourcing" everything to ownership. When hiring, you shouldn't hire someone to complete tasks but to own an outcome.

In other words, you should be hiring someone for their brain.

Most sellers are told to simply "outsource" it all, which is wrong. Instead, you should be building an effective team, where each person owns a clear outcome you can measure. How the work gets done should be up to them. Otherwise, people are only doing what you tell them to. What a waste.

This also means you should stop referring to everyone on your team as a "VA". You don't have 10+ "assistants". You have one assistant, four sourcing agents, two purchasers, and a ppc specialist. You should title them correctly as it gives your team more pride in their work and helps you to create a clear org chart to build on.

With that said, here's an example of The Replacement Ladder I came up with:

  • Administration: The backbone of daily operations, handling email, scheduling, and other small tasks.
  • Sourcing: Finding profitable products and other sourcing related tasks.
  • Sales: Anything related to increasing orders like PPC, SEO, Listing Optimization, or managing your Amazon repricer.
  • Purchasing: This role is more strategic in working with your sourcing team. They have the context of financial goals and can optimize your purchasing to hit each one. They manage discounted gift cards, cash back rewards, credit cards, etc.
  • Finance: Overseas everything from bookkeeping to cash flow management.

Keep in mind this isn't an exhaustive list of areas. It's just enough to get the point across. In the example above, you may have one assistant, five sourcing agents, three people in sales (ppc, seo, etc.), one Head of Purchasing, etc.

What you've created is a lean but effective team of people who should be better at each area than you ever could be. A founder's mindset is not about outsourcing to cheaper labor, it's hiring people more skilled than you ever could be.

This approach flips the traditional outsourcing on its head.

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