SalesOps – the business partner no sales leader can live without

Modern Sales

Tenzing Norgay was one of the first two people known to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He did so with Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953. Time magazine named Norgay one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

If Hillary were a head of sales, then Tenzing would have been his SalesOps leader.

The importance of SalesOps

SalesOps, or sales operations, is responsible for everything from lead management and sales strategy to territory structuring and alignment. Going one level deeper, it covers sales process optimization, compensation plans, sales automation, training, and data analytics and reporting. The list is long … and can seem overwhelming at times.

The broader purpose of sales operations is to enhance the effectiveness, productivity and business impact of your sales team. For example, the sales operations team is responsible for organizing data about the sales experience to make it more effective. This data is used by senior leaders and sales managers to make decisions about the sales process.

Sales operations staff help sales teams perform better, hit goals faster and lead smoother sales processes. Sellers get the boost they need to stay ahead of competitors and engage modern buyers.

The 12 functions of a modern SalesOps department

We are asked the question “What does SalesOps do” regularly. The reason why is because this function is integrated into our outsourced sales offering. We also provide implementation support to clients looking for extra help to extend the capacity of their existing SalesOps team. Think contingent staff.

No matter who does the work, every modern SalesOps team is responsible for 12 functions:

1. Cross-Functional Collaboration

Sales operations acts as an advocate for your sales team by playing a key role in sales and operations planning. This is a business management process where leadership teams meet to ensure each business function is aligned. We’ve all witnessed organizations wobble or implode due to a lack of alignment.

2. Sales Data Management

Sales operations measures and evaluates sales data to determine the effectiveness of a product, sales process or campaign. It uses internal performance data, along with external market and competitor research, to craft sales strategy and achieve sales goals.

3. Sales Forecasting

By studying and understanding past data and performance trends, sales operations can forecast future sales and report on future goals and needs. This is important because it allows sales teams to spot potential issues while there’s time to avoid or fix them.

4. Lead Generation

Sales operations answers questions and clarifies communication. Some focus areas include how sales teams can follow buyer personas, who on the sales team accepts marketing qualified leads and where content like sales enablement lives. It handles tracking and reporting tasks related to lead generation and appointment bookings so that salespeople can focus on selling.

5. Performance Management

Sales operations manages sales rep compensation plans and incentives. They also set rewards for superior performance and establish processes for acknowledging and resolving poor performance.
Sales operations may conduct regular sales performance reviews or coach sales managers on how to conduct proper reviews of their own.

While your sales team works on growing your business, sales operations works on improving how you can do business better.

6. Sales Representative Support

Sales operations exists to make salespeople more efficient and impactful. They do this by providing leads, managing transactions, drawing up contracts and providing training on time management skills.

SalesOps may also purchase tools to help ease the responsibilities of your sales team.

7. Sales Strategy

Sales operations teams use their data analysis and forecasting to establish a sales strategy and set future sales goals. The department is also responsible for building a sales process that improves conversions, shortens sales cycles and maximizes sales wins.

8. Sales Team Communications

The sales operations team is responsible for coordinating sales team activities, reporting on sales results and communicating news and successes.

The team may establish communication channels, such as Slack or an internal wiki. Similarly, they invest in a customer relationship management software (CRM) to help simplify data and information sharing across your sales organization.

9. Sales Team Organization

Sales operations influence the sales team’s structure and organization to maximize its efficiency, impact and performance.
For example, the SalesOps team may notice some reps have strengths working with small business customers. Other reps might prefer to work with enterprise-level customers. Noticing this, SalesOps may choose to reorganize the team so that every rep is working with the customers they prefer.

10. Technology Management

The sales operations team is responsible for ensuring that sales teams have the tools and platforms they need to be efficient. This often involves working with the IT team to ensure that the right tools are in place.

11. Territory Definition

Sales operations is responsible for defining and assigning various sales territories to salespeople. This is an important responsibility as territories often determine sales reps’ prospect options, available commission and even work hours.

12. Training

To build a successful sales team, sales operations assumes the responsibility of training new and current employees. SalesOps may also develop sales mentoring programs to maintain a strong team and build camaraderie.

Larger organizations may have separate, dedicated sales readiness and enablement teams that work alongside sales operations.

SalesOps helps sales teams realize their full potential

Hillary and Norgay accomplished a goal no one thought was possible at the time. The partnership between sales leadership and SalesOps is similar – great outcomes are possible when working together. Having a sales operations team executing these 12 responsibilities is a sure-fire way to propel revenue growth.

Learn how we can support your SalesOps team by starting a conversation now.

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