Sales Operations Demystified – Part 2
In the last blog, we saw how Sales Operations as a function was clearly misunderstood. There we read about the first two points that demystified Sales Operations. In this blog, we will read about the other 2 points that help us in understanding the role that Sales Operations plays in the Sales Organization.
- Helping in building a high-performance Sales Organization and
- Working on improving team efficiencies and execution
Helping in building a high-performance Sales Organization
The Sales Operations needs to work on an organizational structure that works smoothly and effectively as well as efficiently to help the sales team to deliver to its targets. Below is how the Sales Operations can make a difference.
- Hiring the right people: The kind of people you recruit and allow to walk in through your door can make or break your sales team and their performance. Highly self-motivated people, open-minded learners and star performers can make a world of difference, but morale -breakers can ruin the performance of an existing team too. Sales Operations needs to work with HR on laying down some good hiring practices, using some key evaluation tools to ensure you are hiring the right guys.
- Allocating Territories: Allocating territories can be a crucial function of Sales Operations. They need to measure the richness of territories for the opportunity, logistically correct allocation, vertical-wise allocation and a number of such permutations and combinations for the best performance. The key is to balance territories for opportunity and impact.
- Incentive Planning: The backbone of sales is the incentive plans. Sales are driven by incentives, this is their drive, their charge. Sales Operations needs to plan their compensation, incentives, rewards in a way that keeps them secure as well as charged to deliver. The recognition needs to be built-in too and frequencies of such programs need to be planned so as to keep the sales team motivated and positive at all times.
- Communications: Nothing positive can happen without communication. Sales Operations needs to keep communication flowing in and out – to ensure that the organizations’ best practices, wins, and even challenges are communicated; while ensuring feedback flows in. This helps positive action and results.
Team Efficiency and Execution
Sales Operations works to ensure that the sales team is spending the maximum time on building the sales portfolio. Certain things need to be taken care of towards achieving this.
- Inside-Out Communication: Salespeople may often get uneasy or not bothered about communicating externally or internally. They are far too focused on their core job of selling. But communication is an important part of selling and hence the sales operations team needs to look at tools that help the sales team communicate at the right time in the right way to the right people. These could be guidelines, certain templates and more, built to help them across the selling process.
- Bottlenecks in Processing: Sales Operations need to frequently assess, identify and correct bottlenecks in the sales process. Are the proposals, contracts going out on time, is there a check on them? These bottlenecks once removed, help in meeting the deliveries as promised while helping avoid irate customers and losing sleep and valuable time in pacifying them.
- Using the CRM: Sales Operations can work on helping the sales team to use the CRM to create value for the prospects. However, what is seen is that the Sales Operations spend a lot of their time in making the sales team comply with the filling in and following other to-dos about the CRM and other procedures. This can be avoided and will only help in smoothening the sales process.
- Time Management: Automating routine tasks and setting procedures that allow the sales team to focus more on their core area- sales, rather than getting stuck in administrative work is a matter of time management. This is where Sales Operations can help.
- Tools and Technologies: Sales Operations should be on the lookout for tools and technologies that can help streamline the sales process and help the sales team in managing the sales process better.
Sales operations as we have seen in this blog and the earlier blog is a lot more than pure execution. It involves a lot of proactive work, strategizing, planning, as well as bridging the gap between leadership and execution.
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About the Author
CEO & Co-Founder, DemandFarm
Milind is CEO & Co-Founder of DemandFarm. Having practiced and evolved the ‘account farming’ principle for over a decade he established DemandFarm and is passionate about delivering the best B2B key account management tool to serve the needs of key account managers. Milind also serves on the Board of LeadEnrich & is a Strategic Adviser.